INCREDIBLE WOW FACTOR
We stayed in Casa Ana and I must say that the pictures online do not do the property justice. When we first arrived and walked into the house we were in AWE of how traditional, spacious, and beautiful the house is; it's modern and rustic at the same time. Plenty of room for up to eight people.
Highlights of our stay:
1) The farm - We went out every day except for one day; it was the best day of the week. We milked cows, made cheese, made empanadas, went horseback riding, hiked to the waterfall, got eggs from the chicken coop for breakfast, and finished it off by watching a movie by the fireplace. As soon as the kids woke up every morning they would put on their boots and go outside to play in the creek or explore the farm; they loved the farm and enjoyed it more than any of the adults.
2) The caretakers were always alert to our comings and goings to make sure we had everything we needed. She took care of cleaning the house every morning and got up at 4AM to take us to milk the cows and teach us how to make empanadas; he made sure we had the fireplace going every night and took care of the horses when we went riding. They were awesome.
3) Wilmer the driver - I spent on average $100 per day on the days we went out. Two of the days we went far (2 hours away) and the other days we stayed close to Otavalo. If I had rented a car it would have cost at least that much. However, we were six so it would have been a tight squeeze and we would have been lost half the time. Wilmer has a mini school bus which was perfect for the large group. He knew exactly where we wanted to go and how to get there. On top of that he was very friendly and became a friend before the week was up.
If you are planning a trip to Imbabura, Ecuador, this is by far the best place to stay. Janine, the owner, was very hospitable; she invited us to see her house, Casa Blanca, and introduced us to her husband and her parents.
What an AWESOME vacation. I was posting pictures on Facebook every night and all my friends were so jealous; I can't wait to go back.
Our family had an incredible stay at Casa Ana in June! We stayed for one month and it far exceeded our expectations. The ranch is in a beautiful location, surrounded by mountains and green fields. It is very picturesque! The weather was absolutely perfect while we were there, with highs in the 70‘s (fahrenheit) each day. It is somewhat remote, so for our family, it was a wonderful time away from electronics and our normal crazy schedule. The owners were very attentive to any of our requests and could not have been any more helpful. The house is gorgeous, with wonderful attention to detail in its beauty and functionality. It was very comfortable and we loved the beautiful painting on the walls, the three fireplaces and the nice, big kitchen with lots of light coming in from the outdoors. We loved the ranch and it came to feel like it was ours (without the responsibility of maintaining it). Our boys were outside for all waking hours, with the exception of meals and Spanish lessons. They enjoyed horseback riding lessons many days with the instructor the owners recommended. Our boys most enjoyed playing outside with the many farm animals. There seemed to be at least one of every kind! They would collect the eggs in the morning, ride the donkey, go on hikes, pick vegetables from the garden to eat, and sometimes milk the cows at night. We would buy the milk and pasteurize it to drink. The employees are so helpful, kind, and friendly. We enjoyed interacting with them. They taught our family how to properly hoe the garden, chop firewood, milk cows, build a fire, make humitas and empanadas, and even helped us with our Spanish. They would light the fires in our fireplaces each morning and evening, definitely a service we loved! We were sad to say good-bye to them. We used the driver recommended by the owners and were very happy with him. He was a wonderful guide and very flexible, driving us to various tourist sites, the grocery store and any where we wanted to go. We enjoyed excursions to Otavala, Laguna de Cuicocha, Quito, Cochasqui, Quitsato, Parque Condor, and Cascada de Peguche. This ranch is the perfect place to get away, while still having access to many interesting places nearby and all the amenities we are used to in our own home (and maybe a few more). We made many sweet memories as a family and it was the perfect place to enjoy the outdoors and relax. We highly recommend and hope to return again!
Recommended for:Tourists without a car, families with young children, adventure seekers, families with teenagers.
Wow! We will never forget our amazing experience at the ranch or the friends we made while there. The owners, David and Janine, have fulfilled their vision of the perfect, peaceful getaway. By design, this was a fantasy land for our three children. As parents we wanted our children to experience a taste of a simpler life, but we also feared that our children (ages 9-16) would be bored without the technology they are used to. The reality was that our kids were up early every morning eager to play with all of the animals and go "exploring" as they called it. They rode the donkey, played with the rabbits, guinea pigs, baby chicks, dogs and cat. They milked the cow, collected the eggs and gathered the vegetables which we ate. They also worked and planted in the garden. Truthfully, we had trouble getting them to come inside at the end of each day. The house itself was very charming and well-appointed while at the same time comfortable and cozy. It was also thoughtfully stocked with games, books and all of the supplies that made it feel like home. Best of all were the helpers and the owners. They were all more than happy to help us in whatever way they could and they enjoyed showing us around and giving us many different experiences. We didn’t want to leave, but we plan on staying in touch and hopefully coming back once again.