Andes Highland Haciendas
The 4-day Andes Highland Haciendas cultural exploration is a privately guided, active tour of Ecuador’s northern sierra region, designed to complement your Galapagos cruise. Discover Ecuador’s Andean villages known for unique handmade crafts and extremely vibrant textiles. Witness traditional weaving in Peguche, famous bread doll art in Calderon and tour the world-famous Otavalo market, where indigenous people from more than 70 villages have been selling crafts and produce for hundreds of years.
Hike or ride between rural villages and learn of their rich cultural heritage and Andean way of life. Pass under the shadow of the Imbabura Volcano before descending into the fertile agricultural valley of Zuleta, where a wonderful array of activities await. The 1800-hectare property of Hacienda Zuleta offers great add-on activities like horseback riding, mountain biking and hiking. Archaeological tours of the Caranqui Pyramids reveal a time when the Zuleta Valley was populated by ancient civilizations. And the working farm itself offers a variety of entertaining possibilities with a trout farm, cheese factory, dairy farm and a progressive, sustainable, agricultural industry that works in harmony with its natural and cultural surroundings. Local Gallo Plaza Foundation’s projects include the women’s community embroidery project and the condor repopulation project, whose goal is to reintroduce Andean condors into the wild while educating the population about the importance of conserving Ecuador’s wildlife and natural resources.
Two haciendas offer spectacular accommodations during your journey: Hacienda Pinsaqui, a restored 18th-century estate in Otavalo that offers colonial history with luxuriously decorated rooms, gardens and courtyards, and Hacienda Zuleta, originally built in 1690 and the only working hacienda remaining in Ecuador.
To know the country, you must meet the people. Spend 4 days touring the most intimate villages of the Andes Highlands and bring a piece of their lifestyle home with you, including textiles, art, culture, history and their harmonious balance with nature.