Finca Malinche

Where Gaudi meets the Flintstones

Finca Malinche, a serene getaway on the shores of Laguna de Apoyo, was the brain-child of Etienne Dusart, a Harvard-trained, award winning organic architect who designed and built Finca Malinche as his home. Acutely environmentally aware, his goal was blending the structure into the inner side of the Apoyo volcanic caldera as it sloped down to the edge of the Laguna. Instead of one large, sprawling building, he laid out a meandering series of casas built of local volcanic rock that nestle under the tropical forest canopy and comingle with the rock-strewn slope. Today, with Etienne’s philosophy as a guide, these casas have been updated to private, self-contained guest accommodation with a large gathering place, the Rancho, down at the Laguna shore.

It is believed that Etienne named his property Malinche after La Malinche, the young, Mesoamerican woman who was the interpreter for the Spanish conquistador, Hernán Cortéz. She was also his advisor, lover and the mother of his son, Martín, likely the first European-Mesoamerican child in the New World. Today, 500 years later, La Malinche lives on in Central American myth and legend as well as in the Malinche, or dwarf poinciana tree, a Mesoamerican native now found throughout the tropics and semi-tropics as a garden plant. Its large, bright red and yellow flowers burst forth flamboyantly during the wet season.


All rooms can be booked instantly on Airbnb, just follow the links. You may also contact Donaldo by phone or email. See our contact page.
For many more images of the rooms visit the Airbnb listings.
For lots more images of the property, common areas and pool etc see the gallery page.

Each of the four private casas on Finca Malinche has its own charm.

Gitsa Havansa offers panoramic views of the property and the Laguna de Apoyo and is a perfect location to see the abundant birdlife and passing troops of monkeys. It features two buildings separated by a breezeway. The main building may be rented on its own with bedroom with queen bed, bathroom, full kitchen with seating area and large patio. You may add the second small building if needed with bedroom with two single beds (trundle bed style, see photos) and en-suite bathroom for an extra fee. This smaller building is perfect for 2 children or 1 adult. Monkeys often pass over the main gate by Gitsa Havansa and occupy the trees nearby.

Next is Alejandro’s Nest, a comfy bedroom for two with almond wood floors, ensuite and a private terrace overlooking the property’s central garden and the Laguna. Its unique oval window faces due east to welcome the prevailing breeze, making the ceiling fan almost redundant.

Just below is L’Oficina, a spacious, air-conditioned studio room with a king bed or 2 king singles, office area and separate entrance. There’s also a private reading nook and an ensuite bathroom with hot water supply. It’s about mid-property, and overlooks the Rancho, the Hummingbird Garden and ultimately, the Laguna. There’s plenty of closet and storage space, all with cool stone floors – it’s the perfect private hangout for relaxing and soaking up the tropical ambiance.

Closer to the Laguna shore is the spacious, self-contained Mark’s Studio. With kitchenette, living and bedroom areas, ensuite and broad terrace, it has views of the Laguna and the hummingbird garden and is only a moment’s walk from the Rancho, the pool, and the Laguna shore. Monkeys often reside in the trees beside its terrace.

Even closer to the shore and Rancho is La Camita, an intimate room for two with a bathroom just across the path.

Nearest the shore is the grand, thatch-roofed Rancho, Finca Malinche’s entertainment focal point. It’s on two levels – the smaller upper level, the Sala, is a retreat with kick back sofas, a giant fan and views over the Laguna. The spacious ground level features a kitchenette, large gathering table and numerous lounging chairs and hammocks. The pool and barbeque grill are a few steps away and a nearby flagstone stairway leads down to the Laguna beach.


Guests can enjoy an infinity pool with waterfall, bridge and two stone tabletops with submerged benches. The tranquil waters of the Laguna are perfect for swimming with a year-round temperature of around 80F. For the more adventurous, kayaks with safety equipment are available and PADI-certified SCUBA diving facilities are nearby.

Scenic walking trails proliferate with destinations like the Catarina Mirador (a lookout over the Laguna) and the Hot Springs (also accessible by swimming or kayaking). The manager can arrange guided walks for bird watching, native plant identification and interpreting the local volcanic geology.

Spanish lessons, for individuals or groups, can also be arranged, (extra fees apply for guided walks and lessons). Free Wifi is available throughout the property.


Finca Malinche staff are all experienced in the hospitality industry and a staff member is always on-site, 24/7, so late check-in is easy and convenient if required. The property manager, Donaldo Silva, speaks fluent English, lives nearby and is on call 24/7.

Guest laundry service, home-cooked meals and massage services are available by arrangement with the manager and incur additional charges.
Several restaurants, cafes and a local general store are within easy walking distance.

Transport by an experienced driver is available to and/or from Granada, Masaya, Managua (city and airport), Léon, San Juan del Sur and the Ometepe Ferry terminal. In addition, tours are available to nearby beaches and the active Masaya volcano. There’s also a public bus stop nearby and a moderately priced taxi service.