Planning & Details
Once you know you're coming to the inn, it's important to nail down a few basics.
Transportation Black Sheep Inn is well off the beaten path. It's about a 4 hour drive to Quito.
Getting to the inn from Quito (or further) takes a bit of planning. You can hire a private jeep from Quito for $100 one way. Local buses are a cheaper option, about $8 per person one way.
Our Travel page shows more options for getting here, including driving directions for taking your own vehicle.
Weather and Climate
Black Sheep Inn is nestled high in the Andes Mountains, 10,500 feet (3200 meters) above sea
level. But oddly enough, there is never snow here due to the equatorial positioning.
It is an area with a very temperate climate. We like to call it 'eternal spring'.
Daytime temperatures range from a low of 60°F or 15°C to a high of about 75°F or 23°C.
A hot day can be 80°F or 27°C.
Once the sun goes down, around 6pm, it gets cooler. Evenings range from 40°F to 50°F (4°C to 10°C). It only gets cold enough for a frost, 32°F or 0°C, once or twice a year.
The best thing to do as far as clothing is to use the 'layer system'. If you get warm, you can strip off a layer, or if you get cool, add a layer. See our packing list for more details of what to bring for your time at the Black Sheep Inn.
Black Sheep Inn is located 55 miles (88 km) south of the equator. Year round the days and nights are 12 hours long with sunrise at 6am and sunset at 6pm. Temperatures remain the same year round as well. The only distinct change in the climate is from wet to dry.
In the dry season (June through September) days are the warmest, and nights the coolest. Sometimes the dry season, especially August, can be very windy.
The wet months are October through June. During the wet season you can expect sunny and crystal clear mornings, cloudy drizzly afternoons, and rain by sundown. The rainy season is our favorite time of year, when the patchwork fields come alive with vibrant shades of green. It doesn't rain all the time and it is very lush and fresh. A good schedule is a hike in the mornings, and a sauna in the afternoon or evenings.
Often there are 2 weeks of beautiful weather around Christmas and New Years. May and June are also good times to visit because it is between the two seasons. The important thing to remember is that here in the mountains, the weather changes fast. You can have a sunny morning, with a hailstorm in the afternoon often with a rainbow, a breathtaking sunset/moon rise, and then a rainy night. The best thing is to be ready for it all.
Please bring an open mind for intercultural experiences.
The best part of traveling is learning something new!!
In general It's good to bring layers so that if you are hot you can strip off
a layer, and if you get cold you can add a layer. At 10,500 feet or 3200 meters in
elevation, it can get quite chilly, even on the equator. Another tip is to bring
fast drying things. Yes, we have laundry service, but all laundry is line dried at
the Black Sheep Inn. If you bring some light weight but warm polypropylene tops
and leggings, those are an excellent layer. BUT, you shouldn't run out and buy
a whole new wardrobe. Bring what you are comfortable in, and in general, you don't
really ever have to 'dress up' in Ecuador. Even if you want to eat at some of the
fanciest restaurants in Quito, most are quite accepting of clean, neat looking gringos!
Shoes & Socks
-- Hiking Boots - We suggest hiking boots because it is important to have the ankle support on some of the more difficult hikes, especially on steep trails.
-- A pair of comfortable slip on shoes/loafers OR a pair of running shoes; some people prefer them to hiking boots.
-- 2 pairs of wool socks/hiking socks.
-- 2 or 3 pairs of light weight fast drying socks.
Pants & Undergarments
-- 2 or 3 pairs of pants. Hiking pants, that have the zip off legs, are really handy.
-- A pair of shorts and/or a bathing suit if you are thinking of using our sauna or waterslide and prefer not to go naked.
-- You can make your own decision about underwear!
Warmth & Shirts
-- A good rain jacket or wind breaker.
-- 3 short sleeve shirts.
-- 2 long sleeve shirts.
-- Long johns or leggings.
-- A sweat shirt or turtleneck.
-- A sweater, although you can buy a hand knit sweater in Ecuador for $10 - $20.
-- You can also purchase a lovely hand knitted scarf or cap
of natural fibers here at the Inn.
-- Black Sheep Inn provides towels, linen, pillows and blankets. We also provide biodegradable soap, shampoo and conditioner. But feel free to bring your own brands, if you prefer.
-- Sunscreen - the high altitude equatorial sun is very strong! Even on cloudy days.
-- A floppy hat or cap for hiking.
-- Personal toiletries; shavers, moisturizing lotion,
medications, feminine products, etc.
-- A good book or two, we have a book exchange at the Inn.
-- A current copy of your favorite magazine that you'd contribute to our lodge's magazine shelf when you finish.
-- Film/battery charger for your camera.
Pack for a Purpose
-- Bring something for the Community
We have constant requests from local communities asking for computers and printers.
The faster the "first" world moves ahead with communications technology, the more
places like Chugchilan get left behind. Black Sheep Inn helps to bridge that gap by
providing FREE internet access at the Public Library/Computer Learning Center
All the computers in the Library have been received through generous
donations of Black Sheep Inn guests.
We've received feedback from guests saying, "If I only knew, I would have brought down my old computer."
Please let us know if you have any of the following equipment in good working order that you'd like to donate:
-- Computers - Pentium IV or better.
-- Tablets or I-phones/Smartphones - often these hand-me-downs can be important upgrades for a newly connected community.
-- Printers - We only can take NEW printers now.
-- Microscopes - with slides
-- Centrifuge - with test tubes
-- Spanish Language Books - not how to speak Spanish,
but books written in the Spanish language
-- Small Copy Machine or Mimeograph or Ditto Machine
If donating a computer we usually suggest packing the CPU, keyboard, mouse and printer, but leaving the monitor behind. Monitors are heavy, bulky and fragile. For approximately US$70 we can purchase a used monitor here in Ecuador. If you have a flat screen, by all means bring it down Of course laptops are easy to bring down in your luggage.
PackForAPurpose.com helps you locate people in need.
Make a difference in the lives of children around the world. Use available space in your
luggage to provide supplies to the communities you visit.
!!! BEER SPECIAL !!!
For every full can of Guinness Beer that you bring down, Andres will trade you 2 Large Pilseners ~ over a liter of beer! Buy a four pack and put it in your luggage surrounded by clothing. I also like to try strong IPA's which have recently become available in cans. Let me know by email if you are bringing a specialty beer down.