Andean Folklore, Adventure & Traditions


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 will hosted by six 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.


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.

Not Included:

Beverages, tips and personal expenses.


For horse and nature lovers alike, Hacienda La Alegría, well-known for its warm, traditional hospitality, is sure to meet expectations. Located in the heart of Ecuador’s Avenue of the Volcanoes, the recently restored house offers all the luxuries and comforts of home in a beautiful Andean setting.


Hacienda San Agustín de Callo was built on the site of an Inca fortress, one of the two most important archeological sites in Ecuador and the northern most point from Cuzco of the Inca empire. Dating back to the 15th century, the hacienda offers a unique insight into Ecuador’s colourful past.


Built in 1965, Hacienda Manteles, one of the most beautiful hotel-haciendas in Ecuador, is nestled between the Sangay and Llanganati National Parks atop a peaceful Andean valley where it offers its guests stunning views of the Tungurahua Volcano, active since 1999.


Dating back to 1695, the historic hacienda ‘La Ciénega’ has been in the possession of the same family ever since. Illustrious guests who have been cosseted behind the grand old house’s two-meter thick walls include Carlos Maria de la Condamine who led the French Geodesic Mission, numerous Ecuadorian presidents and the acclaimed (and almost certainly gay) geographer, naturalist and explorer, Alexander von Humboldt – the founder of modern geography.


Located in the heart of Ecuador’s famous Avenue of the Volcanoes, Hacienda El Porvenir offers an unparalleled experience to lovers of nature and adventure in one of the most unique places on earth. Here, the focus is not only on discovering the Andes through adventure sport and interaction with its colourful and charismatic local inhabitants, but also on sustainable development and nature conservation.


Travel back to colonial times at La Carriona, a beautiful 200-year-old hacienda that stands as one of the monuments to Ecuador’s fascinating history. The 1,500 square metre home is surrounded by 5 hectares of lush green gardens. Each of the hacienda’s comfortable rooms and suites are designed in their own unique style.


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 south to Hacienda San Agustín de Callo, a unique property built on the remains of an imperial Inca fortress on the western edge of the Cotopaxi National Park. There will be time to adjust to the altitude walking on the grounds or simply relaxing by the fireplace. Dinner will be hosted by the owners. (Lunch & dinner included)


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. Lunch will be served in an artisan’s home.

After lunch, continue south along the Avenue of the Volcanoes to Hacienda Manteles, one of the most beautiful hotel-haciendas in the country. Relax and enjoy a typical Andean hacienda dinner. (Breakfast, lunch & dinner included)


Today, the journey continues to Baños de Agua Santa, locally known as “Baños”, a popular, picturesque town that sits at the base of the active Tungurahua Volcano. Baños, with its village-like atmosphere, offers a variety of outdoor adventure activities to its visitors including climbing, zip-lines and mountain biking. While exploring the town, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Later, take an exciting drive along the Pastaza River Canyon, also called the “Route of the Waterfalls”, one of the most popular destinations in Ecuador. This magical refuge is home to more than 60 spectacular waterfalls, ha

After enjoying the breathtaking scenery in the reserve, travel back to Hacienda Manteles we drive back to Hacienda Manteles to enjoy once again the welcoming atmosphere and relax next to the cozy fireplace before dinner. (Breakfast, lunch & dinner included)


After breakfast, depart back to the heart of the Andean mountains to circle the base of Chimborazo, the highest volcano in the Ecuadorian Andes and soak in the spectacular views. Here, there is a good chance to spot vicuñas grazing free on these extensive gravel plains. Hacienda Manteles will cater a picnic lunch.

Later, return north towards the province of Cotopaxi with a stop at a local native ceramics workshop along the way. Continue on to Hacienda La Ciénega, a stately 300-year-old mansion that was converted into a hotel and a restaurant some years ago. Enjoy the grounds of this magnificent estate and relax before dinner. (Breakfast, lunch & dinner included)


This morning, depart to the Cotopaxi National Park and Hacienda El Porvenir where, after getting decked out in riding chaps, ponchos and cowboy hats, 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, 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)

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