Updated: Feb 13, 2019
Nestled against the beauty of Cotacachi volcano, surrounded by lush farmland, and overlooking some of the most beautiful views in Northern Ecuador, a transformation is taking place. A single mom and dog lover, Viviana Erazo, is striving to bring to life an environmentally friendly tourist destination that combines the local food and culture, ecologically sound tourism practices, and the wonder and serenity of the Northern Andean Mountains.
This is not just any woman. Of Spanish and Quechua descent, Viviana was born in Ibarra, has lived in Quito for 20 years, traveled the world, worked in non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the Ecuadorian Environmental Ministry. Aware of the struggles of the indigenous population as well as educated and trained in the demands of today’s Eco-tourism industry, she is well on her way to uniting both at Sara Lodge.
A primary goal of Sara Lodge is to provide adventurous tourists with a range of comfortable accommodations, an introduction to indigenous culture and cuisine, and the ability to explore the vast landscape surrounding the mountain while their pets are safe, secure and happy in the lodge’s pet hotel.
Sara Lodge is located three kilometers from Cuicocha Lake in the Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve which is a must-see destination in Ecuador. However, in order to protect the delicate flora, fauna and animals within its perimeter, the reserve does not permit pets. In addition, many of the nearby accommodations do not accept pets. Viviana recognizes that many tourists and locals alike love to travel and explore with their furry family. Sara Lodge’s unusually unique and welcoming pet hotel will allow those traveling with their pets a secure, comfortable, and protected area to keep their pets while they visit the Cuicocha Lake and the Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve. The Eco lodge was such a dog friendly place that not only were we encouraged to bring our dog but also to allow him to roam free.
Still under construction, the property is expected to be completed by April 2019. Guests will have their choice of three distinct types of accommodations. The cabanas offer a choice of rooms with queen, full, and twin beds. The extensive use of large windows and upstairs balconies allow guests to enjoy the expansive views from the comfort of their cabanas. The geodesic domes will showcase spacious wooden interiors, panoramic windows and skylights for stargazing. Each room or dome includes a private 3/4 bathroom including a hot shower. Additionally, the property has a dedicated camping area with the added luxury of a shared wash house which includes hot showers, composting toilets and a sink.
An organic garden, manicured paths, and a variety of local plants and trees encompass the property, as well as a secure, gated parking lot. The small restaurant on the first floor of the main cabana provides a local style buffet breakfast for those guests staying in the cabanas and domes. Lunch and dinner can be provided with advanced noticed for an additional charge.
Sara Lodge currently offers a choice of two excursions. Nature lovers can partake in a hike around Cuicocha Lake which is approximately 12.6 kilometers and takes about 4-5 hours. For those who prefer a city tour, they offer a walking tour of Otavalo which takes approximately 2 to 4 hours. Both tours include a local guide, lunch and transportation and are normally conducted in Spanish. If you need an English speaking guide, please request one in advance and they will make every attempt to provide one.
Viviana’s well-trained staff can assist guests with any questions including transportation arrangements if needed. They can also assist with recommendations for additional restaurants and excursions in the Imbabura Province.
As an added bonus, Sara Lodge is currently offering 50% off on their cabanas through February 2019.
For more information or reservations, please contact the team at Sara Lodge.