The grasslands of the Ecuadorian high sierra once attracted land-loving colonial Spaniards, who built large haciendas in order to manage their widespread ranches and farms. Because of changes in regulations governing land ownership, few of these haciendas remain today, but many of those that do are open to the public for day tours and overnight stays. Here are the best haciendas to visit in Ecuador.
Hacienda El Porvenir
Located a short distance from the remote north entrance of Cotopaxi National Park, the historic Hacienda El Porvenir is uniquely situated to provide a high-altitude, cowboy-influenced vacation. Besides the well-appointed suites and traditional rooms, El Porvenir offers budget accommodation in its machai rooms, featuring single beds divided by walls of traditionally woven totora straw.
Today starts the Repunte at Hacienda El Tambo. A smaller version of the Rodeo or cattle drive, that happens twice a year at this Hacienda. We ride early to the mountain slopes and bring all the cattle down to the corrals, to redistribute into a new territory with fresh grass. Cattle will remain on this new extensive field for the next 6 months. 🐃🐎✌ • • • Hoy empieza el repunte en la Hacienda El Tambo. En los repuntes se mueve al ganado de un territorio donde ya pastaron, a un nuevo territorio con pastos frescos. Allí permanecerá el hato los siguientes 6 meses pastando, hasta el siguiente rodeo que se realiza en el mes de Febrero. 🐎🐃🐮🐴 #tierradelvolcan #chagras #rodeo #cattleroundup #cattledrive #lovehorses #horsemen #cowboy #haciendaeltambo #cotopaxi #cultura #Andes #torodelidia #ecuador
San Jorge de Quito
The San Jorge EcoLodge is a well-preserved 18th-century Spanish hacienda with manicured gardens, a small bullfighting ring, and Ecuadorian-influenced decor. The lodge is well known by birdwatchers, who come here to watch the hummingbirds that flock to the outdoor feeders or to hike the local trails. The location is a short taxi ride from the historic center of Quito.
Open for day tours as well as overnight stays, the Hacienda Pinasquí is a popular destination for Ecuadorians exploring their Spanish roots. The original hacienda was built in 1790 and was often visited by the Liberator, General Simon Bolívar. Children learn the name of the hacienda when studying the “Treaty of Pinsaquí,” a historic peace agreement between Ecuador and Colombia that was signed on the grounds of the hacienda. The Hacienda Pinsaquí also offers traditional Ecuadorian cuisine in its handsome dining room.
The land on which Hacienda Cusin was built was owned by Phillip III, King of Spain, before being sold to the Luna family in 1602. Today, the extensive grounds contain the original hacienda home, several ancient buildings that have been converted into comfortable rooms, a modern monastery built in the colonial style to blend with other structures, and a few homes available for short- and long-term rentals. Day visitors are welcome to walk through the impeccably manicured gardens and dine in the excellent restaurant.
Situated in the picturesque landscape of the Imbabura mountain range near Ibarra, the Hacienda Piman provides an escape from big-city life. Former guests include Ecuadorian poet Julio Zaldumbide Gangotena, who spent many fruitful hours on the hacienda grounds in the mid-1800s. Guests can stay in comfortable, historic rooms in the main manor house or in several charmingly decorated small cottages.
Hacienda Piman te invita a explorar uno de los rincones más extraordinarios de Ecuador. A solo 9 km de Ibarra, está rodeada por magestuosas montañas, grandes lagunas, comunidades de gente tan cálida y amable que cuentan su historia y tradición con bailes, máscaras, figuras, tejidos y bordados. ¡Ven y acompáñanos a recorrer estos caminos! #haciendapiman #imbabura #ecuador #hacienda #cultura #tradicion #historia #patrimonio #viaje #explorar #lonuestro #montaña #lagunas #paisaje #senderismo #ibarra #findesemana #vacaciones #trip #retiro #descanso #remoto #accesible #desconectarse #bosque #naturaleza #respiro #ecuadoramalavida #allyouneedisecuador #viajaprimeroecuador
Hacienda La Ciénega
Over 400 years old, the Hacienda La Ciénaga was a sheep farm providing wool to a rapidly growing textile industry in colonial Ecuador. The well-preserved and elegantly decorated rooms and the beautiful, spacious gardens transport guests to a bygone era. Conveniently located between Cotopaxi National Park, the Laguna Quilotoa, and the active Tungurahua volcano, day trips can be easily arranged from this single location.
Hacienda San Isidro de Iltaquí
During the Alfaro Revolution of the early 20th century, General Eloy Alfaro sheltered behind the thick adobe walls of the Hacienda San Isidro de Iltaquí. Today, the owners take pride in serving locally sourced organic produce in the restaurant and providing comfortable yet stylishly decorated rooms. This location is ideal for exploring the town of Cotacachi, famous for its handcrafted leather; the volcanic crater lake of Laguna Cuicocha; or the artisans’ market at Otavalo.