- Reviews: 5956
Papagayo Hosteria: a place for a shower after four days
I love camping as much as anyone and backpacking is paradise, especially once you put your pack down. One of the great pleasures of doing multi-day walks however is returning to civilization and having a shower! It’s also nice to get out of the shower and step onto a clean surface and climb into a warm soft bed. Papagayo Hosteria provided all of this and more.
Papagayo Hosteria has a real homey atmosphere and is set on a converted farmhouse that has tons of charm to make up for perhaps a lack of some modern conveniences. The rooms are colorful if rustic and the grounds have farm animals ranging from cows to sheep to llamas. They also grow roses on the premises commercially and the garden is a pleasant place to while away a few hours.
Though the food is pricey by Ecuadorian standards it is filling and fairly tasty if a bit westernized. After a few days of eating noodle soup and dehydrated mashed potatoes it tastes like a gourmet feast!
Prices vary depending on if your room has a private bath or heat. Rooms in a separate building are more modern but lack the charm of the farmhouse proper. We liked the room with a wood stove sans private bath best of the three nights we stayed there. It was $9 per person.
There is free fast Internet in the living room and English speaking staff occasionally.
- Reviews: 5956
Cotopaxi Camping: wherever I law my tent is my home
Though Cotopaxi National Park does have an organized campground close to Laguna Limpiopungo it has minimal facilities. There are no showers but there is running water that is evidently potable. It also has toilets though I would imagine they are not of the flush variety. So, instead of paying $10 to camp it seems a better choice to camp in the backcountry which is free and offers more solitude for those able to collect and purify water and dig a hole for fecal disposal. I would also feel more comfortable leaving my gear in the wilderness than a campsite accessible by vehicles!
We found three excellent spots on our hike around Cotopaxi. Each had its own special attributes but all shared one thing: absolute solitude. We had them all to ourselves, aside from some meandering cattle. The first spot offered up excellent views of Cotopaxi at both dusk and dawn. The second was quite protected from the elements and was full of humming birds that zoomed by the tent. The last was the most makeshift. It was not quite as far as we wanted to go but once we crossed a small river it offered some protection from the Andean winds as well as some hills to explore that lead to beautiful views of Cotopaxi at sunset and sunrise. All were also free.
- Reviews: 5956
José Ribas Refugio: now, that's sleeping high
If you want to climb Cotopaxi, you’ll likely have to hire a qualified guide unless you are quite experienced. Either way, you’ll spend a night at the José Ribas refugio. Just getting there on foot would be a fair accomplishment as it sits at 4800 meters, 1000 meters above its surroundings. Most arrive via vehicle as there is an access road that brings you to a parking area at 4600 meters, about an hour’s walk to the refugio. Sleeping at this elevation is difficult but no worries you’ll be awoken at before midnight to being your trek to the top anyway! It’s also cold so bring your sleeping bag. We thought of spending our last night here but when we lucked out and got a ride out of the park to our hostel that idea went right out the window! It cost 10 dollars per person per night for a bunk.
- Reviews: 24
Black Sheep Inn: Wonderful Eco-Lodge
Andy and Michelle built a wonderful resort for backpackers and other tourists, apart from the big road, up in the Andes. A colorful garden where they plant their own vegetables, ducks, lamas, sheep. A oasis of silence, just great.
Rated one of the top ten eco-lodges in the world by Outside Magazine in 2003. A wonderful place in the Andes Mountains, it is really worth to go and see it.
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