Otavalo Ride

Haciendas Ecuador: (IT-ECSR02)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/ecuador_otavalo_ride.aspx

Haciendas Ecuador
Your riding trip unravels at the 17th century Andean estate near Otavalo - This Hacienda is one of the leading country inns in Ecuador. Its white walls and terracotta tiles nestle beneath a deep blue sky in a wide, pastoral valley. It is the antithesis of urban life. You will explore the beautiful countryside on several riding days through the valley and up the mountains - all along meeting friendly natives with their colorful dresses and adorable children.

Celebrities and royalty alike have chosen this place as their luxurious base for their travels in Ecuador, and once you step foot inside its courtyard gates, you’ll know why. Dine by Koi fountains filled with fragrant rosebuds, explore nooks and crannies for the hidden doorway or head to the village to look for exquisite handicrafts. Return to your antique-filled room after dinner, and you’ll be greeted by a roaring blaze in your very own kiva fireplace.

The first ride is a short 2-hour ride to get used to the horses and tack, leaving enough time to visit the Otavalo Indigenous market in the afternoon. You will be in the saddle for 3 to 5 hours for your remaining riding days. There are options to extend your ride by one or two nights with lots more riding, or if you want to combine your stay with more sightseeing - you can opt for 2 hrs of riding a day - leaving enough free time to venture out on your own to explore.


This is a stationary ride, so all nights are spent in the same location.

The Hacienda is a restored 17th century Andean estate at 8,500 feet, 90 minutes north of Quito and 20 minutes south from the famous market town of Otavalo. The Equatorial line and snowcapped Cayambe Mountain are 30 minutes away. The hacienda's terracotta-tile roofs, winding cobblestone pathways, courtyards and perennial gardens nestle beneath a deep blue sky in a wide, pastoral lake valley. Nearby, the often snowcapped 15,000-foot Cotacachi volcano is reflected in Lago San Pablo. An ancient lakebed, cool nights and a predictable equatorial sun have conspired with avid gardeners to create several acres of ever-blooming gardens which include belladonna, bougainvillea, agapantha, acanthas, foxgloves, orchids and palms that attract over 50 species of birds.

Individually decorated guestrooms and garden cottages, with private bathrooms with oversize towels and toiletries, are furnished with selected fine Andean crafts, king-size beds with hand woven bed-covers, antiques, writing desks and views of prolific perennial gardens and often snow-capped mountains. Most of the guestrooms have garden access and a log-fire for cool evenings. Electricity, 110 v., plugs as in U.S.A.

Public rooms such as Salon Bolivar, Salon Cotacachi, Sala de Lectura, library (where tea is served all day), dining room and refectory, are antique furnished and have log-burning fireplaces.
Relax in the uniquely furnished Salon Bolivar, the cozy bar, or the library and garden reading room with French windows that look onto an adobe-walled garden and lawns under an ancient cedro tree. Enjoy Ecuadorian and International cuisine in a dining room with antique wall tapestries and chandeliers, dinner by candlelight and a log fire. 

Laundry is available for an additional fee. WIFI is available in the main house and the library.

Television/ VCR viewing rooms with 200 selected feature documentary video films.
Telephone, fax, email, copy machine, overhead projector, 35mm projectors, VCRs.
Conference room seating 55 / 100 for presentation, 4 seminar rooms
Library and game room (ping pong and pool table)

The Garden
A grand 7 acres with 58 species of plans attract 49 species of birds. The black soil and predictable equatorial sun have created seven acres of ever blooming gardens. Annuals have become perennials. The library's French windows look onto a large, walled, ever blooming garden filled with lawns, deep yellow blossoms of the cholan tree, palm, belladonna, bougainvillea, foxgloves, hollyhocks and orchids.


By request

Room Occupancy
Single and triple rooms are available at request.
Single supplement is only mandatory for those who are not willing to share.

All meals are included from lunch on Day 1 to breakfast on your last day. Dress code is casual by day, smart-casual for dinner.
Delicious Ecuadorian and European meals are served. Vegetables and fruits are locally grown. Menus based on local soups and appetizers and International styles for the main dish.

Breakfast: 7 — 9:30 a.m.
We serve fresh juices and bread with homemade jams, eggs, pancakes, premium Ecuadorian coffee and international breakfast classics.

