My first intention had been to stay two nights in Baeza and do a daytrip from there to Cascada San Rafael, but I changed my mind and decided to go to Hostería El Reventador near the waterfall for one night. Both my guidebooks had talked about a place with basic rooms and a room price of $12. Guess if I was surprised when I arrived and found out that the price was $30 (August 2012). A man who had arrived with the same bus as me assured me that that was the correct price. Later I have read in the new edition of Lonely Planet that Hostería Reventador has recently been renovated and the rooms are now $30 for a single room and $35 for a double room. The rooms in the buildings in the back might be cheaper, but I think they were all occupied when I visited as there were a lot of men staying at the hotel, men working with construction and maintenance of the road.
I got a room in the front on the second floor. The room was facing the Quito – Lago Agrio road, but also the green surrounding hills. There were two beds in the room, an armchair, a table, a chest of drawers and a flat TV with cable channels. There was a bedside table but no bed side lamp, which I would have liked to have. Another thing that was missing was hangers or hocks to put wet clothes on.
Coming back from Cascada San Rafael, cold and soaking wet because of the rain I had hoped to have a hot shower. To my disappointment the water in the shower never became warm, and as there was no shower curtain the floor in the bathroom got all wet.
There is a swimming pool at Hostería El Reventador, but unfortunately I couldn’t use it as I had taken out two pins from my wrist the previous day and had fresh stitches. There is a nice common room just under the roof, but it is open-air and it was quite cold because of the rain, so it was too cold for me to sit there. There are hammocks and a pool table in the common room. One disadvantage for me was that my room was just under the pool table and the floor is not sound proof (I could even see the light coming through gaps in the boards). That is something I found out when I was going to sleep. Luckily the people playing pool didn’t stay very long.
Besides walking to Cascada San Rafael you can make a hiking tour to Volcán Reventador from here, or visit the Cavernas del Reventador.
There is a good restaurant at the hostel. After I had arrived to Hostería Reventador it was time to eat lunch before going to Cascada San Rafael. I ordered the set lunch menu, which was $5. The soup was good with lots of potato and vegetables. For main course it was rice, a potato cake, a quite small piece of meat (with a good sauce) and some salad. To drink I got a jar of fresh fruit juice, and after the meal I got an apple, which I brought on my walk to the waterfall.
In the evening I ate the set dinner menu and in the morning breakfast. They were $5 dollars each. I thought breakfast and lunch was a bit expensive and had a look in the menu to see if I had paid the right price, and I had. Besides the set lunch and dinner menus there is an a la carte menu.
I don’t know of any other place to eat in the vicinity, but maybe there is.
When I arrived in Tulipe I asked for a place to stay and I was told there were two places, the more expensive Hosteria Sumak Pakari down the road, and the cheaper La Posada del Yumbo, up the road. I went to La Posada del Yumbo where I was told a room was $15 (July 2012). When I asked if breakfast was included in that price the owner changed the price to $12.50, but when it was time to pay it was $15 again. I didn’t say anything about it because I was happy with the room and location.
I was shown a room in the back with two bunk beds where it was quite dark, and another room in the other building, across the road. The second room was the best. Outside the room there was a table and chairs and a hammock were I spent some time in the afternoon. The view was very nice over Tulipe and the green surrounding hills. The room had big windows and there was a bunk bed and another bed, a bedside table with a lamp and a clean bathroom. Even if I let the water run for quite long I never got warm water in the shower, which was bad. I heard that the people arriving later got warm water though.
It was very important for me that the room would be quiet, as I had slept very badly for several weeks (due to bad flight times, my broken wrist and noise), and I really needed to sleep. I was told it was quiet and the owner said he could put the people arriving late in the other building or in the room which was not right next to mine. However, at eleven in the night I woke up when the people arrived. It turned out they were four and they were given two rooms, also the one next to mine. There are brick walls between the rooms, but between the wall and the roof it is not soundproof. I think they were trying to be quiet but I could hear every little sound, especially from the bathroom. After waking up it was difficult to go to sleep again.
