Horseback riding in Haciendas, Ecuador

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- Touch the Sky Trail
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Horseback riding vacations in Ecuador, Haciendas

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Equestrian tours in Ecuador, Haciendas
Touch the Sky Trail

Itinerary for Touch the Sky Trail

Sample-Itinerary - subject to changes

Note: These tours are just a sample of the many options we have. Please remember that pace, distance and destinations depend on you, almost everything is possible for us and our great horses.

Day 1: Arrival
You arrive in the afternoon after a drive through lush pasture lands. With some luck, you will have stunning views of the snowcapped volcano, Cayambe, which is just a few miles away. One of our hosts will welcome you personally upon arrival, and assist you with check in to your guest suite. Once settled, the herd will be waiting for you to choose your horse for the first ride and you will get the chance to try it in the ring at all paces. A bilingual riding instructor is available for your questions. After lunch, we will ride up to Santa Rosa, through forest and dense vegetation up to a view point from where you have an overview of the whole Zuleta valley. As we will be right above the Condor center and close to a feeding point, we will most likely see a wild condor fly by. Up here, you will also have the best bird’s eye view of the ancient pre-Incan Caranqui pyramids that are spread all over the property. The loop continues with beautiful vistas of mountain slopes painted by that special afternoon light, and maybe a family of spectacle bears or foxes will come to say hello. Leaving the forest, we will canter over a field with high grass, before we have to focus on our balance when the horse starts to climb down. Upon reaching flat grounds, with the barn at a short distance, the horses will volunteer a last gallop with some jumps over small ditches. A nice glass of wine in the living room, a roaring fire, comfortable sofas and a chat with your host will entertain you until dinner time.

Day 2-4 or 2-7: Riding Activities

Partake in half-day rides, combining two shorter rides or a longer trail. See trail examples below.

Day 5 or 8: Goodbye
After breakfast, we invite you to explore our organic garden, where you can learn about permaculture and see where the ingredients for our menu originate. You can explore the farm operation, feed baby calves, count sheep, talk to the vaqueros (local Cowboys), enjoy our embroidery shop, or relax in the garden before leaving for your next destination.

Half Day Trail Ride Examples (included in package)

The Condor Project
Our most popular route is to the Condor Huasi Project facilities located in La Rinconada de San Pedro Valley. Here you can learn about Zuleta’s wildlife as well as our efforts to protect and nurture endangered condors and spectacled bears. We ride past the Hacienda’s pastures, milking sheds, and trout farm via pretty cobblestone roads. You will see many ancient Caranqui tolas – pyramids dating from before the Inca conquest. On the way back, you may choose to climb the highest ceremonial pyramid, which offers great views of the area. You may also see wild condors taking advantage of the high winds on the mountainside. The ride includes an hour-long talk, approximately, at the Condor Huasi facilities.
Estimated Time: 4 hours (including 1 hour talk approx.)
Difficulty Level: Easy
Minimum Age Requirement: 6 years
Suggested Departure Time: 10 AM or 2 PM
Elevation: 2,964-3,018 m / 9,724-9,901 ft

Zuleta Cultural Tour
For a more in-depth look at the history and culture of Zuleta, we take you through the village to an interesting house museum at the community’s highest point. Here you will find many well-preserved examples of Zuleta’s traditional farming, weaving, and cooking implements as well as weapons, fine leatherwork, and other interesting ephemera. If the weather permits, we will see stunning views of snow-capped Mount Cayambe and the surrounding landscape. On the way, we will also stop by the community’s famous embroidery shops where you can learn about this centuries-old art and purchase some lovely gifts later if you wish. The ride incorporates views of the cemetery, town hall, and church as well as some historic adobe-and-tile-roof houses. There is also an opportunity to see a local leather specialist who makes all of the Hacienda’s saddles and leatherwork. To take full advantage of this ride, we recommend taking a bilingual guide for an extra charge.
Estimated Time: 3-4 hours
Difficulty Level: Easy

Minimum Age Requirement: 6-8 years
Suggested Departure Time: 8:30/9 AM or 2 PM
Elevation: 2,964-3,018 m / 9,724-9,901 ft

Uphill Riding
Stand on the shoulders of the mountains as we venture to the pinnacle of Santa Rosa. First, we climb winding paths, glimpsing the Hacienda through eucalyptus trees. We then pass a small reservoir and waterfall as we continue on to the high pastures where the entire valley opens up before us. On a clear day, we can see snowcapped volcanos Cayambe and Cotapaxi to the left in the distance, with Mount Imbabura towering across the vale. Further north, the mountains meander down beyond Angochagua and La Rinconada to the city of Ibarra, while behind us lies the mysterious wilderness of the Andean páramo. We circle round to the Vista Condor to catch magnificent views of La Rinconada de San Pedro Valley, with its condor facilities and Caranqui pyramids, before returning home through fragrant cypress and eucalyptus groves.
Estimated Time: 3-4 hours
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Minimum Age Requirement: 6-8 years
Suggested Departure Time: 8:30/9 AM or 2 PM
Elevation: 2,964-3,239m / 9,724-10,921 ft

