Ecuador Resort Eco-Lodge

We are an Ecolodge green villa in Ecuador

Ecolodge means that our retreat center practices ecological conservation and permaculture.

Ecotourism is the partnership of the community with environmentally conscious tourists.

Ecuador eco-lodge, environmental conservation and permaculture in Ecuador. Ecological responsibility
             	  at budget Ecuador green resort prices.  Rustic Ecuadorian luxury.
Mountain eco-lodge, environmental conservation and permaculture in Ecuador. We provide 
         	  ecological responsibility at budget eco lodge prices.  And rustic ecuadorian luxury to boot!
Mountain eco-lodge, environmental conservation and permaculture in Ecuador. We provide 
         	  ecological responsibility at budget eco lodge prices.  And rustic ecuadorian luxury to boot!

Travel Options

Black Sheep Inn is located at 10,400 feet in elevation in the town of Chugchilán, County of Sigchos, Province of Cotopaxi, ECUADOR about 6 kilometers north of Laguna Quilotoa.  Enter: "Chucchilan Cotopaxi Ecuador" in a GoogleMap.

We highly recommend you spend four to five nights+ at Black Sheep Inn.  Getting here is an adventure and once you arrive, it is so beautiful, you will not want to leave.   There are enough activities to spend a week filled with day-hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking or just relaxing in the Yoga Studio or Sauna.

The roads have been greatly improved over the last few years and now the entire driving loop is paved with asphalt.

The "Latacunga Loop" OR "Quilotoa Circuit" is a name given to a large loop of spectacular winding roads that connect Laguna Quilotoa to Latacunga and the Pan-American Highway.  It is recommended to travel in one way and leave on the other part of the loop, thus completing the circuit.  We are located on the western side of the Quilotoa Loop, well off the beaten track, about three and a half hours from Quito and two and half hours from the Pan-American Highway.

Map of Quilotoa Loop

Black Sheep Inn -- map of Quilotoa Loop

Local transport after a
soccer game in Chugchilan
 

~ Old Road ~
in the rainy season

Map of Wider Area

Black Sheep Inn -- map of Ecuador

Bus Schedules    --    getting to Black Sheep Inn
For bus travel to Black Sheep Inn, the first step is to get to the bus terminal in Latacunga.  This is a straight forward morning bus ride from Quito.  If you're travelling from farther away, you may need to spend the night in Latacunga.  We have some recommendations for staying in Latacunga.   It can take 6-8 hours to travel to the Black Sheep Inn from Quito by public transportation because of connections etc., but it will only cost about $5-$7 per person.  Buses depart for Chugchilan from Latacunga at 7am, 11:30am, 11:45am and 3pm.

Quito to Latacunga Buses leave every 30 minutes (or less) from Terminal Quitumbe, the terminal on the south side of Quito.  The bus to Latacunga takes just over an hour and costs about $1.50.

You can reach Terminal Quitumbe via the Trolebus, taking it all the way to the last stop, going South.  The Trolebus is an electric bus line that runs all the way through Quito, from the north, to the Terminal Quitumbe in the south.  You can check out a trolebus map, and an extensive trolebus website in English.

If you start out from Quito by 8:30 AM, you should have enough time to  1. take the trolebus to Terminal Quitumbe, and  2. take the next bus to Latacunga, arriving before 11:00 AM to make your transfer.

A taxi from New Town Quito to the Quitumbe Bus Terminal costs $10 to $15 and takes about 45 minutes depending on traffic.


Latacunga to Chugchilán Look for Cooperativa Transportes La Iliniza for the bus all the way to Chugchilán.
A new busline called 14 de Octubre also goes all the to Chugchilán departing at 7 AM.

The bus from Latacunga to Chugchilán takes 2.5 to 3 hours and costs about US$2.50. Terminal Terrestre is located on the west side of the Pan American Highway, just south of the 5 de Junio Bridge.

Latacunga Bus Terminal
Every Day, All Week 7:00 AMBus to Chugchilán, via Zumbahua
Every Day, All Week 11:30 AMBus to Chugchilán, via Sigchos
Every Day, All Week 11:45 AMBus to Chugchilán, via Zumbahua
Every Day, All Week 3:00 PM Bus to Chugchilán, via Zumbahua


The bus through Sigchos drops you off right at the Black Sheep Inn's driveway. The other buses travel through Zumbahua and drop you in the Plaza of Chugchilán, a five minute walk down to the Black Sheep Inn.

