The Treefest, Nicaragua Review 2023

During my travels I’ve heard a lot about The Treehouse Hostel and their world-famous raves. Eager to confirm the buzz, I embarked on a journey to uncover the truth behind the whispers. Join me on an unforgettable night high in the Nicaraguan jungle, where Central America’s most celebrated rave, The Treefest, showcased electronic music talents from across the globe.

This night was an electrifying experience that left me filled with excitement, awe for the music scene and the people I met along my journey.
The Treehouse, nestled amidst the lush greenery of Nicaragua, provided the perfect backdrop for this unforgettable night.

The journey here can be a bit of an adventure itself. I was staying in San Juan del Sur (a surf town on the coast) as I was too late with booking for one of their rooms.
The Treehouse is located in the vicinity of the colonial city Granada (and their shuttles run from and to this town multiple times a day/night).
The journey from San Juan del Sur to Granada involves a few hours on the iconic chicken buses, a budget-friendly mode of transport in Central America. Among the locals and students on the bus, a group of tourists stood out.

Recognizable by their trendy sunglasses, vibrant clothes, and drinks in hand, it was evident they were heading to The Treehouse event.

A quick chat and we figured it´d be more fun to travel together.
We missed a bus and shared TukTuks to get into town, ready for the next few beers.
If you find yourself in Granada on a Friday night, you can be sure that most of the tourists will be in town for the Treehouse rave.
I ended up with a lovely group of people to pregame. Funnily enough, I had met most of them before in different parts of the country. I was very excited to have found my people to enjoy the night with and share our most recent travel stories whilst being apart from each other.

Too much talking, some might blame it on the rum… and we missed the last shuttle to the party. (When you buy your Treehouse party ticket online, you can buy a shuttle time – the first shuttle is at 4pm: try to get on it so you don’t miss the sunset from the suspended bridge!)

You can easily get a taxi from town, but you should check with your driver first if he knows the location well. TukTuks are also an option, the locals normally do know their way up to the Treehouse.
Well…. Our driver struggled with the dirt road and had to drop us off amidst the jungle. We thought it was quite funny with the mud and all and we just embraced it as part of the adventure.

After a short walk we reached the famous stairs up to the Treehouse.

You could already hear inviting sounds echoing through the jungle and see LEDs flashing through the trees.
The venue itself is a marvel, with multiple levels and platforms that offer stunning views of the surrounding forests and hills. It seems like a hidden paradise tucked away from the world, ready to embrace those seeking a night of joy and togetherness.
(Note: Proper footwear is advised. There is no dress code, but please leave your high heels at home. The paths include a slippery, sometimes muddy climb up on natural stairs and muddy trails.)

As I walked into the venue, I was immediately captivated by the vibrant atmosphere and good energy that filled the space.  A pure dopamine stimulant. Three decorated floors hidden in the forest: Choose your warrior! (Note that on a regular Friday night, you will find two instead of three open floors.)

The Treehouse Hostel was hosting its sixth edition of the Treefest and it was a huge success with 14 local and international DJs.
Besides the yearly festival, the weekly jungle raves enjoy an international reputation and are mainly speaking to backpackers longing for a good night out.
The parties stand out not only because of their incredibly special location, but especially for their curated electronic line-ups – such events are normally hard to find anywhere else on this scale in the area. Speaking from experience after having spent 3 months here…

The first thing that struck me upon entering the treehouse was the breathtaking view. The panoramic sight of the surrounding forest combined with colourful decorations hanging off the ceiling, a true sanctuary for the soul.

It felt like being immersed in a painting and I can only imagine how magical it must be to witness the sunset from up here.
For those seeking the perfect balance between tranquillity, yoga classes, and good music – the Hostel itself offers private dorms, dormitories, and a Hammock area to recharge your batteries. Staying here means so much more than simply enjoying one of Central America’s best views. There are also Zip Lines running through the trees, a canopy bridge connecting the main area and the hammock deck and countless events being offered every week.
I have stayed in many places along my travels but never seen anything like The Treehouse.

