Selvista Guesthouses is a "barefoot luxury" collection of jungle guesthouses on the slopes of the Maderas volcano, in the friendly town of Balgüe on Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua. We offer fresh breakfast, wifi, farm tours, cold beverages, and helpful resources for making most of your time on the magical island of twin volcanoes. Our mission is to provide travelers from around the world with the best guest experience on the island of Ometepe.

The name "Selvista" comes from selva (Spanish for "jungle") and vista (Spanish for "view"). Our unique site is defined by its reforested tropical landscape, as well as by the incredible panoramic views of Volcán Concepción and Lake Cocibolca. Relaxing in hammocks, glimpsing howler monkeys, sipping on coconuts, savoring the delicious farm-fresh breakfasts, and enjoying incredible sunsets characterize our guests' stays.

Our Story

Our 1-hectare (2.5-acre) tropical forest property has been completely reforested since 2002 and is an organic permaculture farm with its own water, energy, plant, and animal systems.

Selvista was co-founded by owner Christopher Shanks with Erwing Zacarias and Melissa Lucas in 2015, with the opening of the original Homestead House in November and the newly constructed Jungle House in December of that year. During the following year, development of the business continued and the Jackfruit and Mango Houses were constructed, opening in December 2016. As of January 2017, we have hosted hundreds of travelers from around the world in our five guest suites and houses, where we strive to offer the best experience on the entire island.

Construction of the Jackfruit House
Construction of the Jackfruit House, from August to December 2016

Our Team

Christopher Shanks, Owner

Chris is a teacher and permaculture enthusiast specializing in whole systems design, ethno-botany, horticulture, mycology, and ecology. A graduate of the University of Vermont, he has studied ecosystems and cultural anthropology in Spain, the Bahamas, Costa Rica, Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, Nicaragua, Hawaii, and both coasts of the United States. Chris is also the Farm Director of Project Bona Fide (located adjacent to Selvista Guesthouses) and the Director of Sustainable Systems at Aqua Wellness Resort in Redonda Bay, Nicaragua. In his spare time, Chris can be found masquerading as a builder, a mason, a bamboo fanatic, and an avid motorcyclist.

Megan Walters, Guesthouse Manager


Anielka Mairena, Operations Manager

Martín Ortiz, Site Manager