One good thing was that the owner told me I needed rubber boots when I was going to the petroglyphs near Pact. It was necessary to cross the stream and it was very good to have rubber boots, which I could borrow from La Posada del Yumbo.
There are a few hotels in Baeza and after reading in the guidebooks I decided to check out Hotel Samay first. When the bus stopped just outside the doors of the hotel it was perfect. A kind woman told me the rooms with private bathroom was $10 (August 2012) and I went up to have a look. The room was okay so I stayed. There were two beds in the room, bedside tables, a chair and a TV. As the hotel is built in wood and the walls seem to be rather thin I was afraid to hear the TV from other rooms, but no one of the other people staying downstairs had the TV on load volume.
Three people arrived after me and I heard they were going to pay $6, but that was for the rooms with shared bathroom.
When I later had a closer look at the bathroom I realised it was not very clean, there was hair on the toilet seat and in the sink. When I saw this I went over to the bed and looked at the sheets and there were several hairs there as well. I went down and talked to the man, who soon came up to change sheets and clean the bathroom. Well, the new sheets were clean, but I can’t say the bathroom got any cleaner. He took the toilet brush and brushed around and sprayed something in the air.
When I visited Isinliví in 2011 I had stayed at Llullu Llama. It is a very nice place, but I thought it was overpriced (for the area) and there was only one bathroom to share. That year another hostal was built in the village, owned by locals (which Llulu llama isn’t), so I decided to check it out first.
I liked Hostal Taita Cristobal and stayed there. I got a room on the upper floor. It was new and very clean. There were two beds, a bedside table, a carpet by the bed and hangers on the wall. There was no lamp on the bed side table but there was a switch for the lamp in the roof next to the bed. The room had its private bathroom where there was soap and shampoo. I asked for a towel and toilet paper and got that too. Outside the room there was a bench on the balcony and beautiful view over the mountains. In the evening when I came back from a walk I sat there reading for a while and the owner Miriam brought me a pot of tea. It was very peaceful to sit there and watch the sun disappearing behind the mountains.
Dinner and breakfast was served in Miriam’s home. For dinner I got a soup and a plate with meat, mashed potatoes, cucumber and tomatoes. I shared dinner table with two men who also came to eat. I think that Miriam has got a small “restaurant service” because in the morning they were five men eating. For breakfast I got fruits, yogurt, bread and papaya juice. Miriam asked me if I also wanted to have the same as the men were eating, potatoes and pasta. Yes, I wanted that too. I was going for a long hike and needed lots of energy for that.
When I took a walk I could see that below the hostal they are still constructing a building. I wonder if that will be private quarters or for tourists.
Hostal Taita Cristobal is named after Miriam’s father. The price for the room, including breakfast and dinner was $12 (2012).
I had made no reservation before arriving in Puerto Lopez but hoped it would be okay anyway in the beginning of July. First I went to Hostal Maxima, which was cheap and looked nice, but unfortunately they didn’t have any available rooms with private bathroom. I really needed a private bathroom as I had broken my wrist and had had an operation only a few days earlier. I couldn’t carry things back and forth to a bathroom and everything, like showering and getting dressed, took much longer with only one hand to use.
I decided to go to Hotel Pacífico, which was not too far away. At Hotel Pacífico a room for one person was $25 (July 2012), but as I was staying for four nights I could have the room for $20 per night. The room was on the third floor in the back, and that was a good quiet location. In the room there was two beds with mosquito nets, a TV, a table, two chairs, a bedside table with a lamp (which unfortunately was too week for reading), shelves, hangers and a fan. It was a convenient room for me.
There are a few rooms at Hotel Pacífico facing the Malecón and the beach. They have air condition and a balcony and are more expensive than the ones in the back.
