In addition to day hikes, we offer horseback trips through the mountains. If you are a bit of an athlete, the area is great for mountain bikes, but at this point please bring your own bike.
To relax, you can enjoy the yoga room whether it's for practicing yoga, reading on the sun deck, or napping in a hammock. A firewood-fueled sauna and hot tub are available as well.
Black Sheep Inn is proud to provide the world's highest frisbee golf course, designed by pro competitor Robin White. We also provide a horseshoes court and a volleyball court, as well as plenty of boardgames in the lodge. To get your heart racing, you can try our zipline and waterslide. And you can spend some time getting to know the animals on the property (llamas, sheep, pigs, chickens and rabbits).
Black Sheep Inn provides FREE internet access in and around the lodge, if you just can't kick the facebook habit while you're here.
Riding horses with a local native guide is a great way to take in the landscape.
You can walk or gallop across the
high paramó, descend steeply into the
canyon, or take a relaxing ride out onto the
plateau. All riders are welcome, from novices to experts. The guides
have many years of experience, and so do the horses.
Horseback rides cost $15-$20 per person for about 4 to 5 hours. If you are traveling up to the
cloud forest the guide will also tether
the horses at the edge of the forest and lead you on a hike into the jungle.
We have been encouraging our local Community to start a Mountain Biking business,
similar to how we gave a no interest loan to help start-up Horseback Riding Trips.
At this point please bring your own bike if you want to ride.
Biking at altitude 3200 meters (10,500 feet), in thin air, with the landscape's
dramatic contours, is a challenge for most riders. Yet we recommend a few
downhill bike rides.
1. Chugchilán to Sigchos, 24 km, mostly downhill. You can take the daily bus from Sigchos back to Chugchilán with the bikes on the roof. Great views as the road winds along the canyon edge and visit a waterfall 6 km away.
2. Laguna Quilotoa to Chugchilán, now only 16 km with the new paved road, is a steep fast downhill ride. Catch a bus up to the volcanic crater of Quilotoa, spend some time hiking around the rim or hike down to the water's edge. When you've seen enough of the lake, get on your bike and race back to Chugchilán.
3. For uphill rides at this altitude you should be in good physical shape.
One fantastic uphill ride is to take the dirt roads up to Chinalo-Alto and the
Cheese Factory, riding across the Paramó. On this ride, you can
easily include a visit to the Incan ruins and Cloud Forest. Another challenging
ride is to bike from Black Sheep Inn (3200 meters) up to Laguna Quilotoa at
over 3800 meters.
Andean tradition thrives in this area and local markets provide many opportunities to observe how people have been trading for thousands of years. You may be bargaining for a poncho, fresh fruit and produce, fried bread, or a rope to tie your brand new llama or Black Sheep!
Local markets only happen on specific days of the week. Below you can see which markets might coincide with your visit to the area. The Saquisilí Market on Thursday is best seen while traveling in to the Black Sheep Inn, or on the day of your departure.
|day||town||notes||distance from Black Sheep Inn|
|Monday||Guantualo||A very small, non-touristy, rural community market.||No direct road, but a lovely 3 hour hike each way.|
|Tuesday||Latacunga||A large market spreading across two plazas in the center of town. Very colorful. Gross views in the slaughter house and meat market.||3 hours by car|
|Wednesday||Pujilí||Small -- the Sunday market is bigger.||2½ hours by car|
|Saquisilí||Economically one of the most important markets in Cotopaxi Province. The entire community comes alive with vendors on every street corner selling everything imaginable throughout the village.||2½ hours by car|
|Friday||No Market||Vendors preparing for Saturday Market fill the plazas in Latacunga.|
|Zumbahua||A morning market surrounded by rocky peaks. Very indigenous and colorful. Lots of llamas. Market ends by 1-2 pm.||1½ hours by car|
|Saturday||Latacunga||Much bigger than Tuesday's market.||3 hours by car|
|Sunday||Chugchilán, Sigchos & Pujilí||Local markets add life to the otherwise sleepy villages of Chugchilán, Sigchos & Pujilí||5 minute walk to Chugchilán,
1 hour to Sigchos.
Sauna and Hot Tub
Black Sheep Inn sauna is an eclectic combination of a traditional Finnish Sauna
and a Native American Indian Sweat Lodge. Some people say that the Finnish
sauna is for cleaning the body, and the Native American sweat dome for ritualistic
purification. At Black Sheep Inn both ways feel fantastic!
The hot tub is first solar heated and then kept piping hot with the same woodstove that heats
the sauna through a thermal siphon, this means there are no pumps or electricity
used, just natural hot water.
On a steel cable slung between two of our biggest eucalyptus trees, the zipline flies you out
over the hillside. It starts in our treehouse and travels 100 meters
out over the steep hillside driveway, and above the greenhouse. You
come to an end at a recycled tire platform down by the woodshed.
We feature the world's highest solar-powered waterslide. It's a terrific thrill,
and it's also bitterly cold. Often, guests like to combine a ride down the
Waterslide of Death™ with some re-heating time
sauna and hot tub.
PLEASE NOTE: The Waterslide is only avaialbe when Andres is onsite.
In 2008 we completed our yoga studio -- a bright, open
space with hardwood floors and plenty of windows for natural light. The
room is stocked with yoga mats, books, and instructional yoga posters. However,
it's also equipped with a sink, coffee and tea facilities, sofas, and hammocks.
Even if you're not a yogi, it's a lovely place to hang out.
When possible, we try to have yoga instructors at the inn. Otherwise, the
yoga is self-serve. Guests are given a key to the yoga studio, so they can
use the space any time day or night.
Black Sheep Inn offers a great way to relax after a long day hiking. After hosting several massage
therapists from Russia, Sweden and the USA we have trained and certified 2 local women in relaxing body
massage. The adobe massage room features a professional massage table, wood burning stove, relaxing music
and incense. Try a full body massage to take away all your stress. Massages range from $20
Black Sheep Inn is proud to boast the world's highest
frisbee golf course. We have lots of frisbees as well, and they're free to use
so long as you don't throw them into the canyon. Seriously.
The hills are steep, and go on more or less forever. Completely losing your
disc is a possibility. But that's what makes the course FUN.
The course was designed by Andres (the owner) and Robin White, a professional
disc golf competitor. With the altitude and the steep course greens, its
one of the few disc golf courses that provides aerobic exercise.
The 10 acre farm is growing. We’ve got a dog, a cat, pigs, chickens,
guinea pigs (cuy), llamas, and of course a flock of Black Sheep! All the animals are
friendly and love attention. The llamas trim the grass and are in training for Andean Llama Treks.
And the Black Sheep... We started with a pair, and learned that two black sheep will produce adorable black lambs. They are the most majestic looking mascots imaginable.