In general the journey takes 2.5 - 3 hours by bus, but times vary widely on these trips.


Nestor's reliable taxi to BSI
 

Cooperativa Transportes Iliniza
 

On the way to Zumbahua




Bus Schedules    --    departing Chugchilán
Most people traveling by bus need to first get back to Latacunga, which is on the Pan-American Highway.  There are now several daily buses from Chugchilán to Latacunga.  From Latacunga, you can get buses to most major destinations.

BUT you do NOT need to wake up at dawn to travel.  Remember that you are on vacation!   Private transportation can be arranged to take you to Zumbahua, Latacunga, Quito, Baños and many other destinations



Driving your own Vehicle

Buses leaving Chugchilán
day time destination duration notes
Every Day 4:00 AMto Latacunga
via Sigchos
2.5-3 hoursdaily bus
Every Day 5:00 AMto Latacunga
via Zumbahua
2.5-3 hoursdaily bus
Every Day 6:00 AMto Latacunga
via Zumbahua
2.5-3 hoursdaily bus
Every Day 1:00 PMto Latacunga
via Zumbahua
2.5-3 hoursdaily bus
Monday thru Friday 6:00 AM
& 10 AM
to Sigchos
40 minutes Students' bus to Sigchos, transfer to another bus to Latacunga
Friday 2:00 PM to Latacunga
via Zumbahua
2.5-3 hours Teachers' bus that leaves the area for the weekend after classes.
day time destination duration notes
Sunday 9:00 AMto Latacunga
via Zumbahua
2.5-3 hours1st Sunday Bus
Sunday 10:00 AMto Latacunga
via Zumbahua
2.5-3 hours2nd Sunday Bus
Sunday 11:00 AMto Latacunga
via Zumbahua
2.5-3 hours3rd Sunday Bus
Sunday 1:30 PM to Latacunga
via Zumbahua
2.5-3 hours Last Sunday Bus



Between 2012-2018 there has been major road work in the area, most of the loop is now paved.  You no longer need a four wheel drive to get here, even the smallest rental cars can easily make it, but the road can be rough.

Cell Phone Coverage
The Quilotoa Loop gets mobile phone reception, mostly on the "Claro" network, but there is now some "MoviStar" service too.

Gasoline (petrol)
It's a good idea to refill your vehicle before you leave the Pan-American Highway.  You can get "EXTRA" (regular unleaded gas) near Sigchos and in Zumbahua on the Quilotoa Loop, but you cannot get "SUPER" (high octane gas).

Driving Distances and Approximate Driving Times
Quito to Chugchilán 3.5 hours180 km115 miles
Quito to Latacunga 1.5 hours95 km 60 miles
Latacunga to Zumbahua 1h20 min 60 km  37 miles
Zumbahua to Laguna Quilotoa 20 minutes14 km9 miles
Laguna Quilotoa to Chugchilán 30 minutes16 km10 miles
Latacunga to Saquisilí20 minutes15 km9 miles
Latacunga to Sigchos 1h45 min64 km40 miles
Sigchos to Chugchilán 35 minutes24 km15 miles



Renting a Car

Simon Car Rental is an independently owned car rental company. Many of our guests have rented from them and they have good rates. Simon can deliver your car to your hotel within Quito or they can meet you at the Quito International Airport for a fee of $15. Rentals start at around US $40 per day. They offer a 15% discounts for SUV's and 4X4's if you are traveling to the Black Sheep Inn. SUV's start around $75 per day. Depending on where you are driving, the 100 km per day should be sufficient.



Driving Directions

We recommend that you download and print the PDF version of these directions.  It's best to have a copy with you on the road.

General Notes
Black Sheep Inn is about 3-4 hours driving from Quito. It is best to leave in the morning in order to ensure great views along the way and to have enough time for photo breaks and stretching your legs. You no longer need a four wheel drive to get here, even the smallest rental cars make it. The entire driving loop is now paved.

