Volcano, Dalmatians and Llamas...Oh My!

ยท by dusty

On our final day in Quito we were ready to head off to Banos, when we heard about a hostal called Secret Garden Cotopaxi. It’s sister hostal was across the street from us in Quito and provided transport to the location an hour and a half away near the base of the extinct Volcan Cotopaxi. It was a little out of our budget, but the view and the animals were worth it.


The Secret Garden Cotopaxi, at an altitude of 11,500 feet is part farm, part hostal. They have tons of animals including dogs, cats, cows, chickens, pigs, horses, llamas, rabbits, frogs, ducks, sheep and guinea pigs. Hours can be spent visiting all of them.

DSC02688 DSC02625 DSC02638
Rabbit at Secret Garden Cotopaxi DSC02600 Dogs at Secret Garden Cotopaxi

Unfortunately, most of them are used to feed the guests. Yes, even cute little Floppy. I’m glad we didn’t have rabbit while we were there. I think it is impossible to eat an animal after you have named it.

We spent two days hanging out at the hostal. I have to admit that aside from the scenery, we traveled here because we heard there were fireplaces in the rooms. We spent hours playing cards and reading in front of them. It’s a really great place to relax. It’s also a great place to exercise. They have mountain bikes you can borrow as well as rain boots for some sloppy walking. You can also ride their horses. This is real horse back riding….not some man walking beside you pulling a rope like in most places we have seen. There’s also climbing Cotopaxi or mountain biking down it. We didn’t partake in any of it. Relaxation was in order. Even more so when we discovered that because of the altitude, just walking from the main house to our cabin made us huff and puff.

Our cabin, shown below the main house pictures, was very interesting. We used the wood burning stove to keep us warm during the cold parts of the day and overnight. The cabin did not have electricity so we lit our way by candlelight. I did not burn the place down, thankfully.

Secret Garden Cotopaxi Dining Room at Secret Garden Cotopaxi Dalmatian on Dusty at Secret Garden Cotopaxi
Private Cabin at Secret Garden Cotopaxi Dusty Lighting Fire at Secret Garden Cotopaxi Bedroom at Secret Garden Cotopaxi
Secret Garden Cotopaxi

We loved hanging out here and would recommend it to anyone.


Secret Garden Cotopaxi

  • Prices per night: $28 for a dorm, $58 for a tent cabin, $70 for a two story private cabin
  • Three meals, a snack and drinks (except beer and wine) is included in the price
  • English book exchange available
  • Free yoga in the morning
  • Two story private or dormitory cabin stocked with wood to keep the fire going through out the night
  • “Tent cabins” which are tents perched on a wood deck with a roof overhead. Mattresses and millions of blankets inside.
  • Transport from Quito available for $5

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