Ngala Safari Lodge

Calala is the first resort of its kind in the beautiful Pearl Keys - a private luxury island nestled in a remote part of Nicaragua's Caribbean Coast, with a mission to go above and beyond, and to exceed expectations. The property sits on an island cay, only a couple of hours by boat from Bluefields but seemingly a world away. Each one of the ocean view and beachfront suites was designed by renowned architect Matthew Falkiner, and is decorated with the finest handcrafted furniture from Nicaragua.

The hotel offers high-end amenities and service, but retains an easy-going Caribbean character. There are a range of activities on offer, and the restaurant offers fine dining with local influences and ingredients.

As you approach Calala Island, you could be forgiven for thinking yourself a true castaway, about to be left in the middle of the Caribbean. But as you sail closer, thatch-roofed villas and a shimmering infinity pool emerge among the palm trees. By the time you’re greeted at the jetty, you’ll be ready to begin life on this private island retreat.

On Calala Island, your exclusive hideaway will be one of just four beachfront suites, styled after a traditional Caribbean palapa. With open ocean views in front and palm forest behind, each one is completely private. Spend your days lazing in the hammock or taking hand-in-hand strolls on the beach – after your morning mimosas, naturally. Enjoy a massage in one of the private pavilions beside the sea. Then look forward to a bespoke menu of fresh-off-the-fishing-line seafood and organic, island-grown produce.

Designed by architect Matthew Falkiner, the four stunning master and junior suites are built from sustainable hardwoods, and sit on powder-soft white sand a pebble’s throw from the dazzlingly blue water. Named after local communities, they each come with a king-sized bed covered in crisp white linens, handcrafted furniture and floor-to-ceiling windows lined with gauzy curtains. There’s no air-conditioning but net walls allow the breeze in and you can shower under the sun or stars. Each comes with a small deck, a hammock-for-two and a sofa to take in the sunset.

 

There are complimentary kayaks, paddleboards and dinghies, along with fishing (the local way with string and a coconut), snorkeling and visits to local communities. Extras include diving with a professional outfit and deep-sea sports fishing. Paddle over – or take the boat – to picnic on Little Calala, a shell-strewn sandbar exposed by the tide, or lounge by the palm-fringed freeform swimming pool complete with swim-up bar. A spa palapa is tucked into the mangroves. The island is a nesting site for critically endangered hawksbill turtles and in season you might be lucky enough to see them hatch.