A fantastic place to stay. The owner, Gabriel, makes you welcome from the very start, showing you around the lodge and the various animal occupants. Some animals are caged but all are fantastically looked after - Gabriel has taken them in when unwanted or ill and cared for them from that point onwards.
Where it is possible for the animals to be released (for example, monkeys), then the right time will be chosen and the animals and birds then roam free around the lodge. When eating breakfast in the courtyard, the occasional monkey, peacock, tortoise or beagle will come to say hello. Toucans sing in the background, whilst the more vocal parrots shout "Hola!".
Whilst we were at the lodge (6 days), 4 baby tortoises were born. Gabriel and Julio were delighted with this and spent a day putting up a substantial enclosure for them - large, with shrubs, bark chippings and shade - to give them maximum protection. This sums up the ideals of the lodge - investing income to improve the surroundings of the animals.
The rooms are excellent - spotlessly clean, spacious, well decorated and private. Breakfast is also good - Ecuadorian bread and coffee, eggs and freshly made fruit juice - a different one every day.
Gabriel is fantastic - he gave us a tour of the town to enable us to get our bearings. He gave us excellent recommendations for restaurants and used his undoubted local influence to get us into one of the best spots in town. Nothing was too much trouble for both he and Julio (his assistant) and our time at El Faro was a delight as a result.
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