My mom and I truly enjoyed the two days we spent at the Refugio de Intag Lodge. Oswaldo, the driver, carpenter and father of adorable twins living at the Refugio met us in Otavalo. We made the 2 hour drive past Laguna Cuicocha and through cloud forest, descending into the lush "sacred valley" of Intag. We were greeted at the Refugio by Peter, the kind and helpful American owner. That afternoon, we hiked an hour with Peter and Sandra to see the Andean cock of the rock, a beautiful red bird native to the area. Sandra, the manager, invited us for tea and shared some of her knowledge from 30+ years living in Intag. The biodiversity and human communities in Intag are incredible. Later that evening, Oswaldos wife Lupe prepared a delicious dinner of fresh ingredients from her garden. The next day we went farther down the valley to visit Gualiman, an archaeological site of the pre-Colombian inhabitants of Intag. It was a fascinating guided tour of medicinal plants, healing springs and pyramids. We highly recommend Refugio de Intag to all travelers, for a comfortable, relaxing and friendly visit to one of the most beautiful parts of Ecuador.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This cloud forest Lodge is located just 33 miles from the market town of Otavalo along the Toabunchi River in northwestern Ecuador. The brick-and-stucco house and the wooden cabin are surrounded by gardens that attract the 200-plus species of birds from the retreat's 60 acres of forest. The often snow-capped 17,000' Cotacachi mountain is in view. Mild temperatures are the norm: an average of 75 to 80 F. Guests can hike along the river or up the mountain to view birds and orchids and other strikingly beautiful wildflowers. The area is free of tropical diseases. Meals are available from the resident caretakers who are also the cook and guide. A thirty-minute drive takes you to the small town of Apuela, with stores, a health clinic and the Coffee Cooperative of ACRI, to witness the way the coffee process works--from farm to roasted beans. Not far away are the hot baths of Nangulvi. These natural hot springs are set in a deep valley, the mountains rising straight from the valley floor. The best part of El Refugio is the closeness to nature it provides. The refuge is off the main road, so the sounds you hear are the birds and the river, and the clouds that frequently cloak the forested mountains make for a dramatic setting. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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