Hiking, birding, relaxing
El Refugio Cloud Forest Lodge is a reserve and farm in the Ecuadorian sierra just three hours from Quito's international airport, one-and-a-half hours from the market town of Otavalo. The three houses, with a total of ten rooms, are located near the scenic Rio Toabunchi and are surrounded by garden plantings, fields, and forest. The rooms have private baths, and are furnished with select Andean crafts. Each house features one or more porches, and scenic views.
Owner's House is available through Airbnb with special weekly rates.
El Refugio has 3 kilometers of trails along the river and the mountainside to observe birds and many flowering plants, including some among the 3,000 species of orchids found in Ecuador.
Guest room rates are $45 per person, includes taxes and breakfast. The lodge has WiFi access, bird feeding stations, self-guided trails. A guide, English- or Spanish-speaking is available to hire for walks on and off the property.
Excursions: here are numerous options, some for nature lovers, some for those with other interests: Wariman archeological site; AACRI, a coffee cooperative; and Nangulvi Thermal Springs. We can help with scheduling and transportation. See ACTIVITIES for details.
Transfer from Otavalo or Cotacachi $40.