All roads in Ecuador have been greatly improved over the last few years. Many streets, roads, and intersections are only recently being marked. Therefore these instructions will describe clear landmarks to look for as you drive. When referring to bridges in the city, these instructions ignore pedestrian walkways that go over the road. It may be helpful if someone can be your navigator, and read to you as you are driving. Please be aware that landmarks are constantly changing and sorry if some of the instructions are redundant.

WARNING: PICO Y PLACA
In order to reduce peak hour traffic congestion, Quito has implemented restricted driving hours based on the last digit of the license plate on the vehicle you are driving. This system is called "Pico y Placa" and you are not allowed to drive between the hours of 7:30-9:00 am or 4:00-7:30 pm within Quito.

Monday - License Plates ending in 1 or 2
Tuesday - License Plates ending in 3 or 4
Wednesday - License Plates ending in 5 or 6
Thursday - License Plates ending in 7 or 8
Friday - License Plates ending in 9 or 0 (zero)
Weekends and Holidays there is no Pico y Placa

If caught driving fines are HIGH. Your car can be parked in Quito during these hours, just not circulating. Click for more info

From Quito -- New Town -- Mariscal --> via El Trebol
You have two options from the center of Quito. The first option is:
Via 'El Trebol' Cloverleaf Interchange
*This is now the quickest route.*

These directions start from the intersection of Naciones Unidas and Rio Amazonas. Head south on Amazonas. This is a main street that goes along a large park (La Carolina) on your left and Malls. At the J.W. Marriott, a big beige building on your left, turn left (east) on Francisco de Orellana.

Continue on Orellana up a hill until you get to a traffic circle, turn right (south) on 12 de Octubre. Pass another traffic circle, but continue on 12 de Octubre past the Swiss Hotel and Radisson on the left. You will go under a bridge in the middle lane, marked with a sign Oriental. This will curve under the bridge and go to the left. Traffic will be merging in with you. Stay straight with the main traffic flow past a large Military Hospital on your right and Ruminahui Stadium on your left. After the Hospital stay in the right lane. The road curves right and leaves houses/apartments behind. You'll pass a Mobile Gas Station on your right.

The traffic pattern has changed at 'El Trebol'; it is now a large traffic circle combined with and a clover leaf. Go until a bridge and clover leaf intersection, pass under the bridge and turn right, which loops you around to the top of the same bridge, merge and stay left following the road uphill. This is the first step out of Quito on via General Ruminahui, also called E-35.

This is currently a 2 lane highway up and 3 lanes down, you will climb up. Pass under a bridge and get in the right lane. Exit right before the next bridge. Sign says to Chillogallo. You are now climbing on the Nuevo Oriental heading south; also called Simon Bolivar. This is a Quito bypass. It goes up high on the eastern ridge above Quito. There is a pull out on the right with a great view over the Southern part of the city.

Continue on the Nuevo Oriental/Simon Bolivar and follow a sign for 'Tambillo - Aloag - SUR'. This is a fast road, El Periferico/Simon Bolivar, that stays high. The Pan American Highway merges in from the right and the road expands to 4 lanes each direction.

You are now on the way to Latacunga (see Quilotoa Loop directions below).

From Quito -- New Town -- Mariscal --> via Tunnel The second option is:
Via Interoceanica --> Guayasamin Tunnel --> Simon Bolivar

WARNING: Traffic through the Guayasamin Tunnel is one way into Quito from 7-9:30 am; and it flows only out of Quito from 4-7:30 pm. The rest of the time traffic is in both directions.

These directions start from the intersection of Naciones Unidas and Rio Amazonas. Head south on Amazonas. This is a main street that goes along a large park (La Carolina) on your left; turn left on Republica and at the next intersection turn left again onto Eloy Alfaro. At the next stop light turn right on Los Shyris. At the next stop light veer right following the traffic circle, but stay left and immediately take the first exit left going down an underpass. This will put you into the Guayasamin Tunnel via the Interoceanica E-28 going east towards Cumbaya and Tumbaco.

