Hacienda Zuleta

Experience the authentic Andes

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3 DAYS / 2 NIGHTS

Hacienda Zuleta

Combine your experience at Galapagos Safari Camp with a two-night stay at Hacienda Zuleta, just two hours from Quito.

Dating from the late 16th century, Hacienda Zuleta is a 4,000-acre working farm that belongs to the descendants of Galo Plaza Lasso, a former president of Ecuador. Recognized by National Geographic Traveller and Outside magazines for its excellence, staying at the hacienda is an immersion into the history and culture of Ecuador.

 

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Highlights

Follow mountain trails on foot through valleys, woodlands and pretty villages.
Saddle up and explore these magnificent mountains on horseback.
Explore miles of mountain trails on bike.
Learn how to cook some delicious Andean dishes.
Discover the famous embroidery of the region, and take a lesson from the local experts.
Gather around the bonfire at night, with Andean music and culture.
OVERVIEW
ITINERARY
INCLUDED
FAMILY-FRIENDLY
GALLERY
OVERVIEW

Sample Itinerary: In Brief

The below sample itinerary is just that, a sample. We are happy to change the order of activities and add days depending on your needs and interests as much as we can — just get in touch!

Type of activity
LAND EXPERIENCE
SEA JOURNEY
DAY 1

A PIECE OF ANDEAN HISTORY

Transfer to the Hacienda by van or helicopter, explore the property, and a family style dinner.

DAY 2

ACTIVITY DAY

Choice of activities including horseback riding, biking, and visiting the condor project.

DAY 3

THE FARM & RETURN TO QUITO

Visit the farm, tour the cheese factory, and explore the embroidery museum before transfer back to Quito.

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ITINERARY

Full Sample Itinerary:

Type of activity
LAND EXPERIENCE
SEA JOURNEY
DAY 1

A PIECE OF ANDEAN HISTORY

Your trip starts with a drive through the Andes for 2.5 hours to Hacienda Zuleta. Once you settle into your room, you can explore the property or relax by the fire.

All of your meals are made with fruits and vegetables from the property’s garden, trout caught in local rivers and streams, fresh milk from the creamery, and cheese produced in the nearby factory. The kitchen uses family recipes passed down from generation to generation, including those learned in the various countries where family members have lived and visited.

DAY 2

ACTIVITY DAY

Hacienda Zuleta offers a number of activities for its guests, including horse-riding. The Zuleteño horse is a unique combination of Andalusian, English and Quarter horses. The outcome of this cross-breeding is a robust and noble Andean horse with a perfect disposition for trail riding. All rides include chaps, ponchos, saddle bags, helmets, and an expert guide. For longer tours, a 3-course picnic is provided by Zuleta’s kitchen.

For a rundown of available activities, take a look at the guide below.

Andean Condor Project
An important part of the work of the Zuleta Foundation and the hacienda is the Andean Condor Project. Located 3-miles from the guest house, the project nurses injured condors back to health in their aviary. A great way to start the day hiking, biking, by car, or on a horse; the path takes you by pre-Columbian pyramids and through the green hills of the Northern Andes. Starting in the morning gives you a better chance of seeing visiting wild condors in skies.

Caranqui Burial Mounds
The grounds of the estate have 140 burial mounds dating back to the first inhabitants of the Zuleta area, the Caranqui Indians. These raised-earth pyramids contain pottery and other clues about an ancient culture that fought off the Inca for 40 years before ultimately being defeated.

Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride
For a classic glimpse into the romance of the hacienda, take a tour by horse-drawn carriage. Explore the sprawling property in style before dinner while making the most of your time at Zuleta.

Bird Watching Tour
Ecuador has 1600 species of birds, and Zuleta’s acres of pastures, forest, and hills are a great place to see species including hawks, falcons, parrots, owls, and 20 kinds of hummingbirds. The staff can arrange an early morning tour with a bilingual guide who knows the birds’ favorite feeding spots.

Hike
Hiking trails start at the main building and lead to scenic viewpoints throughout the estate. The paths are well marked and easily managed depending on your interests and desired level of fitness.

One of the popular hikes explores the lower part of the property, crossing an old stone bridge before arriving at a peaceful waterfall on the Tahuando River. The 5-mile hike can be done on your own, or with a local guide if you want to explore more of the countryside on your way back.

Embroidery Museum
Another part of the Zuleta Foundation is the work they do with the people of the nearby community. This is a long-standing project whose goal in to help the women of Zuleta village earn a living through their hand-knitted traditional embroidery. There is a museum dedicated to the decades-old project, and you can combine a visit with a tour of the working hacienda’s farm and gardens.

Cheese Factory
Zuleta farm-made cheese has gained an international reputation, and is sold nationally at specialty stores in most major cities. A selection is served with your meals at the hacienda, and touring the small factory shows you the elaborate steps involved in making the delicious cheese.

DAY 3

THE FARM & RETURN TO QUITO

After breakfast, explore the grounds, feed a calf at the creamery, or relax in the garden before your transfer back to Quito.

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INCLUDED

Included:

  • Private transfers to and from Zuleta
  • Double accommodation in Deluxe Rooms
  • 2 hours horseback riding per person
  • All meals as per itinerary
  • Non-alcoholic beverages
  • Non-guided visits to the property’s surroundings

Not Included:

  • Guided visits
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Personal expenses
  • Gratuities
  • Additional activities and services
FAMILY-FRIENDLY

Family Friendly:

Hacienda Zuleta has created special activities for children including treasure hunts in the house, opportunities to learn how to use a lasso, and nights around a bonfire roasting marshmallows. These activities can be done as a family, or independently with supervision of Zuleta’s staff.

GALLERY
A FEW OF OUR

Guest Reviews

Exceptional service, need more food choices at lunch and dinner
My husband and I stayed here for 4 nights following a short Galapagos cruise. We were traveling with another couple. The four of us agreed that the service is outstanding! The Camp Manager, Andrea, to
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LEEANN H - 5/14/2019
Understated Luxury
Our family of 4 (parents and two twenty-something children) wanted an adventure and settled on the Galapagos and Galapagos Safari Camp for a week of non-stop activities. It was fantastic. From the
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ALIYOOPER - 3/26/2022
THE Place to Stay on Santa Cruz Island
We spent four nights of our Ecuador trip at Galapagos Safari Camp and, taking into consideration a culmination of factors, this was by far the highlight of our trip. Let’s start with the staff. Each
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GOBEACH56 - 6/09/2019