There are a few places to stay around the crater, Pululahua Hostel being the best value and most secluded. This little gem of a hostel is definitely a fantastic find for any traveller wanting to explore a little closer, the amazing biodiversity and historical landscapes ecuador has to offer. It is not an easy journey to reach the hostel however, so its likely you will be the only guests for that evening. Bought three years ago and renovated into a beautiful getaway comprising of 2 cabanas and a camping area behind the main house, Pululahua Hostel is run by a loving couple, Renato and Paula. All food prepared uses fully organic produce grown on the organic farm including organic coffee beans ground as an when you need a coffee and available for purchase; a nice treat considering Ecudorian coffee is strangely ellusive in Ecuador. On arrival the outdoor spa is already being heated for some relaxing soaking in the evening surrounded by the sounds of the environment breathing around you.
The Hostel offers a good variety of outdoor activities such as horseback riding, mountain biking, rappelling and trecking, all of which can be catered for all levels of experience. Experiences range from 1 hour to multiple days and include some truely awe inspiring landscapes. Equipment is good quality with shimano equipped mountain bikes and a horse for even the most nervous of riders. It's wonderfully serene travelling on horse back through amazing vegeation, over streams and to natural hot springs where the iron in the mud is a natural face mask, sucking toxins from your skin.
Led by Renato, any actvity you choose will be accompanied by a running comentary on the history of Pululahua, orchid spotting, life stories and great company with a man obviously passionate about protecting the environment around him and its unique history. Getting to the hostel is not a piece of cake but makes it all the more enjoyable once you arrive. Talking of cake, there are few places you'll try a chocolate cake as good as Paula's! The journey is past Mitad del Mundo, through the entrance to the park (entrance fee $2.50 for foreigners) onto a drit road that winds around the volcano walls for around an hour. If you don't have a car or havn't arranged a pick up with Renato, you can walk about 25 minutes past Mitad del Mundo, uphill, to the edge of the crater, 'El Mirador'.