In between the three treehouses, jungle pathways lead you to outdoor showers and compost toilets. A local cook is serving you fresh food three times a day. Note that there is no kitchen available for guests.
As The Treehouse is a very popular location, it is recommended to book your stay in advance via

Besides the music, which we will get into soon, there is a special tour for those longing for a cultural exchange in the area. The small community of Poste Rojo is nearby and the team of The Treehouse is doing their best to support and share with the locals.
To experience this yourself, you can book a community tour. Every Friday morning you get the chance to meet the locals, learn how to make tortillas, grind coffee, and learn more about the history of Nicaragua.
Over the years, the hostel has actively engaged with the community, including English classes for children and overall support.
Watch here for some impressions of the tour.

Finally, we enter the main floor, welcomed by soothing tunes setting the tone for the night.

The dancefloor was packed already with people eager to party. I let my gaze wander over the dancefloor where bodies became one with the music.
A guy I met described the dance floor to me like a melting pot of cultures and backgrounds, and we all are united by the universal language of music.
A spot-on characterization.
Warm, muted lighting created an intimate ambiance. We jumped right in and after a little dance, we climbed up more stairs to reach a tiny treehouse “The Nest” perched atop the tree. An intimate space, which you enter via a floor door and share with a total of 15 people, allowing us to truly connect.

Artists such as headliner Hellen Back, treehouse Co-owner Hellen Back, resident Elana Ru, Austrian talent Rusrus, or highly appreciated artist Luigi Bridges played to all fans from the house and techno section. My absolute highlights were Bèrf and Caroline Hering who pulled me back to the dancefloor with their sets.

French/German icon Caroline Hering moved the crowd with her driving techno (If you are around Berlin keep your eyes open for her future gigs), and whilst the sun was already rising we danced to upbeat tropical house/tech tunes on the main stage by Berlin legend Bèrf. I met these girls along my travels and gladly we reunited in Germany. Both left us dreaming for the rest of the morning. Bèrf just released her new single “Oh Babe” and is also playing her sets in the States and Europe now.

Parted by adventurous trails through the jungle,  imagine you need to cross a bridge, lit up by fairy lights, hanging in between some trees to find the next stage… This is pretty much one of the highlights the location offers. My friends and I decided to follow the trend and took some standard Treehouse pics on that bridge and checked out the third floor.

Partygoers looking for more rapid beats crossed the bridge and could dive into some darker techno. The crowd needed no warm-up; the atmosphere was electrifying from the start, promising an enduring night. More familiar faces were hidden in the crowd. It was remarkable how euphoric people celebrated until daylight. Just what you expect from a good rave.

Beyond the music, I cherished the encounters and shared moments  with the people I met along the night. Not only will you most likely reunite with those from your travels around Granada, but it is also the perfect place to make new friends. So I found myself at some point outside in the chill area, chatting to a dude from Wales for hours. Tom, thanks for your company! Hope your travels are going well!
People came and went, joining our conversation, pulling us inside for a quick dance, simply celebrating this life in unity. We had the absolute best time.

The Treehouse is the perfect place for techno/house lovers. They do have occasional DNB nights as well as organic house, tribal, tech-house artists.
If you are looking for Psytrance/Goa you might not be satisfied.
It is worth to check the line-up* before you decide to book your ticket to align with your preferences and to avoid disappointments. Otherwise just come with an open mind and let yourself fully immerse into the night.

(*The line-up for each Friday jungle rave is released weekly on the Treehouse Instagram page. You can also keep an eye on their event’s page for details).

Whoever set up the line-up for this night deserves a big shoutout. All in all, it’s been a great mix of national and international artists, all united by their love of music. The most important thing to mention was the presence of female power on the stage. Well done!!

It has been a journey for sure and it’s hard to believe that I just spent a night here. Good local food, dancers, and a mesmerising fire show were part of the program, too. The spontaneous ones could get a memorable accessory from a tattoo artist.

In the early morning hours, I was dancing with a newly made friend and we were so torn between staying or leaving. There is something magical about witnessing a sunrise and the start of a new day surrounded by such nature. When the first rays of sun peek through the trees and you can feel the warm glow over exhausted yet exhilarated guests.
We decided to leave as I still had to make my way back to San Juan del Sur, most likely starting a new day with some surfing to keep the good vibes going.
Me and the others exchanged hugs and promised to meet again.

For me, The Treehouse is a testament to the potential for harmony between humanity and environment, a big part I often miss in tourism.
In a world that often rushes forward, The Treehouse invites us to pause, to breathe, and to connect with the world around us. Are you ready to be enchanted?

For more info on Treehouse visit

To buy advance tickets for the Friday Rave visit

Words by Karoline Hawks

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