In the back there is a garden with a swimming pool, which I unfortunately couldn’t use because of my wrist, and there are some hammocks and a pool table. In the restaurant you can eat breakfast, lunch and dinner (I have made a separate tip about the restaurant).
One of the best things was that Maria in the reception, and everyone else, was very kind and helpful. And help I needed. With only one hand to use I needed help every morning with simple things, like putting up my hair in a ponytail and to pour water from a six-litre bottle into my small bottles.
I had broken my wrist and had got metal pins in my wrist so I needed to rest for a few days. As there was going to be a noisy festival in Canoa I came to Bahía de Caraquez, and there Hostal Coco Bongo seemed to be a good place to stay at.
I had been shown two rooms with private bathroom and I choose the larger of them, which was also the brighter one. In the room there was a double bed, a single bed, a bedside table, a chair, cupboards, a fan and a TV. Also the bathroom was large. It was a convenient room for me who at the time could only use one hand, I couldn´t open and close my bag easily and therefore it was good to have space to spread out things in. I paid $20 for the room (July 2012) and breakfast was not included. At the hostel there are also dorms and a few more private rooms. My room was nice, but I have heard from other people that the private room which is situated on the ground floor is small, dark and damp.
The breakfast is very good and cost $3. Included in the breakfast was a fruit salad, juice, eggs, bread with cheese and coffee or tea.
There is a kitchen you can use and there are several places where you can sit reading a book or chat with other people. At the tables near the reception there were some mosquitoes. I preferred to sit at the table on the pavement outside the hostel, where it was lighter and a better breeze.
The owner Susy, and Michaela and Louise working there, were all very nice and helpful.
Amalur is owned by the most kind and helpful couple Diego and Lorena from Spain. Other good things about Amalur, besides the owners, are that it is a quiet place away from the beach (where at least weekends can be noisy), the restaurant has good food, there are a few hammocks on the roof, it is clean and it feels like a safe place. In the room the bed was good with mosquito net and there are plenty of shelves and hangers. There is also a fan in the room. What I missed was a bedside lamp, hangers in the bathroom and soap. The walls are also quite thin and I could hear the couple in the room next to mine, and a fan in another room. I paid $18 for the room (June 2012) and breakfast was not included.
Amalur is situated a few blocks away from the beach and even if it is a good place I decided the first night I was there that I was going to stay for two nights, then move to Hostal Baloo by the beach for another two nights as I wanted to be close to the sea. Now that didn’t happen as I fell and broke my wrist. In this situation people at Amalur was very helpful and coming back after surgery in Portoviejo I thought Amalur was a good place to stay at for a few days to rest. However, Lorena advised me to go somewhere else the next day as it was time for the big annual fiesta of Canoa, and loud music was going to be played on the plaza outside Amalur until 5am, and it would be impossible to sleep.
At Amalur you can get help to arrange for surf-, Spanish- and dance lessons. They also provide transport to and from Bahía for $10 (June 2012). That was good as the bus from Quito arrived to Bahía at 20.00 and when I left Canoa I needed help with the luggage. Diego took me to two different places in Bahía so I could choose which one was best for me to rest in.
Amalur has a Spanish restaurant with good food and the place has a nice welcoming atmosphere. This is what I paid for things in June 2012:
Breakfast (coffee, juice, bread and eggs) $3
Tortilla Español $4.50
Batidos (fruit juice in milk) $1.50
Water 0.5 litres $0.50
Pescado a La Plancha $5.50
Caldo (broth soup with vegetables) $2
When I returned to Latacunga in 2012 I wanted to stay at another place than Hostal Tiana. Hotel Rosim seemed to be a good option so that‘s where I went. I asked for a quiet room as I really needed to sleep and I was shown room 4 which was not facing the street. I immediately liked the room. The ceiling was high, there was a double bed and a single bed, shelves and hangers, a TV (with cable channels) and a lamp and a small water bottle on the bedside table. The bathroom was very clean and there were two towels, soap and shampoo. The shower was very good with lots of hot water. And it was quiet in the room.
