Horseback riding in Haciendas, Ecuador

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- Andean Valley Retreat
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Horseback riding vacations in Ecuador, Haciendas

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Equestrian tours in Ecuador, Haciendas
Andean Valley Retreat

Itinerary for Andean Valley Retreat

Sample Itinerary - subject to changes

Note: This sample itinerary is subject to changes at the tour operator's discretion due to unforeseen reasons such as weather, track conditions...

Day 1: Highlands & History Ride
Heading north-east from Quito, we cross the equator line and meet the horses. Once everyone is comfortable, we ride to a working ranch. As we ride along grassy tracks into this picturesque valley – meeting ladies in colourful local dress herding their animals along the way – time slows down, and guests are transported back a few decades to farming methods long since lost in many places. Arriving at the Hacienda, guests can leisurely drift into the relaxing Andean life – with a tea or a cold beer in the courtyard or a walk to see the Andalusian horses in their pastures. Look out for Andean condors soaring overhead, as well as a flyover by the egrets returning to roost.
Riding approx. 2-5 hours
Meals included: Picnic Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hacienda in Zuleta Valley

Day 2: Imbabura Volcano 
We ride out through the valley, encircled by meadows and enjoying canters along the agave-lined tracks. Leaving the valley floor, the views are breath-taking as we gaze out across the valleys to the distant ridges and volcanoes. Passing the Adobe houses, children tumble out to greet us enthusiastically, then turn their attention to keeping the errant pigs and sheep off patchwork fields of quinoa, potatoes, maize corn and lupines. Reaching the sacred Imbabura Volcano – the focus of many pre-Inca legends – we cross the valley with faster-paced riding for those that wish on the flat dirt trails, and then head back to the Hacienda via a different route. Guests can view the collection of Inca and pre-Inca pottery excavated on site and also walk into the nearby village to see the elaborate embroidery that has made this valley famous.
Riding approx. 3-6 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Picnic Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hacienda in Zuleta Valley

Day 3: Cayambe Volcano 
After breakfast – complete with the Hacienda’s own milk, cream, cheese and jam – we bid farewell and ride off to another part of the farm to see the fighting bulls, then leave the valley by a different route. Climbing into the hills alongside gorges, there are dramatic views of the hanging valleys and rocky ridges produced at the end of the Ice Age. Cantering along the forest tracks, we emerge onto a plain and look back to see some of the pre-Inca earthworks dotted around the valley – one of the first highland areas ever settled. It is rare not to spot a mighty Andean condor overhead, the 3.2 metres (10 ½ feet) wingspan leaving visitors awestruck. Riding on towards the snow-capped Cayambe Volcano that dominates the skyline, guests say goodbye to the horses and are driven back to Quito.
Riding approx. 3-6 hours
Meals included: Breakfast & Picnic Lunch

If non-riders wish to accompany the tour, alternative activities can be organized for them and on most days, everyone can meet up for mid-day meals. 

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Andean Valley Retreat
Tour Code: IT-ECSR10
3 days / 2 nights
Dates : Available all Year

Difficulty : Riding Level
Riding Level Explained
Beginner A rider who has limited experience, is unable to post the trot and does not canter.
Novice A rider who is capable of mounting and dismounting unassisted, capable of applying basic aids, comfortable and in control at the walk, moderate length posting trots, and short canters.
Intermediate A rider who has a firm seat, is confident and in control at all paces (including posting trots, two point canters and gallops), but does not ride regularly.
D Strong Intermediate
Strong Intermediate An intermediate rider who is currently riding regularly and is comfortable in the saddle for at least 6 hours per day.
All of the above, plus an independent seat, soft hands, and capable of handlinga spirited horse in open country.
Lodging: Standard
Lodging Level Explained
= Facilities in lodges, estancias, haciendas, resorts, etc.
Basic lodging - some with shared bathroom facilities, usually no AC or room service.
Regular standard room - usually with private bath.
 Accommodations with superior comforts.
 = Trips with nights in tent camps. Sometimes the first and last night are in hotels.
Basic tent camping - everyone helps out with camp chores.
Regular standard with some camp amenities and camp cook.
Camping facilities with superior comforts like camp shower, bathroom facility..
 = Trips that combine nights in hotels and camping.
Basic accommodation and basic camping facilities can be expected.
Regular standard with some nicer amenities.
Only assigned to hotel and camping facilities with superior comforts.

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Day to Day Itinerary
Rates | Dates
Tack: McClellan western style saddles with s...
Horses: Local criollo crossed with Andalusian,...
Pace: Riding lessons available for beginners
Walk, Trot, Canter,
Airport: Quito
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