Who we are and what we do

our green wonderland, the nursery here at Selvista, Ometepe. Edible and medicinal plants and trees available

The Selvista property consists of 2.2 acres of permaculture-farmed land, a collection of unique guesthouses, an outdoor oven and grill plus kitchen and dining area, a plant nursery and animal farm, run by a team of 16 people.

It all started with…

…a field full of plantains, mono-cropped and chemically treated in 2002. The land that is Selvista was adopted and lovingly reforested into the tamed jungle of organic food forests and exotic fruit trees that we stay and relax among today.

From a desire to live recipriocally among the natural and astounding beauty and wildlife that thrives in this climate and culture here on Ometepe, the Homestead House came to fruition.

round house, dome-home, permaculture design house, unique housing, Homestead

At this time it was a private home, designed as an impressive example of some of the basic principles of permaculture design and natural pattern imitation in a sustainable off-grid system.

Many years later, the house was opened to guests and, with its popularity, the Selvista collection idea was borne.

student group timber framing, local brick, cob mortar, volcanic rock, natural building, jungle house Selvista

From there Jungle House's timber frame was erected as an educational experience and many different, local materials were used for variation in the three-storey house.

This was then replicated by a local team, to add Jackfruit and Mango to the collection and things have kept growing since... 

We are known for our wonderful hospitality, modern comforts and lush, tropical settings with fabulous views and considerate design.

We have a wonderful yoga platform looking out at volcano conception.

 

It’s a living, working, evolving farm. We’re happy to show you some behind the scenes systems if you’re interested during your stay. Or check out our blog for some stories of what daily life is like here.

 
selvista_permaculture_farm_Balgue

We believe in reaping what you sow, and eating what you grow and sharing knowledge and opportunities with others.

Whether you’re just looking for a relaxing stay among lush surroundings with fresh air and local food or are interested in sharing more about this way of life this place is for you.

If you have a keen interest in growing-your-own, homesteading, permaculture and botany already you’ll have a great time exploring here and exploring the farm systems.


We love showing people a good time and we like to think about how we interact with the world around us. We incorporate our educational drive with our love of travel, nature and adventure and have come up with this.

We hope we can be a part of your story and that you love what we’ve done here and our philosophy.

chris shanks permaculture design in the tropics specialist

Chris has been an active member of this community for nearly 20 years. He continues to inspire, support and encourage among the residents of Balgüe, Ometepe and further afield. He has worked with Bona Fide Project, Living systems solutions, Aqua Wellness Resort, Tree-Casa, Rancho Mastatal and more.

The permaculture farm

On the farm we have a plant nursery, farm animals and pets, exotic fruit forests, medicinal herb gardens, wood-workshops and more.

We support the local community in buying locally wherever possible, employing local construction teams, electricians and carpenters and promoting local services.

We sponsor the local football team by supplying their uniform and also support the medical clinic by paying the salary of the lab technician to continue his good work in the clinical laboratory in town.

Our Team 2019

No one cog makes the clock tick. We are lucky to have a great team of reliable, thoughtful, friendly and caring people here at Selvista. There a lot of behind-the-scenes work in making it all come true. Chat with us all in person to find out more about our philosophies, values and visions. We are working towards a fully bi-lingual team.

Selvista team 2018 staff day out kayaking on the istian,  Ometepe

These people are responsible for building, maintaining, landscaping, nursery planting, plumbing and harvesting. They stop the jungle from taking over and make sure there’s always coffee brewed and fresh produce available.

They also act as host and concierge to our guests and visitors, and keep the rooms in tip-top condition ready for your stay.

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The welcome party

The welcome party

Pabla Diaz is our breakfast cook. She makes sure we have jams, juices, granolas, dried treats and freshly baked bread.  She fuses local cooking methods with a healthy twist, skillfully including produce from our farm in every serving. She can happily accommodate any dietry requests. Just let us know your needs in advance.

Pabla Diaz is our breakfast cook. She makes sure we have jams, juices, granolas, dried treats and freshly baked bread.

She fuses local cooking methods with a healthy twist, skillfully including produce from our farm in every serving. She can happily accommodate any dietry requests. Just let us know your needs in advance.

Heraldo Castillo is the youngest memeber of our team and is quick to learn. He is training across all areas of maintaining the property and assisting guests. He is studying English and makes sure our animals are clean, fed and healthy.

Heraldo Castillo is the youngest memeber of our team and is quick to learn. He is training across all areas of maintaining the property and assisting guests. He is studying English and makes sure our animals are clean, fed and healthy.

Martin Ortiz is our main Maintenance man, who specializes in carpentry, plumbing and all things technical. He has been with Selvista since the beginning. He plays a mean defense in the local football team.

Martin Ortiz is our main Maintenance man, who specializes in carpentry, plumbing and all things technical. He has been with Selvista since the beginning. He plays a mean defense in the local football team.

Manuel Martinez - host and nursery manager. He’s been here as long as the guesthouses have and knows this place inside out. He’s bi-lingual and always happy to help. In his spare time he studies tourism in the local university

Manuel Martinez - host and nursery manager. He’s been here as long as the guesthouses have and knows this place inside out. He’s bi-lingual and always happy to help. In his spare time he studies tourism in the local university

Anderson Espinoza is training in skilled maintenance work and helps host our guests. He cares for our animals and landscaping. He is learning English and will happily show you around. He also plays in the local football team in Balgue.

Anderson Espinoza is training in skilled maintenance work and helps host our guests. He cares for our animals and landscaping. He is learning English and will happily show you around. He also plays in the local football team in Balgue.

Eduardo Gonzales has cared for this property since 2012. He specialises as a tree-surgeon and crafting with bamboo. In his spare time he cares for his horse and family and sows fields of rice and corn to harvest.

Eduardo Gonzales has cared for this property since 2012. He specialises as a tree-surgeon and crafting with bamboo. In his spare time he cares for his horse and family and sows fields of rice and corn to harvest.

Carlos Garcias has been working with us since January 2018 and is training across all areas of maintenance, housekeeping, kitchen and hosting. He always has a big smile and is happy to help. He also plays for the local football team.

Carlos Garcias has been working with us since January 2018 and is training across all areas of maintenance, housekeeping, kitchen and hosting. He always has a big smile and is happy to help. He also plays for the local football team.

Junior Mairena is our in-house hiking guide. He is friendly, enthusiastic and bi-lingual. He runs up and down these volcanoes like mountain goat, but accustoms his pace to your need. He is our dog’s favorite uncle and they love to accompany him on hikes.

Junior Mairena is our in-house hiking guide. He is friendly, enthusiastic and bi-lingual. He runs up and down these volcanoes like mountain goat, but accustoms his pace to your need. He is our dog’s favorite uncle and they love to accompany him on hikes.

We couldn’t do this without them!


Chris Shanks owner at Selvista Guesthouse

CHRIS SHANKS

Chris is the dreamer, designer and innovator of Selvista. He runs, he flies, he climbs.

He makes sure we have a clear drive and direction; with purpose. And back-ups. He loves racoons, planting and all things fluffy.

Megan+Walters%2C+host+and+co-ordinator+at+Selvista

MEGAN WALTERS

Megan does the meet and greet and co-ordinates with guests to make sure they have a hassle-free trip.

She keeps an eye on the little things. She loves jungle afternoons, notebooks and purple pens and eating things that still have dirt on them.

Nemer%2BRocha%252C%2Bmanager%2Band%2Bhost

NEMER ROCHA

Nemer is our host and operations manager. He makes sure the place runs smoothly.

He’s a great team co-ordinator, communicator and connector. He loves metal, rock and electronic music and trying new things.