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- Colonial Hacienda and Inca Trail
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Colonial Hacienda and Inca Trail

Itinerary for Colonial Hacienda and Inca Trail

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 (Saturday): Introductory Ride
Guests are met in Quito by their bilingual riding guide and driven into the northern highlands of Ecuador. After a quick stop on the equator line, we meet the horses and, once everyone is comfortable, head out along the grassy lanes. Having admired the magnificent view atop a hill carpeted with wild flowers, we descend to a family run Hacienda in a beautiful pastoral valley. This small working farm with a dairy herd and Andalusian (PRE) horses is the perfect location to leisurely drift into the relaxing Andean atmosphere. Once settled in at the Hacienda, guests can view the collection of Inca and pre-Inca ceramics discovered on site.
Riding approx. 4-5 hours
Meals included: Picnic Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hacienda in Zuleta Valley

Day 2 (Sunday): Fields & San Pablo Lake
We leave the historic hacienda on horseback and ride on to another colonial hacienda built in 1602.
Today, we ride past tiny hamlets of adobe huts, the ladies in their brightly coloured full skirts herding sheep and pigs. We ride through woodlands, and wind our way around the patchwork fields of quinoa, potatoes, maize, lupins and tree tomato orchards.
Magnificent views of the jagged Mojanda summit as we cross the slopes of the sacred Imbabura Volcano - the focus of many pre-Inca legends. Nearing the Hacienda, we pass avocadoes, papaya, passion fruit and, riding into the Hacienda courtyard, graced with bougainvillea, the hummingbirds zoom past us en route to the agapanthus.
A blast of dazzling Andean colour is provided on a visit to the famous Otavalo market.
Riding approx. 5-6 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Picnic Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hacienda in San Pablo

Day 3 (Monday): Pastoral Zuleta Valley
After a fascinating demonstration by local master weavers and a chance to purchase top quality Andean handicrafts, we ride out of the Hacienda. Climbing out the valley onto the plains, we pick up the pace and, following agave-lined sandy tracks, ride through a landscape frequently described by guests as the most picturesque they have ever seen. Dramatic views of the hanging valleys and rocky ridges as we descend to lush meadows below passing ladies in traditional dress embroidering intricate blouses as they watch their flocks. We stop to see the pre-Inca earthworks dotted around this valley (one of the first highland areas settled), also often pausing in awe at the sight of a mighty Andean condor soaring overhead.
Afternoon drive to a very comfortable country hotel located at the trail head of the next part of our ride.
Riding approx. 6 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Picnic Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hacienda in Rumipamba

Day 4 (Tuesday): Wild Andes
First riding along lanes between the meadows, riders get used to their new horses. Alongside the gurgling river, the abundance of lush vegetation is quite surprising: montane bamboo, ferns and native trees dripping with orchids and bromelias. The birds such as woodpeckers and hummingbirds are wonderful to see, the vultures a little unnerving! As we leave the micro-climate of the river valley, extensive views open up before us. Surrounded by four Andean peaks - part of the Avenue of Volcanoes, we ride towards the iconic Cotopaxi Volcano. Riding onto rough grasslands in the Sincholagua foothills there is a good chance of seeing more Andean Condors as well as eagles, hawks, falcons and harriers. At the northern border of the Cotopaxi National Park we arrive at a modern hacienda, often greeted by the llamas. This idyllic location with remarkable views of the marvelous Andean landscape encircling us dominated by the perfectly conical shape of the snow-capped Cotopaxi Volcano will be our base for 2 nights.
Riding approx. 6 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Picnic Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hacienda in Pedregal

