Ali Shungu is a great place to stay when in the Otavalo area. My wife, two-year-old daughter, and I stayed three nights and enjoyed every minute of it. Everything written in the other reviews is spot on. Each guesthouse is tastefully decorated and very spacious. The regional folk music added to the atmosphere, as did the wood burning stove.
You can tell a place has good service when the reviews on TripAdvisor mention the staff by name, as most people have here with Ali Shungu. Jose Maria did a great job of tending to our needs and my daughter loved the horseback ride through the village he took us on. Paulina was a great server and many thanks to the cook for the excellent food she prepared. And we are grateful for our driver Fabian.
Frank was definitely born to do what he does as we always had a full itinerary and he took care of all the logistics for us, allowing us to fully enjoy the time we had there. That we were able to visit with and learn about the local people of the area was the number one advantage of staying at the lodge. We visited the elementary school down the road and were warmly welcomed by the students there. Miguel Andrango showed us the absolutely fascinating process of weaving a blanket, from the clump of wool as shaved off the sheep to the woven finished product. And because our visit coincided with Dia de los Muertos, we were able to witness the masses of Kichwa families celebrating their deceased family members at the cemetery. Many thanks to Frank for pulling everything together for us, as well as showing us around the animal and craft markets.
If you are traveling with children, there is no better place to stay than here. The many different animals on the property entertained my daughter the entire time. Llamas, horses, chickens, cows, pigs…all very friendly and allowed my daughter to experience them up close and personal, bringing to life the things she only knew from her picture books. I have never seen two dogs with better temperaments than Sara and Paco. They were very patient with my extremely inquisitive daughter. And thanks again to Frank for the “Bread Doll” he gave to Sophie to take to the cemetery, just as the local families do.
I have nothing bad to say about Ali Shungu and can confirm it is well worth the price. We all hope we can return there one day in the future.
- 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