Grand opening of Hacienda Puerta del Cielo Eco Lodge and Spa in Nicaragua

Earlier this year, Juan Carlos Espinosa, a Nicaraguan Architect and Yacht Designer, held the grand opening for Hacienda Puerta del Cielo, an eco-lodge he designed and had built in Nicaragua. It was originally intended as a second home for him and his family – “family is first, then work,” referring to his wife and two grown children.

He changed his mind shortly after purchasing the land. “I thought, why don’t I share this with everybody?” With “nobody around for miles”, Hacienda Puerta del Cielo Eco lodge and Spa, whose name loosely means ‘Doorway to Heaven,’ has vistas of a volcano high above and a lake below. “It’s on the edge of a precipice, it’s just outrageous,” he says.

He designed the lodge so that the guests are in the outdoor environment almost all the time. It’s a concept that he’d like to introduce more into his yacht designs, too.

To have a look at Espinosa’s results on his quest for designing the perfect luxury eco lodge, visit the Hacienda’s web site at  The website may be down.

Rainforest & Reef Vacation Sweepstakes

The Lodge at Chaa Creek, Belize’s award-winning luxury eco-lodge in the jungles of Central America is offering all inclusive vacation packages to the lucky winners of its Rainforest & Reef Vacation Sweepstakes.

These fun-filled holidays of a life-time are being provided to friends & families who would like to enjoy an exceptional and exciting potpourri of specialized Maya Temple Exploration and Reef Snorkeling tours free of charge.

Since 1981 Chaa Creek has provided unique adventure travel experiences for thousands of travellers looking for an in-depth yet very civilised Belizean experience, with a focus on our unique and vibrant ecology, culture, natural history and rich Maya civilisation and archaeology.

To enter the Rainforest & Reef Vacation Sweepstakes, you must follow Chaa Creek on twitter or facebook and submit an essay (minimum of 300 words) explaining why you would want to vacation in Belize and at The Lodge at Chaa Creek.

The essay must be submitted via email to and will be published anonymously on the Chaa Creek Travel Blog.

The Rainforest & Reef Vacation Sweepstakes closes on October 2nd 2010. All qualified entries will be placed in the drawing barrel and the winning tickets for the four prizes will be drawn and monitored by the Board of Directors of Chaa Creek Limited in the Cayo District of Belize.

Winning vacation packages accommodate two persons and are inclusive of the following:

Round trip transfers from International Airport or Belize City
A visit to the Belize Zoo with transfer on arrival or departure
Four Nights CottageAccommodation
Full breakfast, lunch and dinner
Guided visits to our Natural History Museum, Butterfly Farm, and Belize RainforestMedicinal Trail
Canoeing on the Macal River
Guided Early Morning Bird Watching
One Full & Half Day Tour to Belize’s Maya Temple Sites, Sacred Caves, or Nature Reserves
Snorkeling tour to Belize’s magnificent barrier reef off South Water caye
This All Inclusive Vacation Package has a value of US$3479.00

Four prizes will be given away which are as follows:

First Prize – Complimentary

Second Prize – 50% Discount

Third Prize – 40% Discount

Fourth Prize – 30% Discount

For more information about the Rainforest & Reef Vacation Sweepstakes, contact the property at 877-709-8708, or visit the web site at

Disclaimer: Please note that vacation prizes are non-transferrable and cannot be used for existing reservations. The following are Not included in this package.
Optional tips to drivers and guides
Visa and border crossing fees
Park entrance and park guide fees
Alcoholic drinks, sodas and juices
The Lodge at Chaa Creek

Sustainable Water Workshops at El Jardin Eco Lodge in Mexico

Tropical WaterFeatures/Landscaping
Gray water Irrigation
Presented at El Jardin –Yelapa, Mexico
October 21-26, 2010
Price for workshops: $225.00 for 6 days
Lodging for workshop participants: $225.00 includes breakfast and lunch
Please call or email to register :
Yelapa phone 209 5284
US phone 831 535 3059

Water Feature/Landscaping
Workshop focuses on design, installation, and maintenance of residential water features. Learn basic water feature design with hands-on instruction. This workshop will include start to finish design and installation of stepped pools and pond. Combined water feature design with landscaping ideas for water plants and areas surrounding a feature. Water used for the fountain will be from a rainwater harvesting system.

Gray Water Landscape Irrigation
Learn the basics of utilizing the water that is so oftened misused, mishandled or allowed to runoff into waterways, further polluting our oceans and streams. We will be exploring ways of turning waste water into a valuable and ecological resource, with hands– on instruction and installation of a laundry and shower graywater irrigation system. Read more