Day 5 (Wednesday): Open Plains & Wild Horses
We ride into Cotopaxi national park on our adorable sure-footed criollo horses for some exhilarating canters across the wide, arid plains at the base of the Cotopaxi
Volcano. The horses enjoy the open spaces but have such a calm temperament that they settle into a rhythm without trying to rush. Several herds of wild horses inhabit the park and to ride alongside these long-manned horses galloping freely across the rugged terrain is a unique experience. Part of this ride follows the main Inca highway which linked Quito with Cusco, Peru, then we turn eastwards to follow the Inca route leading down to the Amazon. We pause to visit the remains of an Inca fort before continuing on through the gently undulating grassy hills, passing drumlins and moraine, crossing lahas and old lava flows before returning to the Hacienda via a canyon.
Riding approx. 6 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Picnic Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hacienda in Pedregal

Day 6 (Thursday): Rugged Peaks & Incredible Views 
We head up the slopes of Rumiñahui Volcano (‘stoneface’) with an excellent chance of close encounters with the Andean condor, fox and deer. We pass polylepis trees (‘paperbark trees’), native shrubs such as chuquiragua and valeriana and a host of colourful wild flowers hugging the hillsides. Rising above 4000 metres (13 123 ft) and experiencing one of the highest canters in the world we then ride on into a hidden valley often seeing wild horses grazing close to the towering cliffs.
The views are unforgettable and the picnic spot unmatchable. The trails, marked out by the wild horses, take us back down and on to a once important Jesuit Hacienda recently restored and now a delightful place to stay.
Riding approx. 6-7 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Picnic Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Old Jesuit Hacienda near Cotopaxi NP

Day 7 (Friday): High Pass & Avenue of Volcanoes
The final ride takes us on an exhilarating canter across the flat expanses of Cotopaxi National Park close to the volcano where we traverse old lava, volcanic ash and lahas. We then veer westwards and start a long ascent with outstanding views. Riding up through the native grasslands in order to reach the scree slopes and cross
over into the Avenue of the Volcanoes we leave the national park and often meet local horsemen (‘chagras’) checking their cattle – quite a sight, with their colourful
ponchos, thick goatskin chaps and intricately plaited bridles. Their stirrups are enclosed – like clogs, and often carved into an animal head. Their lassos seem impossibly long to do anything with – but very necessary when working with their very feisty bulls: they lasso the animal then get as far away as possible!
We leave the horses and are driven to a historic hacienda close to Quito Airport for dinner and overnight.
Riding approx. 6-7 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Picnic Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hacienda close to Quito Airport

Day 8 (Saturday): Departure
Following breakfast, guests are accompanied to the airport in time for their outward flights, or are picked up at their hotel to continue on extensions. End of services.
Meals included: Breakfast

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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Colonial Hacienda and Inca Trail
Tour Code: IT-ECRT03
8 days / 7 nights ~$4,175.00
Dates : Available all Year

Trip Rating :
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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Check here for details and availability
Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2023 06/10 - 06/17 8d / 7n 8 day trip 4 /8 Reserve
A 2023 07/08 - 07/15 8d / 7n 8 day trip 4 /8 Reserve
A 2023 07/15 - 07/22 8d / 7n 8 day trip 4 /8 Reserve
A 2023 08/05 - 08/12 8d / 7n 8 day trip 4 /8 Reserve
A 2023 09/02 - 09/09 8d / 7n 8 day trip 4 /8 Reserve
A 2023 09/30 - 10/07 8d / 7n 8 day trip 4 /8 Reserve
A 2023 11/04 - 11/11 8d / 7n 8 day trip 4 /8 Reserve
A 2023 11/18 - 11/25 8d / 7n 8 day trip 4 /8 Reserve
A 2023 12/02 - 12/09 8d / 7n 8 day trip 4 /8 Reserve
A 2023 12/23 - 12/30 8d / 7n 8 day trip 4 /8 Reserve
Day to Day Itinerary
Rates | Dates
October Fiesta Trip
Tack: McClellan western style saddles with s...
Horses: Local criollo crossed with Andalusian,...
Pace: Moderate with trots and long canters i...
Walk, Trot, Canter,
Airport: Quito
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