Ah, Camano Island.
Only about 60 miles away from Seattle, but a world apart. Especially at the Alpaca Retreat, a one-of-a-kind vacation rental with some unusual neighbors.
“We are a hundred acre farm located on the north side of Camano Island," said owner Karen Byram. " We have alpacas here, we used to have over 800, we have just about 50 now. And a lot of peace and quiet.”
Byram and co-owner Hugo Ulloa have been alpaca farmers since the early 90s - but only recently opened their doors to overnight guests at this spacious and secluded farmhouse.
"We have three bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms, its a hundred acre farm the house is about 3,600 square feet, there’s a common area that’s used as a bedroom and game room [and] 20 acres of woods with a trail into the woods,” said Byram. “Its very appealing, in particular for families there’s room to run around and the parents can relax, sit on the deck and watch them.”
They even take people into the alpaca pasture and let them hand feed the alpacas! There’s also pickle-ball, basketball, ping pong - and if you're lucky you might even see an alpaca being born!
The main living area has a spectacular view, fireplace and alpaca-opoly for game fans. Alpacas are closely related to llamas, produce wool and fit the mood here perfectly.
“They’re cute, they’re easy going, pretty calm animals," said Byram. "They fit in pretty nicely.”
When they first opened the property as an Airbnb, they weren't sure who would be interested.
"We weren’t sure who would come to Camano Island, but we’ve had an overwhelming response," she said. "For the most part, really positive for guest and us as hosts.”
Byram and Ulloa say this place has been a hot ticket on the vacation rental market, and it's easy to see why.
“You get that sense of peace and solitude in the land like this, on days like today that’s a gift. You can be at the supermarket in five minutes but when you’re on the farm you feel completely removed. Its very relaxing. Good for the soul - especially now.”