May 8, 2012 It was my first visit to Ecuador, and after reading the reviews on Trip Advisor, I decided to spend the first few days at Ali Shungu, to acclimatize and drink in the natural beauty of the area. It couldn't have been more perfect! From the warm welcome offered by Frank and Margarita, and friendly dogs Sara and Paco, to the inspiring views of Mount Imbabura, Ali Shungu was the highlight of my trip! My immaculate and spacious casita was decorated with gorgeous native weavings, art, and pottery, and was made cozy by a (non-smoking) wood stove kept stoked by the sweet and gentle Otavalan Indian, Jose Maria, who lives on the mountain with his lovely family. There was a well-stocked kitchen complete with Intag coffee, a huge shower with plentiful hot water and fluffy towels, 2 large bedrooms with very comfortable beds, made with soft sheets and colorful locally woven blankets, and, what a treat--Jose Maria arrived every night with a hot water bottle to warm up the bed! The views of the mountains were inspiring, and there were acres of gorgeous flower gardens and mountain trails to explore, and resident llamas to greet! The food was delicious and plentiful, carefully prepared by Jose's wife and daughter, from Ali Shungu’s own organic gardens, and served by Jose's adorable daughter, Paulina, The next day Jose Maria saddled up a gentle mount for me, and we rode for 2 hours up, down, and around the mountain, through the Indian villages, greeting the people and enjoying the sunshine. The colorful market in Otavalo is just a few minutes taxi ride down the mountain road, and is an experience not to be missed! I cannot say enough about this magical place—and I will return!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Travelers enjoy the tranquility and beauty of Andean Mountains and Culture in our warm and spacious guesthouses, surrounded by 40 acres of private gardens and forests ...all just a few minutes from the world famous markets of Otavalo. ... more less