When you come out of the tunnel there is a $0.40 toll booth. Stay in the right lane to pay the toll with cash. Take the first exit right and loop sharply around to the Nuevo Oriental heading south; also called Simon Bolivar. This is a Quito bypass and curves around behind the city. It will cross a large bridge and climbs up the other side. The 'new' Ruta Viva which goes to and from the 'new' Quito Airport in Tababela comes in from the left. After crossing another bridge over a large road (this connects to the 'El Trebol') continue straight and climb up on the Nuevo Oriental/ Simon Bolivar heading south.

The Nuevo Oriental/Simon Bolivar goes up high on the eastern ridge above Quito. There is a pull out on the right with a great view over the Southern part of the city.

Continue on the Nuevo Oriental/Simon Bolivar and follow a sign for 'Tambillo - Aloag - SUR'. This is a fast road, El Periferico/Simon Bolivar, which stays high. The Pan American Highway merges in from the right and the road expands to 4 lanes each direction.

You are now on the way to Latacunga (see further Quilotoa Loop directions).

From the NEW Quito Airport 2013 Via Interoceanica --> La Ruta Viva --> Simon Bolivar

From the Airport head south to Pifo and then turn right (west) on the Interoceanica E-28 towards Tumbaco, Cumbaya and Quito. Make sure you stay on the Ruta Viva which is modern and fast (although watch your speed: 90kph).

"La Ruta Viva" now connects the new Airport with the Simon Bolivar heading either South (or North). After merging South on the Simon Bolivar you will cross a bridge over a large road (this connects to the 'El Trebol') continue straight and climb up on the Nuevo Oriental/ Simon Bolivar heading south.

The Nuevo Oriental/Simon Bolivar goes up high on the eastern ridge above Quito. There is a pull out on the right with a great view over the Southern part of the city.

Continue on the Nuevo Oriental/Simon Bolivar and follow a sign for 'Tambillo - Aloag - SUR'. This is a fast road, El Periferico/Simon Bolivar, which stays high. The Pan American Highway merges in from the right and the road expands to 4 lanes each direction.

You are now on the way to Latacunga (see further Quilotoa Loop directions).

Heading South towards Latacunga Once out of Quito, you are on your way south to Latacunga.  The Black Sheep Inn is at the far end of the "Quilotoa Loop," so there are two different ways you can go to get here.  Both are beautiful and take about four hours from Quito.  You can choose the Northern Route or the Southern Route.

You should plan on driving in one way, and out the other.  This way you can complete the loop and enjoy the unique scenery in both directions.  It is recommended coming in via the Northern Route and Sigchos, then when you depart you can see Laguna Quilotoa in the morning when the weather is the best and continue on the rest of the loop.

Quilotoa Loop -- Northern Route -- via Sigchos The Northern Route goes near Saquisilí and then through Toacazo and Sigchos to Chugchilán.  This route is slightly harder to find your way.  You may need to ask directions once or twice.  People are very friendly, and if you ask the name of the next town, they usually point you in the correct direction.  Remember that many people do not own vehicles, so they may not have an accurate sense of how long it takes to get somewhere driving.  Also many people have not traveled through the back-country to locations such as Chugchilán.

After leaving Quito you will go through Aloag. All traffic goes to the right, follow signs to the south Latacunga, Ambato or Riobamba. Aloag is the turn-off for traffic going down to Santo Domingo and the coast. Make sure you continue south to Latacunga, not west towards Santo Domingo.

Lasso is 33 kilometers south of Aloag. You will pass through Machachi and there are a few gas stations. After Café de la Vaca on the left and Pizza El Hornero on the right there is a Panavial toll booth (currently $1.00). Then you will climb over a mountain pass. If it is clear, Cotopaxi is very close on your left, the Ilinizas Twin Peaks on the right. Sometimes coming down this pass you can see the Avenue of the Volcanoes: Tungurahua (smoking), Las Altars, Sangay (also smoking, but further away) and Chimborazo to the right.

Follow the Pan American Highway down past the entrance to Cotopaxi National Park (large bridge over the highway after a long straight downhill). This is about 1+ hour south of Quito. On the right will be your last chance to buy high octane gasoline - "SUPER". Gasoline is also available near Sigchos, but only "EXTRA" - which is REGULAR unleaded gas. Continue on towards Lasso.

