If you have a travel itinerary that includes Ecuador then listen up! If you don’t, then make one! "Everyone" knows Quito,Banos and thanks to recent earth quakes Guyaquil. but just 50 some odd kilometers south of Quito lies Cotopaxi. At 5,897 m or 19,347 ft high, this active volcano is the second highest peak in Ecuador. Yes, active volcano. Due to its volatility wishful peak baggers are not allowed to summit Cotopaxi at this time, but that is no justification to dodge the visit! If you are looking for an perfect little 4 day 3 night getaway then you need to check out The Secret Garden. Aussie owners Tarquin and Katherine acquired the land about 20km from Cotopaxi with the dream of having a place to live in the country side with a garden that was self sufficient, eco friendly, and off grid. After they purchased the land in 2006 they spent a year developing the property into a hostel. In 2007 they opened with the main building (kitchen, their living area, dining area and bathrooms) and one-eight bed dorm room. Since then they have been constantly improving the property. Some eco-friendly features are: water straight from the river for showers, composting toilet, fresh garden grown vegetables and herbs, and currently (April 2016) they are installing a solar-powered water heating system.
Fast forward to 2016, the Secret Garden hosts about 30 guests and volunteers. There is a mix of 8 bed dorms, tiny homes with a loft, and Hobbit houses. That’s right fanatics, you can stay in your own little room built into the land and pretend you're on the adventure to destroy the ring in the fires of Cotopaxi! I stayed in such a hobbit house while visiting and it was nothing short of precioussssss.
They chose the hobbit home design due to the land insulation, which means they don’t require much electricity or heating/cooling etc, they are self sufficient. The great options for housing aren't the only reason to visit. Upon arrival (if you book the 4 day 3 night deal, currently $145 USD), you have lunch, are shown to your hobbit paradise, and then off you go on a waterfall hike. The next couple of days you can go downhill bike riding, fishing, horseback riding, hiking and book loads of other activities though the hostel. If not, you can basque in the hot tub that overlooks Cotopaxi, do some yoga in the grass field or just lay in the oversized hammocks or on the couch with the dogs. Not to mention all food is included as well as ALL YOU CAN EAT banana bread. The portions of the food are more than satisfying and the quality is absolutely a 10/10.
So…What are you waiting for?
Booking information here: http://secretgardencotopaxi.com
-Make sure to send an email and inquire about current deals to stay. They run specials often! Enjoy and tag me when you go!