Hotel El Frailejon is one of those mistakes you wish you could take back. We were on a two-month trip around Colombia and trying to save money on accommodation. Rather than stay at the much nicer Brisas del Nevado we decided to save some money and opt for the cheapie in town. For what amounted to $12 we wound up sabotaging the whole reason for coming to Güicán in the first place but truthfully that was not really our fault. The hotel is right on La Plaza so very conveniently located. It is a typical South American cheapie though perhaps a few notches below even them. The room was very small and cramped but for one night, it would make due and since we were told the milk truck into the National Park left from the square just outside its door, it make logistical sense. We didn't notice the small roaches in the communal bathroom until later. By then, it was too late. Maybe we've just been lucky but after many years of staying in South American budget rooms, we have never seen a roach. At least our little room had a view of Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria, the town's church right on the square. The room was 16000 COP ($8) for the two of us.
The hotel has a popular restaurant which is surely so due to its location and cheap prices more than for its exceptional food. Our lunch there was edible but had us hankering for the food of El Cocuy which was not exactly the culinary capital of Colombia either. Actually, the soup was good but the meat surprise of the day was chewy and served typically with not only rice and beans but also fries. We had a beer each and the meal came to 13000 COP (less than $7) so cheap enough. We did not eat here again as had dinner in the much nicer Brisas del Nevado which while more expensive was also much better quality and atmosphere. There are times when you do in fact get what you paid for! We would however have likely eaten at least breakfast here again after the trek that we came to do but never came to be.
The owner of the hotel had misinformed us about the milk truck's departure location in hopes of selling us a four-wheel drive ride into the park. It was a mistake on his part as we decided to just leave town rather than do the trek and return to his establishment for our last night. Even though the place was not very nice, I would not normally give an outright recommendation to not stay somewhere unless something like this occurs. There are not many choices in this small town but if traveling to Guican, I would steer clear of Hotel El Frailejon. It might be the cheapest place in town but the owner is not honest and you should give your business to someone else that is. We wound up not getting to to the trek we had come to Güicán to do due entirely to his greed.
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