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Heritage Tours from Quito: Ecuador’s Colonial Haciendas

US$ 2626.25 Price per person from View price guide

Key facts

Where: Quito , Ecuador Duration: 6 Days/5 Nights

Highlights

  • Go horseback riding, visit local markets or just absorb the stunning scenery
  • Have an unforgettable experience in the magnificent colonial haciendas of Ecuador

Overview

The Andes Region offers exciting and unforgettable colonial Haciendas which used to be private estates and now are open for those who wish to experience Ecuador's country lifestyle and history. Most of these Haciendas offer a plethora of diverse attractions such as horseback riding, biking tours and visits to the local markets, country villages and plantations nearby.

Constructed in 1790, the Hacienda Pinsaquí was originally a colonial textile enterprise, employing over a thousand weavers and spinners. Today, this Ecuadorian Hacienda in Otavalo retains the character and authenticity of its earlier incarnation, making it a unique travel experience. This romantic hacienda offers all the necessary facilities and comfort for a pleasant and unforgettable stay.

The beautiful, colonial Hacienda of San Agustín de Callo, nestled at the foothills of the snow-capped Cotopaxi volcano (the highest active volcano in the world) was built on the site of an ancient Inca palace, one of the two most important archaeological Inca sites in Ecuador.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Quito

You will be met at the Quito airport and transferred in an air-conditioned vehicle to your hotel in the city. Check into your hotel and have the rest of the day at leisure.

Overnight at Tourist Superior hotel, in a standard room.

Day 2: Sightseeing of Colonial Quito - Otavalo

After breakfast at your hotel, set out on a half-day guided sightseeing tour of Colonial Quito. See the best of Quito with its rich cultural legacy, ornate facades, and dazzling gilt altars. Visit the Independence Square, the Archbishop’s Palace, the Metropolitan Cathedral as well as other very representative samples of colonial art and architecture. If time permits, drive to the hill of Panecillo for a panoramic view of the city. At the end of the tour, you will be taken to a local restaurant for a fixed menu lunch.

Set out after lunch for the province of Imbabura, a magical land of lakes and landscapes populated by the industrious Otavalo people. The traditional clothes that the Otavaleñas dress in, the white embroidered shirts or elegant hats that the men use, are an indisputable stamp of the Andean community.

Arrive at the Hacienda Pinsaqui, which is ideally situated at the base of Imbabura Volcano, just north of the world-famous Otavalo Market, and only an hour-and-a-half from Quito, Ecuador’s charming capital. Its location also allows effortless access to the region’s many attractions: the lakes of San Pablo, Cuicocha and Mojanda, as well as the white colonial city of Ibarra and local handicraft villages like Cotacachi known for its leather goods, and San Antonio where the highlight are the wood-carvings.

Dinner and overnight at the Hacienda Pinsaqui in a standard room.

Day 3: Activities Around Hacienda Pinsaqui

After breakfast at the Hacienda, you are at leisure to enjoy its many facilities (cost not included.)

Pinsaqui history stretches back over three centuries. The colonial hacienda was constructed as far back as 1790, and following a disastrous earthquake that shook the region in 1867, faithfully and caringly restored. The building originally housed a textile workshop, employing nearly one thousand local weavers and spinners. In the late 1800s, the unique creations of these workers became internationally renowned, when the “bayetas”, a special fabric typical of Pinsaqui, arrived at the World’s Fair in Chicago.

During the 1800s, the hacienda hosted many important guests. Among these was Simón Bolívar, the brilliant Venezuelan general who became known simply as ‘El Liberator’ following his successful struggle to liberate Venezuela, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru from the Spanish yoke. Also the Treaty of Pinsaqui was signed in the hacienda on December 30th 1863.

Since then, the last five generations of the Freile-Larrea family have maintained ownership and care of this historic hacienda. One approaches the main house through imposing white stone gates, the front garden rolling gracefully down to a fountain at the hacienda's main entrance, which then divides into two wings. The hacienda was undeniably built to impress.

Tradition in the hacienda remains strong. Every lunch, local Indian musicians from Otavalo arrive to entertain listeners with their traditional music and warm characters, intimately sharing their culture, through verse and instruments, with the guests.

Dinner and overnight at the Hacienda Pinsaqui.