There is now a bypass around Lasso. You want to look for a small green sign on the right that says 'Tanicuchi'. There is also a large sign with the image of Laguna Quilotoa, an emerald colored crater lake, advertising Canton Sigchos. These signs are placed just as you are approaching a large bridge over the highway with a stop light under the bridge. The turn is on your right before you get to the bridge and stop light. (If you miss the Tanicuchi exit, take a right at the next stop light. This will bring you to the intersection with the Sigchos road. Go straight across.) Stay right after the exit and traffic circle. Turn right at the first stop light towards Toacazo and Sigchos. After a couple of speed bumps, you are now on your way to Toacazo (toe-ah-CAH-so) on a paved road.

NOTE: If it is Thursday and you want to go to Saquisilí (pronounced sock-ee-see-LEE) for the market before coming up to Chugchilán, then you will continue straight through the stop light, this takes you through Tanicuchi to Saquisilí, otherwise skip ahead to Lasso to Toacazo.

You should be on a paved road. You will pass a gray sign with white and yellow letters on your right that says "SANTUARIO DE CUICUNO" and then go down a steep hill and over a river. There is a WELCOME sign going over the road. The village is just a few kilometers away. Lock your vehicle and have someone watch it while you wander around the extensive market squares.

When leaving Saquisilí Market return the same way and turn left at the "SANTUARIO DE CUICUNO" sign. The potholed road climbs steeply up to a beautiful old church on your left and turns right. Visit the Church if it is open and you have time. Many people have been cured of sicknesses and disease there. The road is paved, but in poor shape. In Toacazo they have changed the traffic pattern of the one square village. You must turn right one block away from the main square on a one way street, at the next block you are forced left, drive straight into the main square. Keep going straight one block past the main square and turn left. There will be a gas station on your left in about a km. After merging at a stop light, you are on your way to Sigchos. You can also ask in Toacazo for the road to Sigchos (SIG-choe-z).

LASSO TO TOACAZO
If you did not go to Saquisilí, Lasso to Toacazo takes about 15 minutes. You will pass a few flower plantations (plastic covered greenhouses) and a hotel called La Quinta Colorada on your left. Follow the road as it curves around; do not turn at any of the intersections. At a stop light follow the bypass around the right side of Toacazo that passes the cemetery.

TOACAZO TO SIGCHOS
Sigchos is about 1 hour+ away. Toacazo to Plancha Loma is very fast now on a new road, about 10 minutes. (After Plancha Loma there is a turn off to the left to go to Isinlivi on a bad dirt road; you do NOT go to Isinlivi to get to Sigchos or Chugchilán). After Plancha Loma you climb to a high pass and the road is good almost all the way to Sigchos, watch your speed on narrow hairpin turns.

The road begins to drop into a beautiful canyon. Continue on the main road staying left at a hairpin turn at a large painted white rock. You will cross a small bridge over a nice clear stream. The next community is called Las Manzanas with a small store on the right. You will drop down into the Rio Toachi canyon and climb up the other side. About half way up you go through Yalo (yah- LOW). There is a gas station on your left in Yalo; last chance to fill your gas tank. Keep going up to Sigchos.

Sigchos now has street signs and even a few stop lights! As you come into Sigchos you will be on a road called '14 de Noviembre'. After passing the Municipio parking lot with some road equipment and paving stones, take the second left onto "Eloy Alfaro". Continue straight through 2 stop lights and about 6-8 intersections. The road is now unreasonably wide and newly paved and fast to Chugchilán. OR ask in Sigchos for the road to Chugchilán (choog-chee-LAHN). This road stays high above the canyon, if you are dropping down on a dirt road right away, you are on your way to Isinlivi, turn back. Black Sheep Inn is about 35 minutes from Sigchos (24 kilometers). You'll see the sign on the right. The driveway is steep, so drive it with a little bit of speed.

WELCOME!

Quilotoa Loop -- Southern Route -- Via Zumbahua Driving in through Latacunga - Pujili - Tigua and Zumbahua

After leaving Quito southward, you will go through Aloag.  All traffic goes to the right, follow signs to the south Latacunga, Ambato or Riobamba. Aloag is the turn-off for traffic going down to Santo Domingo and the coast. Make sure you continue south to Latacunga, not west towards Santo Domingo.

