Built by the Pellas Development Group for a reputed $250 million, the low-density private beach community at Guacalito de la Isla on Nicaragua’s Emerald Coast sits next to the stunning white sands of Playa Manzanillo and the crystal clear waters of the Pacific Ocean.
The golf facility is laid out across the southern slopes of an enormous 1,670-acre residential estate and the course is open to both owners of vacation homes and villas at Guacalito de la Isla and to guests at Guacalito’s 37-room Mukul Resort & Spa.
Designed by David McLay Kidd, the fairways were carved from tropical forest terrain, with many of the native trees removed during construction transplanted onto other holes, each of which is named after one of the arboreal specimens located on the course.
A number of arroyos come into play during the round, most prominently at the left dogged 517-yard 4th and the right doglegged 561-yard 16th, where they cross the fairway twice on each of these very testing par five holes.
Glancing at the yardage of the short par four 8th, golfers might consider it a potential birdie opportunity but it’s not stroke index 3 for nothing – trees on the left can block an approach shot and there’s yet another arroyo protecting the front of a two-tiered green.On the back nine, the short 15th is a terrific hole – where the offset Biarritz green is guarded by a huge bunker on the left – but the best par three is kept until last at the 18th, where the home green actually nestles on the beach, entirely surrounded by sand.