Picture yourself on horseback riding across the Andean grasslands in the heart of Ecuador’s famous Avenue of the Volcanoes, one of the most awe-inspiring destinations in the world. Immerse yourself in the world of the the chagra (Andean cowboy) and learn about their way of life; one that has been part of local tradition for centuries. Shop in colourful indigenous markets and interact with the artisans while admiring the beauty of their crafts.
Ishpingo Tours invites you on an amazing journey to discover the magnificent Andes on which you discover 4 of the most popular haciendas, all of which have played vital roles throughout the history of Ecuador. This unique experience has been designed to provide you with an opportunity for complete immersion into Andean culture and tradition.
Haciendas Visited During the Tour
- Andean chagras
- Horseback riding among the volcanoes
- Interaction with Andean artisans
- Immersion into Andean lifestyle
DAY 1: Horseback Riding & Chagras (Quito – Machachi – Latacunga)
Departing to the south, travel for about an hour from Quito before descending into the Machachi Valley, an area known for its many dairy farms. The first stop is Hacienda La Alegría, a wonderful place in which to be introduced to the spirit of the Andes and to see a local farm in operation. Visit the grounds before suiting up for an approximately two-hour horseback ride along old cobblestone roads and trails that lead to an observation point that overlooks the entire valley. Enjoy magnificent panoramic views including a view of beautiful Mount La Viudita. Afterwards, return to the hacienda to enjoy a typical Andean lunch hosted by the owners.
After lunch, see one of the most exciting features of this hacienda, its newly inaugurated bullring. Here, witness an exciting demonstration by the chagras (Andean cowboys), who will show off their amazing riding and roping skills.
In the afternoon, depart to the valley of Latacunga and Hacienda El Porvenir, a beautiful Andean cattle ranch. There will be time to explore the grounds or simply unwind by the fireplace. Dinner will be hosted by the owners. (Lunch & dinner included.)
DAY 2: Horseback Riding Excursion (Cotopaxi National Park)This morning, after getting decked out in riding chaps, ponchos and cowboy hats, depart to the Cotopaxi National Park and set out on a scenic horseback excursion across the foothills of the Rumiñahui Volcano and expansive Andean grasslands. The open countryside with panoramic views also offers the chance to see a host of birds and plants. Afterwards, travel back to the hacienda to enjoy another nutritious Andean-style lunch.
After lunch, enjoy the grounds of the hacienda and learn more about its operation before a typical Andean hacienda dinner. (Breakfast, lunch & dinner included.)
DAY 3: Local Market in Latacunga (Latacunga – Sangolquí – Quito)Today will be partially devoted to cultural interaction and connection with local daily life. Depart San Agustín for Latacunga, a city full of interesting markets, to discover friendly faces and a great variety of fruits and vegetables. This is a fantastic experience that offers a chance to learn about local produce and traditions. After a pleasant walk in the market, travel to a nearby village to learn about the interesting handicraft skills of local artisans. Colourful ceramics and paintings are typical here, so a visit to some of the workshops means an opportunity to buy directly from the craftspeople and artists.
Travel on to Hacienda La Ciénega for lunch. Explore the grounds and learn more about the role this hacienda has played in Ecuador’s fascinating history.
Afterwards, when heading back to Quito, the final stop on the tour is Hacienda La Carriona, another endearing property that is now surrounded by the expanding city. Here, explore the gardens and enjoy a traditional cup of coffee and homemade bread before the last leg of the journey. (Breakfast & lunch included.)
Private English speaking guide and driver with modern vehicle, all meals as detailed in the program, accommodation in selected properties, visits, excursions, bottled water and activities. This excursion is a private-basis tour, however it might include certain shared or group visits at some locations. Guides in languages other than English (German, Italian or French) can be provided. Please inquire about the surcharge.
Beverages, tips and personal expenses.