3 DAYS / 2 NIGHTS
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.
- from $1435 per person
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 1A PIECE OF ANDEAN HISTORY Transfer to the Hacienda by van or helicopter, explore the property, and a family style dinner.
- DAY 2ACTIVITY DAY Choice of activities including horseback riding, biking, and visiting the condor project.
- DAY 3THE FARM & RETURN TO QUITO Visit the farm, tour the cheese factory, and explore the embroidery museum before transfer back to Quito.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Private transfers to and from Zuleta
- Double accommodation in Deluxe Rooms
- 2 hours horseback riding per person or an alternative activity such as biking, cooking class or embroidery class
- All meals as per itinerary
- Non-alcoholic beverages
- Non-guided visits to the property’s surroundings
- Guided visits
- Alcoholic beverages
- Personal expenses
- Additional activities and services
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.
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