Lunch: 12:30 — 3:00 p.m.
A range of famous Ecuadorian soups, salads from our organic vegetable gardens, nutritious quinoa and premium meat, as well as lighter options of sandwiches and lovingly-prepared salads are available. Desserts are also a highlight.

Dinner: 7—9:00 p.m.
A three-course meal inspired by Ecuador’s finest ingredients and international influences, prepared by dedicated local chefs is something to look forward to come nightfall, with well-chosen international wines and local coffee to round off dinner at the hacienda.

The dining room water is potable. Alcohol is not included on the trip, but can be purchased for an additional fee.

Dietary Restrictions
We can cater to dietary restrictions given prior notice.

This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.



  • Drink plenty of water before your trip. For longer journeys water will be supplied
  • Apply sun-block beforehand and bring sunglasses. The equatorial sun is extremely strong even behind the clouds. Obligatory helmets come with visors.
  • Wear jeans or thick pants and a sturdy pair of shoes or sneakers
  • Bring a camera to capture the astounding views but make sure it is well protected

Usually to be found in the stables: 8 horses, llamas, pigs, guinea-pigs, rabbits, guinea-hens, turkeys, chickens, dogs, cows, geese, etc.


Sample Itinerary: 7-day program - subject to changes

Day 1: Arrival
Arrival in the morning. Check in and have lunch. In the afternoon, go on a 2-hour ride to get to know your horse and guide.
Then, 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: 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.

Rates and Dates for Otavalo Ride

Rates include:

Accommodations, All meals & 3 riding days with Spanish speaking horse guide (depending on program)

Packages and Options

  • SeasonYearDescription US$
    20245 day trip$935
A 10% gratuity will be added to your invoice. Feel free to also tip your horse guide. We accept American Dollars only. Payments can be made in cash or by card (AMEX, Visa, Mastercard and Diners).\


Tax 1: 22 % * prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy
Gratuity: 10 %
Tax: 22 %  

Transfer and Other Charges:

2024 Transfer from Quito airport or hotel (1-2 pax) return ~
This is a "Group Rate" - to be paid locally
2024 Transfer from Quito airport or hotel (3-4 pax) return ~
This is a "Group Rate" - to be paid locally
2024 Local bus from Quito, one way ~
- to be paid locally
2024 Single supplement $220
2024 Triple room discount, pp $-75

Season Seasons  Min / MaxReserve
A 2024 01/01 - 12/31 5d / 4n 5 day trip 1 /7 Reserve

Dates Note: any time throughout the year
Sold Out Dates (as of 3/21/23): June 19-26

Rates do not include:

Transfers from/to Quito, Gratuities, Taxes, Insurance, Extra riding hours

Other Info
Meeting: San Pablo
Airport: Quito
Transfer: Quito hotel or airport

                                            Quito area














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Source: NOAA

The hacienda is located in the highlands of Ecuador and enjoys a temperate Andean climate with temperatures ranging from the mid 50°F to the low 70°F. Therefore, there is never a bad time to visit, even though the nights can get chilly all year-round. Some afternoon rain showers are possible from October to January. June to September are the hottest, driest months with the clearest skies.

What To Bring:
The equatorial sun is extremely strong, even when hiding behind the clouds, so we recommend applying good sun-block before your ride as well as wearing sunglasses.
Helmets are mandatory. It is possible to borrow some locally.

This list is only a guideline for you


Travel documents and Voucher

Flight tickets


Visa (check with your consulate)



Riding pants or Jodhpurs (used if possible!)

Riding boots (short) + Minichaps

Riding helmet  (Helmets must be worn)

Riding gloves

Hat (with chin strip) for sun protection

Lightweight Rain coat



Jacket or sweater for cool evenings

Comfortable T-Shirts/Shirts



Underwear and socks


Bag for dirty clothes

Trekking boots/ comfortable shoes




Personal Toiletries

Insect protection

Personal medications

Sore cream (for the emergency)

Sewing kit


Adapter for electric appliances

Camera and enough extra films and batteries

Belt pack

Address book and pen (for pictures postcards!)

Sun glasses with strap

Sun tan lotion and lip balm