Haciendas of Andean Ecuador

Cultural and environmental exploration of highland colonial towns and countryside trails
Overview

overview

"Hacienda" is Spanish for estate, referring to a mostly self-sufficent and status-oriented institution. At one time, these estates most likely served a specific purpose. For example, some are former plantations, mines, or factories. Over the course of this trip, you will have the opportunity to stay in these historic structures and experience the life of a "Patròn," or hacienda owner. Wander the surrounding rolling countryside. Horseback ride in deep valleys, offering spectacular views of the unique Andean environment. Learn what it means to live in fully-sustainable isolation, with everything you need right where you are. Talk to locals about their way of life by watching a stained glass artisan produce his craft or a young vendor selling fruit at the lively market. Walk the cobblestone streets of old colonial towns and enjoy a traditional cup of coffee in an open plaza, or munch on "biscochos" in the privacy of your comfortable hacienda.

Andean Ecuador is the definition of picturesque, complete with bubbling creeks, indescribably beautiful estates, and wide, seemingly never-ending spaces. Journey there with us for a cultural exploration of a lesser traveled aspect of this beautiful country.

Continue to detailed itinerary...
itinerary

itinerary

  • Day 1: arrive quito (friday)
    Welcome to Quito.

    Welcome to Quito! Your guide will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel.

    Lodging
    Hotel Vieja Cuba or similar
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  • Day 2: san antonio de ibarra / otavalo
    Enjoy the incredible hacienda grounds.

    Early departure heading to Otavalo, city located in the province of Imbabura and characterized by picturesque lakes, magnificent sierras and terraced patchwork farmlands. In the local market you will be able to purchase ponchos, embroidered blouses, ceramics, wall hangings, leather crafts and locally produced jewelry. The tour includes a visit to San Antonio de Ibarra, the woodcarving center of Ecuador.The town is home to wood carving artisans whose workshops are dedicated to the crafting of beautiful sculptures and ornaments. After lunch, we take a short drive to Cuicocha, a beautiful crater lake followed by a visit to Cotacachi, famous for its leather crafts. We spend the night at Hacienda Pinsaqui or Cusin where the chandeliers, the heavy, ornate beds and tiled floors create the aura of a bygone era.

    Meals
    Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Hacienda Cusin or Pinsaqui
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  • Day 3: otavalo / lasso
    Enjoy the landscapes of this lush country

    After an early breakfast, we will be ready to enjoy the activities offered at the Hacienda like biking or horseback riding. Before continuing your journey to Lasso you will have a stop for lunch at El Molino de San Juan Hacienda. After lunch visit a rose plantation, as Ecuador is one of the top producers of roses in the world. You will have the unique opportunity of visiting a family run farmhouse that has been passed down for generations. Continuing your journey you will arrive at Lasso where you'll spend the night at the Hacienda La Cienega. A delightful hacienda with the original style of the old house approached through a long broad carriageway linded on both sides by fragrant, towering eucalyptus trees. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Hacienda La Cienega
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  • Day 4: lasso / patate
    Cotopoxi National Park

    An early start takes us travelling along the Pan-American Highway and into the Cotopaxi National Park in the heart of the Andean paramo. We gently ascend the flanks of the volcano, passing through fields of ancient lava strewn with boulders until arriving at the base of Cotopaxi (19,700ft/ 5,897m), the world’s highest active volcano. On leaving the Nationl Park, we travel on to Ambato and visit the town’s bustling fruit and vegetable market, the largest in Ecuador. 

    After lunch we drive to Manteles where we spend the night. This charming and family-owned hacienda at the entrance to Llanganates is so welcoming you’ll feel as though your at home. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Hacienda Manteles
    Show on a map
  • Day 5: patate / banos
    Enjoy the scenic drives during your trip.

    A short but scenic drive lead us to Baños, a small town locatred in the shadows of the Tungurahua volcano high above the Amazon Basin and surrounded by waterfalls. Baños, an area rich in vegetation, orchids and tropical birds, is famous for its nearby hot springs that provide hot running water to the local baths.After lunch, we take a trip to admire the nearby waterfalls as the amazing “Pailon del Diablo” before returning to Patate for our overnight at Manteles or similar. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Hacienda Manteles
    Show on a map
  • Day 6: patate / alausi - devil's nose trail / riobamba

