Access and transportWe're part of the Intag zone of northern Ecuador - see map below, we are 3 hours by bus from the town of Otavalo, a 100% rural area that is great for nature lovers, best avoided if you need an urban environment.
Cloudforest adventure is at finca san antonio, the home of Patricia Rodriguez and Ned Cresswell, (also known as Eduardo), and is located in San Antonio community, Cuellaje parish, in the canton of Cotacachi (the Intag zone), province of Imbabura. (take care, there are lots of san antonios in Ecuador!)
You are welcome to travel to us independently (see below) - buses in Ecuador are cheap, and the asphalt road between Otavalo and Apuela has cut journey times considerably. We can also arrange for a taxi to meet you in Quito, Otavalo, or Cuellaje.
Finally, we provide airport pick-up from Quito airport, and quality accomodation in Quito town centre.
Please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org ## 593 6 3017543
Travelling by bus.The nearest large town is Otavalo, about 2 and one half hours from the capital city, Quito. (Otavalo hosts Latin America’s biggest arts and crafts fair every Saturday, and is well worth a stop-over - our favourite hotel is the Riviera Sucre, and for budget minded travellers, El Rincon del Viajero or Valle del Amanecer, are also good. All of these hotels and hostels are on Avenida Ramon Roca)
From Otavalo by bus to the village of Cuellaje is a spectacular journey of about 3 hours along an asphalt road that winds its way through the mountains. There are about 75 kilometres, and the last 30 is earth/cobblestone.
There is one bus a day, which leaves at 1pm from Otavalo bus terminal, and is run by a company called Transportes Otavalo. On Fridays and Sundays there is an extra bus, which leaves at 8,30am. Cost: $3.25 per person
Note: The bus is sometimes full, and it is well worth buying your ticket several hours, or even a day, in advance, to make sure of a seat, if you can. Weekends are especially busy times for this journey.
Once you reach the small town of Cuellaje, there's a 15km (about 10 mile) taxi-truck journey to our farm, in the community of San Antonio (takes 40minutes). There are several taxi-truck drivers in Cuellaje, and our favourites are Rodrigo Torres and Olga Lita. The price is $12. Rodrigo, or any other driver that you choose, will call us on 3017543, if you ask him - and this is important, because there's a 15 minute walk from the end of the road to our farmhouse, and we'd like to be there at the end of the road, with a horse to help carry your bags! We are happy to book a taxi-truck to meet you off the bus if you prefer - just send us an email or whatsapp message to tell us that you have got your bus tickets to Cuellaje, and we'll do the rest, without charge.
Travelling by private car to San Antonio, in Cuellaje.
This is a 4 hour journey from Quito. Take the Panamericana to Otavalo. Once you reach the roundabout on the main highway (panamericana) at Otavalo, continue northwards on the panamericana to the first exit westwards (left turn), at a petrol station and a sign advertising Lafarge cement. After about 1km take the right turn at the traffic lights to the village of Quiroga. At Quiroga's main square, turn left (westwards), on the road to Cuicocha lake. After about 5km the road forks - instead of entering the Cuicocha lake area (the right fork), take the left fork along the asphalted road that leads to Intag, passing through settlements such as La Delicia, Santa Rosa, and Apuela. You might choose to break the journey in Apuela, where there is Intag coffee and pastries. After Apuela, continue over a bridge about 1km outside of Apuela (I suggest you ignore the sign here to Cuellaje, as the signposted route is steep and bumpy) and then about 3km after Apuela, turn right after a second bridge, where a big signpost says Peñaherrera and Cuellaje. This is an unavoidably steep road, so you'll need low gears, and also at this point you leave the ashphalted road for earth and cobblestones. After about 10km you'll reach the small town of Peñaherrera - just carry on, heading north. After a further 15km, you reach Cuellaje small town. This is the place to call us (3017543) so we know you are nearby. Continue up the valley (northwards) towards Rosario for another 10km . After 10km, there's a junction with a sign saying San Antonio 3 km - take this left turning and keep straight on to the end of the road, where there is parking space. You'll cross 2 cement bridges on this final stretch, and we'll meet you about 200 metres after the second bridge. We much recommend that you call us before travelling (06 3017543), so that we can be there to meet you with a horse to carry your bags for the 15minute walk to the farmhouse. Locals know me as " el gringo Eduardo".
Here are a couple of things you might want to take note of if this is the first time you've done this journey. First, on travel times - 4 hours from Quito to our farm (2 and a half hours from Otavalo) is a good bet if you already have some familiarity with the area, but if you're new to northern Ecuador, it would be sensible to allow 5 or even 6 hours for this journey. Second, the journey is pretty tough on you and your vehicle, especially if you own a light city car - there are some potholes on the asphalt, mist and many bends on the highlands, and a steep ascent on the roughly cobbled road to Peñaherrera. If there has been heavy rain (this could happen especially between january and early may) you may need 4 wheel drive. None of this is meant to put you off this beautiful journey, but it's good to be told of these things before you start.