Visiting Las Palmeras Inn is like visiting a local family farm, with organic gardens and orchards – the source of their delightful farm to table cuisine – beautiful birds and a traditional collection of llamas, dogs, and cuy. In fact, at its heart is a 150-year-old hacienda still displaying its traditional vintage Andean architecture.
The Inn is situated on a hillside above the Andean indigenous market town of Otavalo, just north of the equator, at 8500 ft (2800m) with stunning views of snow-capped Mt. Cotacachi and protected by the energy of sacred Mt. Imbabura. The climate is one of perpetual spring, but the evenings can be cool and if the fog rolls up the valley and the fireflies sparkle in the night, you will appreciate the warmth of the fireplace in your room and the hot water bottle the staff placed in your bed.
Spending a few days can give you an authentic feel for life in this part of Ecuador and the traditions of the native people. You can comfortably wander down the country roads and into the surrounding communities or into Otavalo gathering smiles from farmers, beautifully dressed women and children you pass along the way. It’s a 25-minute walk to the famous artisan market at Plaza de Ponchos and a 25-cent ride back up the hill on one of the shiny new local buses. Taxies are a few dollars either way.
Reception can organize explorations of the surrounding craft villages, hikes or mountain biking in the mountains or backcountry horseback riding at their sister hotel Hacienda Cusin. If you wish to simply relax you can stroll through the gardens, breath the fresh mountain air and enjoy the home-cooked meals. It’s a great place to settle for a few weeks and nurture your soul, perhaps to write or paint, but above all to get far away from the crazy pace of modern life.
We have yet to find a better representation of “tranquillity” than this part of Ecuador. The atmosphere, the energy, the traditions of everyday life and the connection with Pachamama put your soul at peace and brighten your light. Las Palmeras Inn embraces this and holds a protective space away from the hectic pace of commercialized tourism. Many who visit Ecuador discover that something shifts within and their life priorities are forever changed. This one of the places that can have such an impact. A place where visitors feel they belong and can fully appreciate the joy of the simple life, clearing their mind and connecting with their higher self and nature.