Day 4: Hacienda Pinsaqui - Otavalo - Cotopaxi

After an early breakfast, drive from Otavalo to the Central Highlands towards Cotopaxi, visiting a b>rose plantation where the versatility of coloured roses like intense dark reds, starling orange, luminous green and sparkling blue will delight your vision.

Arrive at the Hacienda San Agustin de Callo and check into your standard room.

Dinner and overnight at Hacienda San Agustin de Callo in a standard room.

Day 5: Hacienda San Agustin de Callo

After breakfast at the hacienda, you have the rest of the day at leisure to enjoy the facilities (payable direct) of this charming hacienda.

The Hacienda San Agustin de Callo has been constructed over an important Inca Palace which was built around 1440 a.d. by one of the last Inca emperors, Huayna Capac, and to this day the remaining rooms prevail as a magnificent sample of the unique style of Inca construction.

Since the 15th century San Agustin de Callo has served as Inca fortress, Augustinian convent and temporary home for the French Geodesic Mission whose scientific results helped to determine the true shape of the planet.

Famous visitors include Jorge Juan and Antonio de Ulloa who were appointed by the King of Spain to host the Geodesic Mission in 1736, the awesome scientific enterprise organized and led by Charles-Marie de la Condamine, Alexander von Humboldt German scientist, renowned naturalist and explorer and the illustrious English mountain climber Edward Whymper.

Antonio de Ulloa, Spanish scientist and member of this expedition, made a singular drawing of the architectural Inca complex in San Agustin de Callo and with fellow scientist, Jorge Juan, wrote a descriptive document of what they observed at the ruins. While the Geodesic Mission was at work triangulating they witnessed two eruptions of the Cotopaxi in 1743 and 1744.

In 1921 the Hacienda was purchased by General Leonidas Plaza Gutierrez, leader of the Liberal Revolution. Plaza went on to become President of Ecuador in 1901 and -again in 1912, a position which was to be held by his son Galo Plaza in 1948. The Hacienda remains in the family to this day and is currently owned by the General's granddaughter Mignon Plaza, whose father, the distinguished congressman and legendary amateur bullfighter José Maria Plaza, continued to play a pivotal role in politics.

The main house, referred to as the Inca House, with its Spanish courtyard built around Inca rooms, has a warm and romantic atmosphere with magnificent views of the surrounding hills and volcanoes

Callo Lodge is a charming country house set slightly apart from the Inca house with three beautifully decorated bedrooms, living room and kitchen.

In both houses the rooms come with en suite bathrooms and fireplaces in the bedrooms and most bathrooms. Beds are on the generous side and extremely comfortable. The beautiful wall paintings are made by Chilean artist, Manuel Araya.

Nestled in the foothills of Cotopaxi, the highest active volcano in the world, San Agustín de Callo provides the perfect setting for those wishing to enjoy this unique countryside by horse, mountain bike or foot.

Overnight at Hacienda San Agustin de Callo in a standard room.

Day 6: Cotopaxi – Quito

After breakfast at the hacienda, you will be taken either to the Quito airport to catch your onward flight or you will be dropped back at your hotel in Quito.

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Activity Schedule

When does it run?

Daily

Duration

6 Days/5 Nights

Start time

Start time: Your preferred time
Duration: 6 Days/5 Nights

Meeting point

Your hotel in Quito.
(Please advise your hotel at the time of booking. If you do not have this information now, please contact the local activity operator 24 hours prior to the start of the tour with these details.)

Ending point

Your hotel in Quito.

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Inclusions

  • Hotel pick-up and drop-off at Quito
  • Transportation in an air-conditioned vehicle
  • Private bilingual guide (English / Spanish)
  • 1 nights’ accommodation in a tourist class (Superior) hotel in Quito
  • 2 nights’ accommodation in the Hacienda Pinsaqui
  • 2 nights’ accommodation in the Hacienda San Agustin de Callo
  • Breakfast on Days 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
  • Lunch on Day 2, 5
  • Dinner on Days 2, 3, 4, 5

Exclusions

  • Optional activities
  • Meals not mentioned
  • Beverages
  • Cotopaxi National Park entrance fee, US$2.00 net p/p (subject to change)

Please note

Please call the activity operator at least 24 hours prior to start of the tour for reconfirming the departure details.

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Additional info

  • The confirmation voucher includes the local activity operator’s contact details and local telephone numbers at the destination. They will happily answer any logistical questions you may have.
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Cancellation policy

See the Cancellation policy for this product

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