The SpaceThe house is built on a hill in an Indigenous community that has views towards the city of Riobamba, the Chimborazo mountain and other snow-capped volcanoes. From the back of the house you will have a wonderful view of other Cacha communities nestled around the Chuyuc which is the sacred mountain of Cacha. You can walk to the nearby Pucará-Tambo which is the Cultural and Tourist Center of the community with a ceremonial plaza, an ethnographic museum, cabins and a restaurant.
Tours can be arranged to get to know the Cacha communities (there are 23 in total, but the tour would take you to 3-5 communities), or you can choose to take a day tour to the Chimborazo national park, the city of Riobamba or many other places, such as Guano, famous for leather goods, Alpaca wool rugs and the "cholas", sweet round bread with sugar cane filling in the middle. You can also plan a tour across the Chuyuc towards the Colta Lake and Santiago de Quito, where you will see the first catholic church built in Ecuador, the Balbanera church, and you can enjoy the lakeside park.
Our house itself is a museum in the making. The Duchicela family can trace its lineage not only to pre-Hispanic times but to pre-Incan times. The Duchicelas were the leaders of the Puruhá nation that eventually formed an alliance with the Quitus from the north and resisted the Inca invasion for decades, prior to reaching a friendly alliance with Huayna Cápac, the ruling emperor of the Incas, who married princess Paccha Duchicela, of the Puruhá nation. Their son Atahualpa was to become the last ruling emperor of the Inca Empire by the time of the Spanish invasion led by Francisco Pizarro. Guest AccessThe house has two bedrooms on the main level. Each bedroom can accommodate from 4 to 6 people. Each bedroom has its own bathroom and beautiful views. In the lower level overlooking the Cacha valley, there is an independent suite or mini-apartment, with one bedroom and bathroom, living room, dining room, kitchen and a sunroom with great views. This is a newly constructed suite (finished in mid-2016).
On the main level, there is a family room with a big fireplace. You can definitely use this space, especially in the evenings to warm up by the fireplace and enjoy a glass of wine, beer, tea or whatever you would like.
The house has a small courtyard on the main level. This is a very cozy and enjoyable place. It has plants that normally don't grow at these altitudes but they have adapted here because this courtyard is also a greenhouse. It has a glass roof that allows the strong Andean sun warm up the place during the day, so people can socialize here, have coffee or tea, read or just enjoy the sun! Interaction with GuestsMy wife and I do not live in this house. We go to Ecuador once or twice a year. It is our own family mountain retreat. However, we have a person who lives in the house and takes care of it. Her name is Clarita and she will give you all the guidance needed and help you with your basic needs. She can also cook for you for a separate price or arrangement. Clarita is not from Cacha but she is well known in the community. The NeighborhoodOur house is built on a hill with beautiful views of the Andes cradled in the middle of a traditional and historic Indigenous community. People who come here would be interested in learning about the Indigenous culture of the Ecuadorean Andes and would enjoy the fresh cool mountain air and the bright sunlight amidst green valleys, snow-capped volcanoes and small farmhouses dotting the expansive countryside. Getting AroundThe house is about half an hour by car from the city of Riobamba, in the Chimborazo province in Ecuador. Riobamba is about 3 hours south of Quito on the Panamerican highway. From Riobamba, you first drive to Yaruquíes, which is a "parroquia" about 10 minutes from the center of Riobamba. From Yaruquíes you go up a paved road to Cacha. Our house is located in Machángara, which is the "cabecera parroquial" (the main village of the county of Cacha). In Machángara, there is a catholic church, the building where the three authorities of Cacha have their offices and some other community services and small businesses. Other Things to NoteThe house is located at 3,100 meters above sea level, therefore it gets a bit chilly at night. However, the house has several chimneys that you would be welcome to use, and Clarita can help you set them up, if needed. There are room heaters, and once you get under the blankets you will be comfortable. But it is recommended you bring warm clothing and if you definitely do not like these temperatures, then this place is not for you.
If you love stunning scenery of mountains and valleys, this is the place to be! I recommend you go up to a mini-terrace we have to see the first rays of sunlight appear from the East. This is a paradise for photographers who like Andean scenery, including people in traditional Indigenous attires and farmland of products such as quinoa, potatoes, barley, wheat, onion, chochos, and many others.