    Early morning departure to Alausi (approx. 2 hours drive). Alausi is a small town, and is the entrance point for the Devil’s Nose Train. This ride lasts approximately 2 hours. You will travel by train on “the world’s most difficult railroad”, called like this due to the geographical obstacles that had to be faced during its construction. The train will take you to the famous “Devil’s nose”, descending 800 meters in zigzag in the rocky formation. This descent allows us to experience the different climate zones from the highlands towards the coast vast open valleys. In the afternoon we will return to Riobamba where we will visit the town. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Hacienda Abraspungo
    Show on a map
  • Day 7: riobamba / saquisili / quito

    After breakfast, we depart to Saquisili market, famed for being one of the most colorful and authentic in Ecuador. Locals gather here to sell sheep, pigs, cattle, horses, llamas, potatoes, cereals, wool, handicrafts, clothing and tools. After that we drive back heading to Puembo while enjoying the beautiful mountain scenery and stoping for lunch at Hacienda Rumipamba de las Rosas. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Casa de Hacienda Su Merced
    Show on a map
  • Day 8: onward
    So long, Ecuador!

    Early breakfast in your hotel and transfer to the airport for international or extension flights. 

     

    Meals
    Breakfast
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Price and Date Details

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
$3,325
Single Supplement:
$700
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Privately on Request
Need to Know

Need to Know

Duration:
8 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost.
Comfort Level:
●●●○○
(see full descriptions)
Charming Haciendas
Activity Level:
●●○○○
(see full descriptions)
Group Size:
2-6
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Terms & Conditions: 

Standard

Included in costs: Meals as noted, each night in double occupancy accommodations, land transfers between components, English speaking guides, park or site entry fees, surface transport, equipment other than personal gear, government tax, airport transfer assistance, in-country ticket reconfirmation and check-in assistance (where permitted), complete pre-departure packet, toll-free pre-departure phone assistance.

Not included in costs: Meals not noted as included, gratuities, beverages (except tea or coffee at meals), international or domestic airfare unless specified, airport departure taxes not included with air tickets, visas, itinerary changes after confirmation, any services not included in itinerary, any costs incurred due to canceled or delayed flights, acts of nature or other happenings beyond our control, or other costs as are more fully described in Journeys Terms & Conditions.

Deposit and payment schedule: $500 per person per trip or the applicable amount based on the trip and the proximity of the departure date. Custom trips and private departures require $800 per person deposit. A second deposit of $800 per person is due four months prior to departure, and final payment for land arrangements is due 60 days prior to departure.  Any applicable permit fees required in advance are non-refundable as well.  Airlines require full payment when tickets are issued. The deposit may be made by Visa, Master Card, American Express, or check, and the Reservation Form may be submitted by fax, mail, or via our website. Full payment schedule and cancellation penalties are described in our Terms and Conditions as noted in our Global Expedition Catalog, on our website, and elsewhere. Please request these if you do not have them before advancing a deposit.

Air fares: Journeys can make complete air arrangements applicable to your trip as noted in this itinerary. If you wish to redeem frequent flyer mileage or arrange flights directly with the airline, you may do so on your own at no penalty. If you do, please consult with us on exact arrival and departure dates and times before having your tickets issued to avoid errors.

Insurance: When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee: There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

Trip Extensions

Trip Extensions

Amazon Rainforest Lodge

Duration: 4 days

Explore the rainforest habitats accompanied by native guides while staying at a charming lodge, designed to offer comfort while preserving the environment and ambiance of the rainforest.

Download Trip Itinerary

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comfort level
Choose accommodations and amenities that fit your personal style
●○○○○ Simple
Our most natural accommodations. Bath facilities often shared, sometimes rustic.
●●○○○ Delightful
Comfortable and especially personal. Small to mid-sized lodges, typically with private bath.
●●●○○ Superior
Lodges and hotels with additional amenities, refined artistry, or extra-special settings.
●●●●○ Deluxe
Exclusive or luxury lodges, hotels, or safari camps with fine dining options.
●●●●● Uncommon
The most indulgent accommodations arranged specially for private trips.
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activity level
Match the trip’s intensity to your ability and motivation.
●○○○○ Gentle
Easy walking, with opportunities for low-key physical activity.
●●○○○ Active
Energetic exploration with optional day hikes, leisurely cycling, or light canoeing.
●●●○○ Vigorous
Day-long active excursions and options for demanding activity in varied environments.
●●●●○ Challenging
Strenuous hiking or other intense activity that may be at high altitude or over rough terrain.
●●●●● Demanding
Multi-day trekking and other activities requiring endurance or strength. Steep trails. No technical expertise necessary.
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