Mount Cunrro
This ride gives us a chance to see a different side of the Zuleta valley. We leave from the main gate, passing through the village, then climb through pastures and fields towards Mount Cunrro, an extinct volcano. If weather permits, we may see behind us the glorious Mount Cayambe, a snowy peak with an elevation of 5,790 masl (almost 19,000 ft!). Cunrro dominates this side of the valley – a vast, conical hill jutting from the foot of Mount Imbabura and surrounded by woodland at its base. We pass through cool eucalyptus groves and, at the summit, enjoy views of Zuleta’s green, furrowed mountains stretching all the way from the Hacienda through to Angochagua and towards Ibarra. After a short rest, we descend back to the village and return to the Hacienda.
Estimated Time: 3-4 hours
Difficulty Level: Intermediate
Minimum Age Requirement: 6-8 years
Suggested Departure Time: 8:30/9 AM or 2 PM
Elevation: 2,964-3,300 m/ 9,724-10,826 ft

Angochagua Cultural Ride
We head north of the property, past Rosario’s milking sheds and verdant fields, where we can take a quick detour to the waterfall if you wish. At the Hacienda’s limits, we reach a road leading to the picturesque farming community of Angochagua, nestled in a crook of the mountains. Following a stream, we visit the Andean home of Fernando Colimba, a native of the area, who built the classic adobe and thatched roof property as a house museum to preserve his local culture. Here he demonstrates age-old techniques for grinding corn and spinning wool and shows us old artifacts from the area’s agricultural past. We return, riding up the shoulder of Mount Cunrro and through the community to see these old farming ways in action. Please tell your host in advance if you wish to do this ride so that we can arrange for the museum to be open. An English-speaking guide is advised but not absolutely necessary.
Estimated Time: 3-4 hours
Difficulty Level: Intermediate
Minimum Age Required: 6-8 years
Suggested Departure Time: 8:30/9 AM or 2 PM
Elevation: 2,964-3,100 m / 9,724-10,170 ft 

Full Day Rides (available at added costs)
- The Condor, Community, and Waterfall Ride (5+ hours)
- Ride to Mount Cubilche (5+ hours)
- Lake View Ride (6-7 hours)
- La Chimba and Indigenous History Ride (6-7 hours)
- Angochagua and La Rinconada Cultural Ride (6-7 hours)
- Hacienda to Hacienda - Zuleta to Cusin (6-7 hours)
- Ventana Grande (6-7 hours)
- The Towers (6 hours)
- The Ventanas Loop (12 hours)
- Páramo Cusin (6-7 hours)

Non Riding Activities (included in program)
• Condor Rehabilitation Center and flying condor viewpoint (unique in Ecuador!); without guide.
• Extensive gardens and pond (with a host).
• Chapel (with a host).
• 60 km of self-guided trails (without guide).
• Visit to the community and to different sites of interest including embroidery stores, saddle factories, museums, etc. (without guide).
• 14th century Caranqui archeological pyramids (without guide).
• 1,700 hectares Hacienda grounds and farm operations: cheese museum, organic vegetable garden, worm farm, milking sheds, trout farm (with a host).
• Foundation´s involvement: Community library and embroidery shop (with a host). 

Other activities with added cost (please inquire for rates):
• Riding lessons (beginners)
• Special programs with children: horse care
• Rides in the horse drawn carriage
• Embroidery lessons
• Cooking lesson
• Guided bird and condor watching
• Private milking lessons
• Guided excursions
• Guided Tour of the colonial city of Ibarra and the Otavalo Indian Market.
• Bike rental
• Massages
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Touch the Sky Trail
Tour Code: IT-ECSR03
8 days / 7 nights ~$3,085.00
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.

Online Reservation

Season Seasons  Min / MaxReserve
A 2021 01/01 - 12/31 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP- Standard Roo... 2 /10 Reserve
B 2021 01/01 - 12/31 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP- Deluxe Room ... 2 /10 Reserve
C 2021 01/01 - 12/31 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP- Junior Suite... 2 /10 Reserve
D 2021 01/01 - 12/31 5d / 4n 5 day trip, AP- Standard Roo... 2 /10 Reserve
E 2021 01/01 - 12/31 5d / 4n 5 day trip, AP- Deluxe Room ... 2 /10 Reserve
F 2021 01/01 - 12/31 5d / 4n 5 day trip, AP- Junior Suite... 2 /10 Reserve
Day to Day Itinerary
Rates | Dates
Tack: The South American tack utilized is ve...
Horses: Zuletenan breed; a mixture between And...
Pace: Slow moderate with trots and canters a...
Walk, Trot, Canter,
Airport: Quito
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