Tourists around the world are seeking a more authentic vacation, full of rich historical and cultural aspects, pertaining to the place they choose to visit. Morgan's Rock Hacienda and Ecolodge in Nicaragua has embraced this new trend in travel and taken it to the next level as the only Ecolodge in Nicaragua that has sustainability standards and practices agro-tourism.
Morgan’s Rock is leading the way in Latin America promoting the essential practice of tree farming and reforestation as well as organic and traditional agriculture. If there’s one thing guests at the Ecolodge will learn it’s that food doesn’t grow in supermarkets. Nearly 70 percent of the food served at the restaurant La Bastide is grown at the hacienda.
Prepared on the very day they are harvested, fresh fish, lobster and shrimp, free range chicken, rice, beans, and organically grown fruit and vegetables form the foundation of the Nicaraguan, Central and South American, French and Asian cuisine. Guests are in for a surprising treat at every meal as daily features rely solely on what the sea, and season, has to offer.
Home Grown Organic Shrimp: All of the shrimp served at La Bastide are raised on-site. Unlike many farms where the shrimp are fed industrial animal food, which can result in a funny taste, the shrimp at Morgan’s Rock are fresh and flavorful. From the moment the larvae are taken out of the Oceanside estuary—an undisturbed ecosystem, sustaining a variety of wildlife at the hacienda— they are transferred to a nearby basin where they are only fed algae.
Fresh Dairy Products: The hacienda has its own cows, providing fresh, whole milk and resulting in the homemade yogurt, cheese, ice cream and butter used at the restaurant.
Flavorful Fishing: The fishing grounds in front of Morgan's Rock provide a fresh variety of fish for guests to sample. Every day, local fishermen set out to catch delicious fresh fish and on special occasions will bring back a tender lobster. Guests who are interested can join the fishermen to learn about traditional fishing methods and witness dinner in the making.
Tree Ripened Fruit: More than 5,000 fruit trees have been planted throughout the property, offering a delicious selection of newly picked fruits every day. Fresh papaya, mango, or guava juices highlight breakfast choices, and the homemade sorbet “flavor of the day” depends on whether grapefruit, lime or Nancita is in season.
Inventive Irrigation: Not only has Morgan’s Rock created a partially self-sufficient grain and vegetable hacienda, but also fashioned a sophisticated irrigation system with its innovative wastewater treatment plant that ultimately produces clean water. Rice, corn and wheat are the primary grains harvested. These grains, as well as all the vegetables grown at the hacienda, such as tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchini, are watered with this inventive system.
Cultivating Coffee: The owners of Morgan's Rock Hacienda & Ecolodge own coffee plantations in Matagalpa, located in northern Nicaragua. The coffee served at the hotel’s restaurant comes from the Matagalpa plantations. Morgan’s Rock’s owners are researching cultivating sea level coffee plants— a worldwide novelty for coffee-producing nations—in the vicinity of the hotel.
How Sweet It Is: Morgan’s Rock has a functioning antique trapiche or sugar mill, running in the hacienda. The hacienda’s trapiche produces a sweet, aromatic, intensely colored brown sugar and molasses. Inside the same trapiche home made rum is also distilled, which guests can sample.
Saving the Forests: Morgan’s Rock has planted more than 1.5 million tropical, hardwood trees in the past five years. Through its Tree Farming program, these trees will be harvested in the next 7 to 15 years and in their place, new ones will be planted. Many countries, including Nicaragua, continue cutting into valuable ecosystems and forests. However, planting and harvesting trees for commercial use will slow further destruction of invaluable tropical forests. The Ecolodge has also launched an aggressive Reforestation program, planting almost 100,000 native hardwood trees that will not be harvested, further enriching the local environment.
For more information about the innovative agro-tourism program at Morgan’s Rock Hacienda and Ecolodge visit http://www.morgansrock.com/agrotourism.html.
(Source: Morgan's Rock)