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Experience Hacienda Zuleta

4 Days FROM AUD 2,615

Overview

During your stay at Hacienda Zuleta you will be warmly welcomed by a member of the Plaza family who have had ownership of this historic hacienda for over 100 years. Each of the 14 rooms are uniquely decorated with beautiful antique furnishings and each room is named over a family member. The hacienda sits on 2,000 hectares of pastureland which mainly is used for cattle and horses and also produces its own cheese onsite. Experience typical Ecuadorian cuisine with ingredients taken from the hacienda’s own organic garden. During your stay there is a wide variety of activities on offer from horse riding to bird watching to visiting El Taller the workshop that showcases Zuleta’s famous and beautiful embroidery work. The hacienda is also internationally renowned for its work with the Andean condor and guests can visit the Andean Condor Huasi Project located only 5km from the hacienda. This is a truly unique experience and definitely not to be missed from your Ecuador itinerary.

Trip Code: ECTSHZ4

Location: Ecuador

ITINERARY INSPIRATION

Arrive by vehicle from Quito at Hacienda Zuleta, in the afternoon after a drive through lush pastureland. With some luck you will have enjoyed stunning views of the snow-capped volcano Cayambe on your way, which is just a few kilometres away from Zuleta. Your host will welcome you personally at Zuleta. Whilst enjoying some afternoon tea or coffee, they will spend time with you explaining the activities the hacienda has to offer and discussing your personal preferences, needs or questions. After planning your stay you will be shown around the main building, learn more about Zuleta’s history, see ex- President Galo Plaza Lasso’s private library, the chapel and wander through the beautiful gardens.

Arrive Hacienda Zuleta

If you are an early morning person you might want to enjoy one of the short hikes before breakfast and try to catch sight of the countless birds at Zuleta. After breakfast, visit the cheese factory and learn more about Zuleta´s semi-aged, handmade Ecuadorian cheeses and how the process has changed throughout history. As mornings are usually sunny throughout the whole year, it is best to take advantage and use this time to take the condor tour. By hiking, biking or horseback riding to the Andean Condor reserve. In the mornings, you are most likely to spot an Ecuadorian wild condor flying by. The reserve is located 3 km from the guesthouse, in a native forest valley. You will learn about the foundation’s efforts, see rescued Andean condors in our aviary, and visit the nearby trout farm. The route back takes you through pasture land where you pass between ancient monuments of the Caranqui culture; seeing both small burial mounds dating back to 700 A.D., and giant ceremonial truncated ramp pyramids from the 13th century. At lunch time you can enjoy freshly caught trout and exquisite Ecuador cuisine. Then have coffee in the patio whilst admiring the giant hummingbird that comes frequently to feed here. In the afternoon you can buy or order countless beautiful, handmade, colourful embroidery articles from the Zuleta women’s cooperative. Coming out of the shop, the horse drawn carriage is ready and waiting for you and will take you down the eucalyptus alley to visit the foundation run library. This is where local children spend their afternoons, getting help with homework, reading and playing. You can also decide to do a more challenging hike up to Condor view which offers wonderful views of the local area and you may even be lucky enough to spot a family of Spectacle Bears along the way.

Activities

After breakfast, you are invited to visit the organic garden, where you can learn more about permaculture and see where the ingredients for your menu and the Hacienda’s Ecuador cuisine originate from. You can explore the farm operation, feed calves, talk to the vaqueros (local cowboys) or watch the horsemen training young fillies before going on another Ecuadorian horseback riding or bicycle riding adventure. Today explore the Zuleta community, and if weather conditions allow, you may be offered a lift up the mountain and a downhill bike ride. After the bike ride, you are welcome to have lunch at the hacienda. In the early afternoon, you can explore the Paramo garden, an interpretative site where you learn more about the rare native plants that grow above the tree line. Enjoy walking through a beautifully designed little garden.

Dinner is waiting for you and with some luck you will dine with family members who have endless stories of Zuleta’s renowned history, including visits of celebrities or dignitaries.

Activities

After breakfast, enjoy a last visit to a beautiful view point – the Cunro Mountain – from where you have a stunning view of the whole of the Zuleta valley and onwards to the town of Ibarra. While having a little snack you might get the chance to see another condor flying by before return to the Hacienda to prepare for your departure.

Depart Hacienda Zuleta
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Pricing & date

Travel Style Departing Duration PRICE FROM
Deluxe Daily 4 AUD 2,615
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Important Information

  • • Non-alcoholic beverages (fresh juice, soft drinks, mineral water), morning & afternoon tea or coffee.
    • Visits to:
    - Condor Rehabilitation Centre and flying condor viewpoint (unique in Ecuador!); without guide.
    - Extensive gardens: páramo garden and pond (with a host).
    - Chapel (with a host).
    - 60 km of self-guided trails (without guide).
    - Visit to the community and to different sites of interest including embroidery stores, saddle factories, museums, etc (without guide).
    - 14th century Caranqui archaeological pyramids (without guide).
    - 2, 000 hectare Hacienda grounds and farm operations: cheese museum, organic vegetable garden, worm farm, milking sheds, trout farm (with a host).
    - Foundation´s involvement: Community library and embroidery shop (with a host).

  • 2 (light adventure)
  • Available upon request

  • Contact us for more details

  • Season and availability

Accommodation

We believe that appropriate accommodation should add to the authentic travel experience, as well as providing utmost enjoyment. For that reason our accommodation is scrutinised by our staff on the ground frequently, ensuring the properties adhere to our high standards. This key will help you understand the levels of accommodation available on this tour.

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Talk to one of our Destination Specialists to plan your South American adventure and turn your dream into a reality. With exceptional knowledge and first hand experience, our consultants will assist in every way possible to make your journey the most memorable it can be, matching not only the itinerary, but the accommodation and activities to suit your style of travel and budget.

Sustainability

Chimu Adventures undertakes a number of sustainability measures within its operations including:
1) Only using local guides and office staff to both maximise local employment opportunities and minimise carbon footprints. Local guides also ensure you benefit from the intimate knowledge, passion and culture of the country you’re visiting.
2) Where possible, using locally owned and operated boutique hotels to maximise the return to the local community.
3) Chimu’s “Pass it on” programme has provided funding to hundreds of local community projects in Latin America. Our aim is to empower local communities, helping them to develop their own infrastructure for the future. Since 2006, we have been working with Kiva (a well-known Non-Governmental Organisation), providing hundreds of loans to local businesses all over South America.
4) In our pre tour information we provide a range of tips and advice on how to minimise your impact on both local environments and communities.
5) Chimu Adventures’ offices also take a number of sustainability measures including carbon offsets for company vehicles and most staff travel. Chimu Adventure’s internal processes are also structures to create a paperless office and to reduce waste. There are also internal programmes to help staff minimise their carbon footprint such as our staff bike purchase assistance plan which encourages office staff to commute to work via bicycle. Currently almost half of our office based staff commute to work via bicycle.