Horseback riding in Haciendas, Ecuador

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Otavalo Ride

Itinerary for Otavalo Ride

Sample Itinerary: 7-day program - subject to changes

Day 1: Arrival
Arrival in the morning. Check in and have lunch. Afternoon 2 hour ride to get to know your horse and guide. Free time for walking or touring around, Otavalo Market, visits to weaving, leather or wood carving studious, or own arrangements. Dinner and overnight at the Hacienda.
Meals included: Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hacienda

Day 2: La Avra
This ride boasts a spectacular combination of indigenous communities, deep forest, and breathtaking views. It has a nice mix of challenge, easy walking and opportunity for galloping. La Avra, a lush forested peak to the right side of Imbabura volcano, is visible from the stables, although don’t be fooled by how close it appears. 
For the first 45 minutes we ascended the narrow, dusty roads up from San Pablo, passing through the indigenous communities of Imbaburita, Angla and Topo. The locals, particularly the children greet us with a cheerful ‘Hola’ or ‘Buenos dias’. In the community of Topo, we pass a quaint, little church with lovely music wafting out. The socio-cultural exposure of this ride is fascinating for all.  
After reaching a certain altitude, we enter a pristine forest of eucalyptus trees that might be mistaken for paradise. The view is magnificent from here and we take a moment to admire Imbabura to the right, the dark blue Lago San Pablo below and the Gualavi Valley to the left with Cusin Hill behind. The ascent through the forest is steep and a bit treacherous at points, but the horses move along with great confidence and agility. Emerging from the forest, we encounter fields of golden wheat and green vegetation planted into the steep hillside. Up ahead is the peak of La Avra. Before beginning the descent along a different path closer to Imbabura, we observe the mighty, snowcapped Cayambe Volcano and also catch a peak of the monstrous Cotapaxi Volcano far off in the distance, to the south of Quito. 
During the ride back, we make our way through a different section of forest, through the community of Imbaburita and then across the town of San Pablo. The beauty of the descending is that you don’t have to turn around to admire the fantastic view because it’s right there in front of you. Riders are often particularly struck by the view of Mojanda Mountain across from us on the southern side of the lake. We should reach the Hacienda around lunchtime. 
Riding: 4.5-5 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hacienda

Day 3: Cusin Mountain
We quickly cross the valley with its different farms and then start to climb Cusin mountain through eucalyptus forests to the above tree line and up to the top. After enjoying the 360° view of beautiful valleys, we descend to our picnic spot and come home in the afternoon. The ride goes up to the above tree line “paramo”, it might be cold and foggy up there.
This one is a steep ride with narrow paths. You will ride having a view of Rose Plantation greenhouses, through Eucalyptus forests, rocks, roots and slippery inclines. After a long climb through the woods, you come out onto an overgrown cobblestone road which continues upwards. Here you have a view way down to the lake.
Riding: 5 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hacienda

Day 4: Agato Village
Excellent ride to appreciate the best landscapes of the area. You will be able to enjoy the quiet and relaxing view of San Pablo lagoon, realize the magnitude of Otavalo’s town and the always nice Imbabura volcano. During the ride you will stop to enjoy your picnic and then continuing with the view of forest, small villages and more.
Considered one of the nicest rides in the area. Dinner and overnight at the Hacienda.
Riding: 5 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hacienda

Day 5: Pesillo- Zuleta  
If you are sticking to the 5-day itinerary, today will be your departure day after breakfast.
A 25-minute drive brings you to our starting point. This ride will be out through pine and eucalyptus forests and high-altitude grasslands to pre-Inca archeological sites amid magnificent volcano views. You can also hike, cycle, or take tours to nearby indigenous villages. We rise out of San Pablo valley, enjoying wonderful views across the lake and also of Imbabura volcano, riding onto the plains beyond for some fast-paced riding. Views of Zuleta valley, the verdant gorges and the 'paramo' (the unique Andean habitat of high grasslands), dewponds and hedges of aloe vera and spikey agave (sisal) atop mud walls are some of the sights that await us on this ride. Following sandy tracks, we then descend into the Zuleta valley with dramatic views across to the hanging valleys and rocky ridges above. A chance of seeing hummingbirds and bright scarlet flycatchers.
Riding: 7 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hacienda

Day 6: Cubiliche Lake Ride
Cubilche is a lake system located at 3826 meters high. From this point, it is possible to observe the main towns and mountains of the region. Its lagoons are of volcanic origin. At the top it has a crater where there are four lagoons: two permanent and two winter or seasonal ponds. We will start the ride from the hacienda, crossing some villages and forests, and then we will approach a small pine and grassland forest. We will enjoy very colorful landscapes depending on the weather, we can see snow-capped mountains like Cayambe, mountains like Imbabura, Mojanda, San Pablo lagoon and Yahuarcocha.
Riding: 7 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hacienda

Day 7: Departure
Our trip concludes after breakfast.
Meals included: Breakfast

Additional full days expeditions can be added if you want to extend your stay by a couple of nights.

Non Riding Activities

Mountain Biking
The relief and geography of the landscapes surrounding the grounds and the San Pablo lake make for enjoyable riding country. Take our well-maintained bikes out for a spin to appreciate the area from ground level, over short or long trails. Helmets must be worn.
Price: $6.00 + tax (*$7.32) / per bicycle / per hour.

Spanish Classes
Ecuadorian Spanish is regarded among the clearest and purest in the Spanish-speaking world – where better to learn or brush up on the language than in the inspiring surroundings of a historic hacienda? Spanish classes with us are private and tailor-made, enriching any stay in the Andean highlands.
Price: $12.00 + tax (*$14.64) / per person / per hour

Cooking Classes (min 2 pax)
Our popular cooking classes can be organised with our talented team of chefs. We’ll get started learning how to make traditional ‘wind empanadas’ (turnovers filled with cheese and raisins) followed by cooking a delicious trout fillet with vegetables inside an aluminium foil papillote. Other recipes can be requested, too.
Price: $ 26 + 22% taxes per person

Bird watching
In the lush and exuberant year-round flowering gardens of the hacienda flit more than 50 species of birds, with vermilion flycatchers, fan-tailed hawks, owls tropical hummingbirds and the eye-catching northern yellow grosbeak sure to elicit a gasp of wonder. Use our bird list to check off the species you spot while bird watching and let us know if there are any we have missed out!

Massages (need to book in advance - inquire for prices)
To help guests relax, professional, exemplary, in-room massages invite you to unwind and pause, escaping from the pressures of daily life.
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Otavalo Ride
Tour Code: IT-ECSR02
5 days / 4 nights ~$865.00
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 2022 01/01 - 12/31 5d / 4n 5 day trip, AP 1 /7 Reserve
B 2022 01/01 - 12/31 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP 1 /7 Reserve
Day to Day Itinerary
Rates | Dates
Tack: Ecuadorian (similar to Western)
Horses: Creole, Peruvian
Pace: Moderate with trots and some short can...
Walk, Trot, Canter,
Airport: Quito
Location on Google Map
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