When leaving I booked the same room for my return after visiting the Quilotoa area. Well, someone forgot and I got another similar room the first night. It was close to the stairs and as it was weekend there were more guests and more noise (still not bad though). The next day I changed back to room 4. I got a temperature and bad cold and spent quite a lot of time resting in the room a few days. Good that it was a convenient room! For the room I paid $12 per night (July 2012).
Hotel Rosim is situated just next to Hotel Rodelu. You actually exit the hotel at the entrance to Hotel Rodelu, and some of the staff were the same at Hotel Rosim as in Restaurante Rodelu. The breakfast in the restaurant was $3.25. I also ate lunch and dinner there several times.
indeed we had the same dilemma ! when I went with my parents to Ecuador, we were looking at these 2 options. Because a large portion of the trip was kept for the Galapagos islands, we couldn't do like you, and we had to choose. I guess that it is a logisitic issue that helped us decide between the two Amazonian regions, since the High Amazon is easily accessible from the Quito-Banos road (a bit less than 4 hrs to reach the amazon on that side, against a full day travelling with plane and canoe on the other side), we opted for the quickest and cheapest option.
We stayed at Hamadryade Lodge for two nights before we moved to higher parts of the country. We too absolutly loved it, and two days was barely enough, but I'm really pleased to know that we didn't miss too much chosing like we did.
Really beautiful and stylish
incredible rainwater pool (not always warm when it rains, but I guess that's the price to pay to have it ecological)
very large bungalows with huge windows open on the jungle and the river below the hill
very small lodge, only 5 bungalows, we were alone with only one other couple from europe
great food, between french and fusion
Santa Lucia Eco Lodge is a lovely and tranquil place up in the Santa Lucía Cloud Forest Reserve. The Eco Lodge at Santa Lucía is owned and run by a cooperative of local families. In the area the possibilities for hiking and bird watching are excellent, and I did several hikes during the days I stayed here. After the hikes you can rest in one of the hammocks, or if it is too cold (as the afternoon always is cloudy in the cloud forest) inside the communal room, where all meals are served.
In the main building there are both private rooms and dorms. The rooms are basic and the walls are very thin, so you can basically hear everything people say in the other rooms. I had my own room with stunning views. There was two beds, a bedside table, a table and chair and hangers in the room. On the table there was a jar with boiled drinking water and a glass. For the room I also got a candle to lit if the electricity went out. Inside the main building there are also two flush toilets, but they should only be used at night-time.
Toilets and showers are shared and situated in a building next to the main building. There is one compost toilet for women, and another for men. And there are two showers for each gender, with hot water and beautiful views.
There are also a few private cabañas and they have their own bathroom.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner is served in the communal room and all guests eat together. If you are going on a hike you will get a packed lunch.
Electricity comes from solar panels and was often off soon after dinner. In case the electricity is cut off too early there is a generator so that the food can be prepared. There is nowhere to charge your camera batteries, so I was glad I had brought two batteries.
To go to Santa Lucia Eco Lodge you take a bus to Nanegal and from there a car. The drive from Nanegal to the starting point of the path to the lodge takes about half an hour and then there is an uphill walk along a trail for about an hour before you reach the lodge.
When I in April sent an email to ask how much it would cost me to stay at Santa Lucia in the beginning of August I got the answer they were fully booked until the 4th of August, so I thought it was best to book already then to be sure to get a room. As long as the days I had booked didn’t get fully booked I could wait with the payment until I arrived in Ecuador at the end of June. When I visited Santa Lucia it was not fully booked. It turned out there had been a large group of researchers and volunteers leaving just the day before I came, so that’s why it had been fully booked until then.
