During our research into where to stay (really just reading the wikitravel.org page for 5 minutes) we read about the Hospedage Central thinking it was a joke. Word for word the blurb on wikitravel.org was this:
"Hospedaje Central, From Procredit Bank, 1 block south, ☎ 2569-4262. Very colorful and friendly atmosphere with free parking lot, internet service, dvd movies, laundry, volunteering opportunities, a restaurant and a bar. Unfortunately the owner is wanted by INTERPOL for Fraud, Kidnapping, etc. Dormitory is basic with bunk beds, its own toilet and shower, lockers and a safe available at reception. Rooms are clean, large, with new beds, fan or AC and private bathroom. However, some travellers report that, despite Lonely Planet's endorsement, theft is a problem, especially in the dormitory rooms where random locals wander in and out through three doors. And the bar/restaurant shares a filthy bathroom with guests and plays loud music until late at night. $2.50 hammock-$3.50 dorm-$5.50 to 9.50 for room."
I admit I almost fell for the hippie's recommendation but Andrew insisted on sticking to our guns and heading to Yogi's Hostel. At Yogi's we met some other travellers and they brought up the topic of the criminals down the street. None of us really thought too much of it, thinking maybe it was just a rumour, or blown out of proportion. We actually ended up having dinner there the night before last because the food sounded so good. And it was! We were served by a SUPER creepy man, an equally creepy woman lit our candle when it got dark, and a bunch of other creepy people hung around at nearby tables having very deep conversations. The place was actually nicely decorated, very colourful and kind of reggae-ish. It did seem like a nice place to stay, if it weren't for the creepy people.
When we got back to Yogi's we were chatting with Robinson, the owner, who sent us a link to a woman's blog. Apparently this woman stayed at Hospedaje Central a while back and started hearing rumours, so she began to look into it. She found out a ton of crazy things about these people and wrote this blog post about it, hoping to get them kicked off the island and hopefully Nicaragua altogether. They are hiding here because the Nicaraguan police are very understaffed and are unlikely to do anything about them.
It is a very interesting read if you have a few minutes. These people (the ones that served us and the old guy sat beside us when we had dinner) basically are involved in a horrible cult, starving people to death and causing children to die of malnutrition and lack of medical care when they got sick. They also created false names and companies in order to get investor money so they could live lavishly. Very evil people. And now they are here in Nicaragua, trying to get travellers like us to stay at their nature retreat on the other side of this island, where you can "live like the natives", which is basically how they got people to enter their previous cults. Creeeeeeepy!!! Can't believe we met them and they are literally right down the street, four houses down.
THANK YOU Wikitravel.org for giving us the heads up on this! We will continue to read you :)
We may even rent a motorbike and check out the rest of the island! Ne neither of us has ever driven a motorbike, but you gotta start somewhere, right?
Pura Vida everyone!