Hacienda San Agustín de Callo
San Agustín de Callo has deep roots as a lodge. In the foothills of the snowcapped Cotopaxi volcano, 48 miles from Quito, the hacienda sits on the ruins of an Incan tambo, a 15th-century inn that once lodged royalty traveling along the Inca Trail. The current owner, Mignon Plaza, inherited the property from her grandfather, Leonidas Plaza, two-time president of Ecuador. The 11 rooms, which are dispersed among three buildings, have wood-beamed ceilings; some also contain brightly frescoed walls and volcano views. Visitors looking to be fully immersed in the inn’s ancient history should request one of the three rooms with original Incan walls, which were crafted from precisely carved blocks of stone and then intricately set without mortar. Sections of pre-Columbian masonry are also visible in the two dining rooms, lending a dramatic backdrop for traditional Andean dishes such as quinoa croquettes, or the hacienda’s famous locro, a potato-and-cheese soup.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.