I paid $28 per night (five nights) for a room including all meals (August 2011) and $30 per day (four days) for a guide. When I booked I was not sure I would need a guide every day, but I knew a guide was needed for some of the hikes I wanted to do. I left one day earlier than planed, but money is not refundable once you have paid (at least not if you cancel less than two months ahead of your visit).
The guy who runs this operation is a moody person who rarely smiles. His name is Milton. The prices charged here are per person and not per room. We were charged $15 per person and got a nice room with a view overlooking the Pacific Ocean. There is hot water but it runs out after 5 minutes of use. He claims he has Wi-Fi, but it is so slow that it's almost non-existent. So, don't count on internet access because 95% of the time, it doesn't work. Don't haggle with this guy. He's firm and is a bit egotistical. If you rub him the wrong way, he'll turn into a real jerk. He is not friendly at all, so I would stay away from even carrying a conversation with him unless you speak Spanish fluently and can pass for a local. He does not appear to like foreigners even though he's in the business of attending to them. Nevertheless, the rooms with ocean views are the best buy on the island.
Ocean Views, clean rooms, Don't expect a smile. Don't expect a discount. Just keep conversation with Milton (the owner) to a minimum. He has no personality and his ego may get in the way if you try to push him on price or additional amenities. He gave us nasty attitude when we asked if we could buy some beers at the store and store them in his fridge even though he doesn't sell beer at the hotel anyway.
This was the second most expensive place I stayed at during my visit to Ecuador, and then my room did not even have a private bathroom, but both breakfast and dinner was included in the price. I paid $30 for one night (July 2011).
Posada de Tigua is a lovely and welcoming place. It is situated in a rustic farmhouse from the 1890s and it is still a working farm. Much of what is served at dinner is grown or made at the farm. The homemade yoghurt and cheese both tasted very good. Dinner was served by the owners Marco and Margarita and before it was served they greeted all guests welcome and told us about the food and what they produce on the farm. The dinner was of good quality and we got soup, chicken, potatoes, rice and vegetables.
When I arrived after the long hike from Quilotoa I was hungry and could get a late lunch . I got a delicious quinoa soup with homemade cheese and for that I paid $3.50. Later, sitting in the room with the woodstove, before dinner, I had a beer and it was $2.
Instead of taking a very early morning bus to Zumbahua the next morning I and a Dutch couple shared a private transport from Posada de Tigua to Zumbahua at 5.45 in the morning, and for that we paid $20 one way (we took the bus back). We had asked if we could have our breakfast later in the morning when we came back after the market and that was okay.
Just after I arrived to Posada de Tigua some of the tourists staying there went out to the cow-shed to milk the cows. At the posada you can also arrange to go horseback riding.
Posada de Tigua is not situated in the village (well there is no proper village), but a few km away. From the main road the posada is situated 800 metres down a dirt road.
I stayed two nights at Hostal Cabañas Quilotoa where I paid $12 per night (July 2011) including breakfast and dinner. The rooms are simple but my room had a private bathroom with hot water in the shower (which you need as it is very cold at this altitude). There was also a wood stove in which they lit a fire for me after dinner each night. The room had a second floor with two more beds. I brought two blankets from one of the beds down to my bed, so in total I had four blankets and the bedcover and I did not frees during the night. There was no table or chair in the room, but some hangers to put the clothes on.
There is a big common room in a newer part. I think this part of the hostal is called Hostal Alpaca and here the rooms were $25 per person and night. There are sofas and armchairs around two woodstoves and on the woodstove there is hot water so you can make yourself tea. In one corner there are souvenirs and paintings for sale. The paintings are made by the owner Humberto Latacunga, a Tigua artist.
Breakfast and dinner is served in the common room. Breakfast was served at 7.30 and we got coffee, tea, egg, fruits, yoghurt, bread, butter, jam and oatmeal (which you can mix with hot water to get a porridge). Dinner was served after 19.00 and there was first a soup, then a main plate (chicken again) and a desert. As in Chugchilan and Isinliví drinks were not included.
