The Best Historic Haciendas in Ecuador

Hacienda La Cienega, Ecuador | © Arabsalam / Wikicommons
Hacienda La Cienega, Ecuador | © Arabsalam / Wikicommons
Photo of Sorrel Moseley-Williams
Writer4 May 2021

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. Few of these haciendas remain today, but many that do are open to the public for day tours and overnight stays. Climb Cotopaxi, spot lively hummingbirds and horseback ride along Andean mountain trails while staying in one of these beautiful haciendas in Ecuador, bookable on Culture Trip.

Hacienda Zuleta

Hotel, Independent Hotel
4.4/5 (48 Reviews)
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Courtesy of Hacienda Zuleta /
Stylish Hacienda Zuleta holds political as well as historical importance. Constructed in the 17th century on the Sierras’ Avenue of the Volcanoes, it has belonged to former president Galo Plaza Lasso’s family for over 100 years. Every well-appointed suite at this colonial beauty benefits from a fireplace, and all are thoughtfully decorated with antiques and fresh roses. Zuleta’s meals are prepared with a farm-to-table approach, using its own cheese and trout; kids are welcome to milk cows and ride horses with the cowboys.
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At a Glance

Free Wifi
Outdoor pool
Full-service spa
Business Centre
Concierge Service
24 Hour Front Desk
Laundry Facilities

Hacienda San Agustín de Callo

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Courtesy of Hacienda San Agustín de Callo /

First, an Inca fortress, then an Augustinian monastery, now a hotel, Hacienda San Agustín de Callo has lived many lives. There are three buildings housing a diverse variety of charming rooms and suites, all furnished with king-size beds, although only the Inca House displays the distinctive Inca architecture. The two restaurants bring together Ecuadorian and Mediterranean cuisine. Work meals off by hiking the Quilotoa Crater Lake; those after a tamer experience can soak up the atmosphere in the rose garden.

Hotel Casa de Hacienda La Jimenita

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Courtesy of Hotel Casa de Hacienda La Jimenita / Expedia
La Jimenita is a lesson in elegant rustic chic, located in Pifo, a short drive from the Quito airport. Tucked away in a vast nature reserve loved by hummingbirds, cozy rooms sport exposed brick walls and are decorated with antiques and hand-carved headboards. Shared spaces include a games room with a pool table and a swimming pool. Kids will love feeding the resident llamas while you enjoy your freshly brewed morning coffee.

Hacienda La Danesa

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Courtesy of Hacienda La Danesa / Expedia
Chocoholics must stay at La Danesa, a working farm in Naranjito that creates handmade tree-to-bar chocolate. An hour’s drive from Guayaquil, the vast five-star estate spans across fields, forests and rivers. Book a stylish converted stable, whose wood textures and white brick walls blend with botanical prints to bring its owners’ Danish heritage to Ecuador. Many ingredients in the meals are sourced from La Danesa’s organic garden and community market and can be enjoyed on the semi al fresco Teca Terrace. Beside chocolate tasting, you can go river tubing and horseback riding.

Hacienda Los Mortiños

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Courtesy of Hacienda Los Mortiños / Expedia
Hidden at the base of Cotopaxi volcano, Hacienda Los Mortiños is a short drive from the northern entrance to Cotopaxi National Park. Bright and airy rooms have views overlooking the mountains, with three able to accommodate large groups of up to 16. Enjoy Ecuadorian goat stew while gazing at alpacas dancing past the volcano. Don’t miss the expedition to the peak of volcano Rumiñahui.

Hacienda El Porvenir

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Courtesy of Hacienda El Porvenir / Expedia
A historic working ranch dedicated to sustainable farming, Hacienda El Porvenir is situated at 11,800ft (3,600m) above sea level. Surrounded by four volcanoes, it’s a short drive from Cotopaxi National Park. Besides the well-appointed suites sporting traditional decor, those on a tight budget should book a machai room, housing single beds divided by walls made from traditionally woven totora straw. Dine at the on-site restaurant, for which many ingredients are sourced from the ranch’s organic vegetable garden.

San Jorge Eco-lodge Quito

Hotel, Lodge
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Courtesy of San Jorge de Quito
Bird watchers will adore San Jorge Eco-lodge Quito, an impeccable 18th-century Spanish hacienda, a haven for spotting hummingbirds (such as the sparkling violetear) zooming around the extensive private reserve. It is located just a 10-minute drive from Ecuador’s capital. Book into the lower lodge for simple, spic-and-span rooms with low beamed ceilings. Shared spaces include a games room, lounge and Cucayo restaurant, which serves Ecuadorian fare.

Hostería Hacienda Pinsaqui

Boutique Hotel
Map View
Courtesy of Hostería Hacienda Pinsaqui / Expedia
History fans will revel at 1790-constructed Hacienda Pinasqui, a ranch located a 10-minute drive from Otavalo that was often visited by the Liberator General Simón Bolívar. Much of the original infrastructure remains. Attractive, airy rooms are adorned with vibrant textiles, while family suites can accommodate up to six. There are three restaurants serving traditional Ecuadorian cuisine, including the historic Equestrian Bar, and with an array of activities – from horseback riding to massages and hiking – you will have a hard time leaving Pinsaqui.

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  • Hacienda Cusín

    Map View
    Courtesy of Hacienda Cusín / Expedia
    Cusín is imbued with regal history. The land it was built upon, in Ecuador’s Imbabura sierras, was owned by Spain’s Phillip III, King of Spain. Still a working farm today, delightful nooks and crannies await in the original colonial-style hacienda. Spacious rooms have been given the personal touch with antiques and locally sourced ornaments – and many have cozy fireplaces. Families requiring more space should book a cottage. Outdoors lovers can go horseback riding, bird spotting or mountain biking here.

    Hacienda Piman

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    Screenshot 2021-04-22 at 09.57.27 copy
    Courtesy of Hacienda Piman
    With a wonderfully remote location tucked into the Imbabura mountain range, Hacienda Piman makes for an ideal rural escape, a short drive from Ibarra and the legendary Salinas railway line. Book a charming room oozing romance in the main manor house, owned by the same family since 1680. Dining has a farm-to-table approach using many home-grown ingredients. Hikers will relish taking on the Inca Trail, while more tranquil activities include a dip in the serene pool.

    Hacienda La Cienega

    Map View
    Screenshot 2021-04-22 at 10.01.21 copy
    Courtesy of Hacienda La Cienega /
    Over 400 years old, the Hacienda La Cienega was a sheep farm providing wool to a rapidly growing textile industry in colonial Ecuador. The well-preserved, elegant rooms and beautiful gardens will transport you to a bygone era. Breakfast is included as standard, served in the rustic dining room. Conveniently located between Cotopaxi National Park, the Quilotoa Crater Lake and the active Tungurahua volcano, day trips can be easily arranged from this single location.

    Hacienda San Isidro de Iltaquí

    Map View
    Courtesy of Hacienda San Isidro de Iltaquí / Expedia
    The backstory here is that General Eloy Alfaro took shelter in Hacienda San Isidro de Iltaquí during the Alfaro Revolution, but the ranch’s timeline goes way back to its construction in the 16th century. It is situated in Cotacachi, a short drive from the Cayapas Ecological Reserve. Stay in a comfortable and stylish low-beamed room, with wooden floors covered in cowhide. All meals draw on locally sourced organic produce; there’s also a cocktail bar whose concoctions are best enjoyed in the lush garden.

    This is an updated version of an article originally written by Angela Drake.

    These recommendations were updated on May 4, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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