||Ecuador Boutique Hotels|
San Agustín de Callo, an Inca Hacienda at the foot of Cotopaxi in the Andes.
One and a quarter hours South from Quito stands the beautiful and little known farmhouse of San Agustin de Callo. Built on the site of an important Inca Palace this working farm offers todays discerning traveler an unrivaled glimpse into Ecuador´s rich and colorful past.
Located at the foothills of Cotopaxi, the highest active volcano in the world (5897 mts), it name means "neck of the moon" in Quechua the indigenous language of the Andes. The breathtaking view of the full moon appearing above the snow clad cone is unforgettable.
We invite you to be a guest at Hacienda San Agustin de Callo and enjoy the local Inca ruins. The farmhouse was built by Augustin monks today it offers visitors Boutique hotel accommodations. The Hacienda is the family home of the Plaza family...and as such its individually styled rooms have been designed to reflect this atmosphere and that of the building's historical importance. The main house, refered to as the Inca House, with its Spanish courtyard built around Inca rooms, has a warm and romantic atmosphere with magnificent views of the surrounding hills and volcanoes...
In 1921 the Hacienda was purchased by General Leonidas Plaza Gutierrez, leader of the Liberal Revolution. Plaza went on to become President of Ecuador in 1901 and -again in 1912, a position which was to be held by his son Galo Plaza in 1948. The Hacienda remains in the family to this day and is currently owned by the General's granddaughter Mignon Plaza, whose father, the distinguished congressman and legendary amateur bullfighter José Maria Plaza, continued to play a pivotal role in politics.
The importance of the Hacienda as an archaeological site has been written about by the Spanish chronicler, Cieza de Leon (1553) and is one of only two major Inca sites in Ecuador. This temple or palace was built around 1440 a.d. by one of the last Inca emperors, Huayna Cápac, and to this day the remaining rooms prevail as a magnificent sample of the unique style of Inca construction. The site is currently being investigated by Dr. David Brown of the University of Texas, the funding of which was provided by the National Geographic Society. Previously unknown portions of Inca walls and foundations have been discovered throughout the restoration process of the house.
Activities at the hacienda are carried through in the surroundings nestled in the foothills of Cotopaxi, the perfect setting for those wishing to enjoy this unique countryside by horse, mountain bike or foot.
The Hacienda is a very comfortable place to stay, with distinct and charming atmosphere. It has been described as being like staying in the home of a friend.
There are only a few rooms at the Hacienda San Agustin de Callo, although they are certainly large and “homey” – artwork, knick knacks, books, CD player (complete with a variety of CD’s, including Andean music), and so on.
The rooms come with en suite bathrooms and fireplaces in the bedrooms and most bathrooms. Beds are on the generous side, are very firm and extremely comfortable. We use down blankets on the beds, which are heavenly.. The beautiful wall paintings are made by Chilean artist, Manuel Araya. There are several flower arrangements in each room.
The rooms and suites are particularly elegant, and boast names like “Inca Tambo Suite” and “French Room.” Some of the rooms even feature original Inca stonework walls. Each room has a fireplace, and the staff comes around 5pm to start a fire. By each room, we mean each room. You can have a fire going in your bedroom, bathroom, living room, and living area (suites have several rooms), it is really toasty!
Each of the unique rooms comes with an equally unique bathroom. There is the fireplace, of course, as well as two sinks, a toilet, and a tub with a showerhead. You are provided with soap, bath salts, shampoo/conditioner packets, towels, etc., as well as robes.
The rooms have a mini-bar (using the honor system, you note what you take). Your room always has fresh water (purified) in pitchers. We also ad little tiny fresh sliced limes available for your drinks.
The main house, called the Inca House, has 3 suites and 3 double rooms:
The "Callo Lodge" is set outside the main house area, and is a one minute stroll away. It has a cozy living room with fireplace and a kitchenette. There are 3 bedrooms, described below:
Several more rooms will be available once construction is complete - held up because of the discovery of more Inca walls and the efforts to preserve and incorporate them into the construction.
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