You will pass through Machachi and there are a few gas stations. After Café de la Vaca on the left and Pizza El Hornero on the right there is a Panavial toll booth (currently $1.00). Then you will climb over a mountain pass. If it is clear, Cotopaxi is very close on your left, the Ilinizas Twin Peaks on the right. Sometimes coming down this pass you can see the Avenue of the Volcanoes: Tungurahua (smoking), Las Altars, Sangay (also smoking, but further away) and Chimborazo to the right.

Lasso is 33 kilometers south of Aloag. Continue down the Pan American Highway south around Lasso on the bypass to Latacunga (lah-tah-COON-gah), about 20 minutes. Just past a military installation there is a bypass around Latacunga and Salcedo. This is a short cut to Pujili and the turn-off for the Southern Route.

You will pass the NEW Quito Prison on the left (at the Latacunga/Saquisili turn off). This road is a 3 and 4 lane highway around Latacunga, although there will be 2 stop lights almost immediately. Look for an exit for Pujili, Zumbahua, La Mana, Quevedo etc. Stay right after exiting. You are now on the Latacunga - Quevedo road. At the next traffic circle stay right on the bypass around Pujili. You will come to another small traffic circle; take a right and climb on the road to Zumbahua.

If coming from the South of Ecuador
From Banos, Ambato, Riobamba, Chimborazo or even Cuenca

When heading north on the Pan American, there is now a bypass that starts between Ambato and Salcedo and easily gets you to the Pujili traffic circle without ever seeing Latacunga.

Look for a sign to Pujili, Zumbahua, La Mana, Quevedo etc. Exit on the right and drive around the traffic circle (above the highway) to head west towards Pujili. Just after the turn off on the right for La Victoria, cross a bridge and at the traffic circle, turn right on the Pujili by-pass. When you come to another mini traffic circle turn right. The road you are on has been completely rebuilt all the way to Zumbahua and beyond.

The climb from Pujili goes up and up and up on a winding good road. Now you are heading towards Zumbahua (zoom-BAH- wah) about 45 minutes from Pujilí (60 kilometers). Tigua is about 10 km before Zumbahua and they have a small gallery on the right featuring Naif Paintings. More paintings are available at Laguna Quilotoa.

At the turn off into Zumbahua there are some small stands selling drinks and food on the right. The turn off to Zumbahua, Quilotoa and Chugchilán is just after these stands on the right. If you pass a gas station, you have gone too far and you are on your way to Quevedo, turn back. You can fill your gas tank, if you haven't already. The entrance road to Zumbahua is paved. Continue through the village with the main square on the right, going down and crossing a bridge over a river.

ZUMBAHUA TO QUILOTOA (key-low-TOE-ah)
is 14 kilometers (about 20 minutes driving). After a few kilometers along the paved road, you cross another stream and pass through a small community. The road follows along the canyon's edge with a posted look out for Rio Toachi Canyon on the right. At the fork turn right and then over another bridge. There is a painted sign for Quilotoa at this junction. Follow the paved road. The road climbs gradually to Quilopungo, a small school and walled in playground.

Continue past the Ponce turnoff and a sign for Shalala on the right, pass a sign for Nino Rumi and up to an archway indicating the entrance to Quilotoa on the right and the road to Chugchilán (choog-chee-LAHN) to the left. It is worth stopping to see Laguna Quilotoa on the way in, even if only for a few photos. Chugchilán is about 30 minutes away.

MAJOR ROAD WORK has been done on the road from Quilotoa to Chugchilan. It used to be the worst part of the road and the total distance was 22 kilometers. The finished road is now only 16 km and paved. Mountains were literally torn down, curves filled in and valleys bridged... Go slow through the 'Canyon of Cement'. Watch out for repairs and wash-outs. The road arrives all the way to Chugchilan. It used to take an hour from Quilotoa to Chugchilan, now it is under a half hour.

Black Sheep Inn is about a 500 meters down the road past the village of Chugchilán (a small plaza with a church and some buildings). The driveway and sign will be on your left. The driveway is steep so drive it with a little bit of speed.

Welcome!