We have never been to Ibarra so we needed Ani's help. I had found a Hacienda in Ibarra in our guidebook that I thought looked interesting. I had a mental picture of an old colonial hacienda converted into a charming inn. "No" said Ani. " I know the place. It is not good. I know a newer place—very nice. I guarantee you will like it." I trust Ani, but was a little disappointed. I was hoping for old Ecuadorean charm, not something new and shiny.
La Estelita is literally on the top of a mountain, with a stunning view of Ibarra. It is owned by a family who has created a place of pure beauty and charm. The adult son, who drove us from Otavalo, told us of he and his family hand carrying stones to the site that would become the extensive stone paving and pathways and stairs. The main building houses a restaurant that people drive to from Quito for the food and the view. At night, and in the morning, the clouds roll through, wrapping the mountaintop in a dreamy mist. Ani is always right.