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Black Sheep Inn

 

 

The Black Sheep Inn is more than a place to stay; it is a truly unique experience. Located in the heart of the Ecuadorian Andean highlands and overlooking the Río Toachi Canyon, the Black Sheep Inn and its owners, Michelle and Andres, adhere to an ecologically friendly style of travel. They even offer a 10 percent discount for those arriving by bicycle; “Thank you for not polluting!”

 

Serving family-style vegetarian meals, made with ingredients fresh from their very own backyard garden and farm, the Black Sheep Inn encourages guests to get to know one another and share travel advice. The Sunday morning breakfast includes plenty of pancakes and music by the jazz greats. The Inn features a sauna, a zip line, and composting toilets. They also sell Tigua paintings and other crafts made by local artists with proceeds going directly to the artists themselves.

 

The long and arduous journey by bus to the tiny whitewashed and friendly little village of Chugchilán is worth it when the weary traveler arrives at the door of the Black Sheep Inn. Fantastic photo opportunities abound as you pass through the villages on the ride from Latacunga to Chugchilán. After the steep incline to the front door of the Inn, past a flock of the namesake black sheep, freshly-baked cookies and chocolate brownies await. The delicious fresh cheese board, courtesy of the local European Cheese factory, and the first class Chilean wines are a must after a long day exploring the romantic and mysterious cloud forest.

 

An oasis of activity for the avid day-hiker, the Black Sheep Inn hands out area maps to all guests, with an endless possibility of hiking trails. The particularly challenging four to six hour hike from the glistening turquoise waters of the Laguna-Quilotoa Crater Lake, down through the Río Toachi Canyon and up to Chugchilán, is not to be missed. Michelle and Andres can arrange guides and horses to traverse the tough trail. Mountain bikes, available for rent from the Inn, are another exciting way to explore the stunning scenery of the highlands.

 

The stunning beauty, all-inclusive prices (breakfast and dinner included), the easy-to-explore landscape and the friendliness of the local villagers will entice travelers to extend their stay in this haven of tranquility.

 

This eco-lodge was the winner of the 2005 Smithsonian Magazine’s Sustainable Tourism award, was named by Outside Magazine in 2003 as one of the top ten eco-lodges in the world, and earned the Best in a Mountain Environment by the First Choice Responsible Tourism Awards. The Inn offers its guests an exciting and educational travel experience, while benefiting the local community and the surrounding environment.



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