The Best Historic Haciendas in Ecuador

Hacienda La Cienega, Ecuador | © Arabsalam / Wikicommons
Hacienda La Cienega, Ecuador | © Arabsalam / Wikicommons
Photo of Angela Drake
Founder, Not Your Average American12 September 2017

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.

San Jorge de Quito

Hotel, Lodge
Map View
Quito, Ecuador at Night
Quito, Ecuador at Night | ©Cristian Ibarra Santillan /Flickr
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.

Hacienda Pinsaquí

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.

Hacienda Pinsaquí, Otavalo, Ecuador

Nuevo año, nuevas metas, nuevos lugares por conocer

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Hostería Cusin

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.

Hostería Cusin, San Pablo del Lago, Ecuador

Almost teatime.

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  • Hacienda Piman

    Map View
    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 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 La Ciénega, Lasso, Cotopaxi

    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.