I stayed two nights at Hostal Cloud Forest in Chugchilán. For a room with private bathroom I paid $12 per night (July 2011). Both breakfast and dinner was included in the price. My room was small but good. There was a table and a shelf and in the bed there were several blankets (but I asked for one more in the evening anyway). In the bathroom there was hot water, a soap, a towel and toilet paper.
On the verandas there are hammocks where it was nice to rest for a while, with a good book, after the long hike. There is a common area with a wood stove, but I never saw anyone sitting there, except by the old computer that was available there. After dinner it seemed like everyone just lingered in the dinning room before an early night to bed. Before dinner I chose to sit in the restaurant, where there also is a wood stove. Dinner and breakfast was then served in a room upstairs, dinner just after 19 and breakfast at 7.30. All tourists ate together.
After checking in at Hostal Cloud Forest I was hungry after the hike and went to see if I could get lunch in the restaurant. There were other people there eating and I got a soup with potatoes. Unfortunately they ran out of rice so when I got the main plate it was full of potatoes and it was quite dry. The lunch was $2.50.
For breakfast we got coffee and tea, bread, egg and fruits. There was also oatmeal that could be mixed with hot water or hot milk to make a porridge. So you can eat a good breakfast before going on a hike. For dinner there was soup, a main course (both nights we got chicken) and a small cake for desert. You could get more of everything except the chicken.
The first night we were too many tourists (there was for example a big French group there), but the second evening we were only eight tourists and that was much nicer.
After dinner a man from the hostels came around and asked the tourists which plans they had for next day. The ones who wanted to leave with the bus, pick-up truck or the lechero got information about these, and for the ones who wanted to hike to Quilotoa he draw a simple map the next day. Horseback riding tours can also be arranged.
In the restaurant you can buy water and some snacks. A small water bottle was $ 0.50 and a big beer was $3. If you have your own empty water bottle you can refill a big bottle with water for $0.50.
Update 2012: Also in July 2012 I stayed at Hostal Cloud Forest for two nights and the price was still $12 per night, including breakfast and dinner. However there was no electricity in the area for several days and that meant there was no hot water in the shower. Luckily there was an engine that could be used and if we asked in advance we could have hot water in the shower (which of course is very nice after a long walk and when it is quite cold and windy outside).
I got the room next to the one I had had the previous year and it looked the same. The first night we were only three tourists and the second night we were 15 tourists. In the evening and morning we all ate together as last year.
When I left I was given a Cloud Forest T-shirt. I got very happy to get this from the kind people at the hostel!
I paid for my nights at Hostal Llullu Llama when I was in Latacunga at Hostal Tiana as the hostels have the same owner. For my own room, and with breakfast and dinner included, I paid $25 per night. As there is no private bathroom I think it was overpriced. In Isinliví I saw a sign on the wall saying that if you stay a second night you will get a $4 discount. As I was staying two nights the volunteer at Llullu Llama gave me $4 back. Then I must say I don’t understand why they have a foreign volunteer working for free at the hostel, when it is much better to employ someone from the village.
Anyway, the hostel is nice with a lovely garden, and it is a very tranquil place. And the food is very good. There is only one toilet though, so that might be a problem if the hostel is full. The toilet is a composing toilet and it is in a greenhouse with a great view over the green mountains. There are two showers with hot water, but both showers are in the same room. In the living room there is a woodstove where a fire is lit in the evenings.
At the hostel you can get a map with description of the hike to Chugchilan, or for other hikes nearby.
The first day we were only two guests during the day, but when we were having dinner three more guests arrived. They had been walking from Chugchilan and had got lost and were therefore late. The second night I was the only guest, even the volunteer had gone to Latacunga, so when Gladys and her children went to their house nearby I was all alone in the house.
Private room is $21 per person ($25 if you are alone)
Dorm is $18
The prices include dinner (but no drinks) and breakfast.
Just next to Hostal Llullu Llama they are now building another hostel.
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