Hacienda Zuleta in the Andes

Customizable from From $280

Built in 1691, Hacienda Zuleta lies in the spectacular Andean mountain range of Ecuador at 9,600 feet. Explore the mountains by horseback, mountain bike or foot. Learn about the rich culture of this community that still operates as they did hundreds of years ago. Dine on food that is locally sourced and fall asleep to the crackling fire in your room’s fireplace.

Hacienda Zuleta in the Andes

Historic Hacienda Zuleta in the Andes with Locally Sourced Cuisine

The hacienda has 14 beautifully decorated bedrooms, all with their own fire place, antique gardens along with cozy living and reading rooms offer a peaceful atmosphere. Delicious, homey Ecuadorian cuisine among other types of gastronomic adventures are offered daily, prepared with organic vegetables, trout and dairy products produced on the Hacienda.

Hacienda Zuleta offers a great variety of activities and places to visit for all ages and level of activity desired. With horseback riding being the specialty in Ecuador, also offered are mountain bikes and horse drawn carriages for trips on hacienda grounds to observe the milking, agriculture, mountain views and the tranquil life of the community. The numerous trails will also keep the biggest trekking enthusiast busy for days as they discover waterfalls, ruins and the numerous flora and fauna of the area.

Guests can also visit our Condor Andes rehabilitation program “Condor Huasi Project” that works for the rehabilitation of the majestic Andean Condor.

The Plaza family with his natural warmth and hospitality welcomes you to their country house and invites you to share life at an authentic hacienda in the Andes of Ecuador.

Read the article from Outside Magazine

Day 1
You arrive at Hacienda Zuleta, Ecuador Hotel, in the afternoon after a drive through lush pastureland. With some luck you will enjoy stunning views of the snow-capped volcano Cayambe on your way, which is just a few miles away from Zuleta. Your host will welcome you personally at Zuleta and after checking in to your room and explain to you about the activities the hacienda offers and will find out about your personal preferences, needs or questions while having some afternoon tea or coffee.

After planning your stay you will be shown around the main building where you will learn more about Zuleta’s history, see former President Galo Plaza Lasso’s private library, our chapel and wander through our beautiful gardens. As the sun sets, it gets chilly at Zuleta, so enjoy some wine and farm made Ecuadorian cheese beside the fireplace while reading our information folders and books, learning more about our foundation, Galo Plaza, our horse breeding business or about the local culture of Ecuadorian the highlands.

Day 2
If you are an early morning person you might want to enjoy one of our short hikes before breakfast and try to catch sight of the countless birds we have at Zuleta. After an exquisite breakfast with eggs, pancakes, muesli, fruit and homemade bread you will be able to visit the cheese factory and learn more about Zuleta´s semi-aged, handmade Ecuadorian cheeses and how the process has changed throughout history.

As mornings are usually sunny throughout the whole year, it is best to take advantage and use this time to take our condor tour. By hiking, biking or horseback riding to our Andean Condor reserve. In the mornings, you are most likely to spot a Ecuadorian wild condor flying by. The reserve is located 3 km from the guesthouse, in a native forest valley. You will learn about the foundation’s efforts, see rescued Andean condors in our aviary, and visit the nearby trout farm. The route back takes us through pasture land where we ride between ancient monuments of the Caranqui culture; seeing both small burial mounds dating back to 700 A.D., and giant ceremonial truncated ramp pyramids from the 13th century. At lunch time you can enjoy freshly caught trout and our exquisite Ecuador cuisine. Then have coffee in the patio whilst admiring the giant hummingbird that comes frequently to feed here.

In the afternoon you can buy or order countless beautiful, hand made, colorful embroidery articles from the Zuleta women’s cooperative. Coming out of the shop our horse drawn carriage is ready and waiting for you and will take you down the eucalyptus alley to visit the foundation run library. This is where local children spend their afternoons, getting help with homework, reading and playing. You can also decide to do a more challenging hike up to Condor view which offers wonderful views of the local area and you may even be lucky enough to spot a family of Spectacle Bears along the way. You can end the day with a nice hot bath.

Day 3
After breakfast we invite you to visit our organic garden, where you can learn more about permaculture and see where the ingredients for your menu and our Ecuador cuisine originate. You can explore the farm operation, feed calves, talk to the vaqueros (local cowboys) or watch our horsemen training young fillies before going on another Ecuadorian horseback riding or bicycle riding adventure.

Today we will explore the Zuleta community, and if weather conditions allow, we offer a lift up the mountain and a downhill bike ride. After the bike ride, you are welcome to have lunch at the hacienda. In the early afternoon, you can explore the Paramo garden, an interpretative site where you learn more about the rare native plants that grow above the tree line. Enjoy walking through a beautifully designed little garden. Dinner is waiting for you and with some luck you will dine with family members who have endless stories of Zuleta’s renowned history, including visits of celebrities or dignitaries.

Day 4 – departure
After breakfast we will take you on your last tour to a beautiful view point – the Cunro Mountain – from where you have a stunning view of the whole of the Zuleta valley and onwards to the town of Ibarra. While having a little snack you might get the chance to see another condor flying by. Coming back to the Hacienda it will be time to say good bye, but as you are now part of the Zuleta family, we hope to welcome you again in the near future.

Hacienda Zuleta’s hospitality retains an intimacy, warmth and sincerity reminiscent of a century past. Additionally, this Ecuador eco lodge, offers a level of privacy rarely achieved in the 21st century.

At Zuleta, you are a guest of their family and you are welcomed as such. You will be invited to relax at your leisure in our cozy reading and living rooms, which have entertained their own entourage of famous visitors, including past presidents and dignitaries. All the guestrooms are located in the main building of our Ecuador Hotel, which dates back to 1691. As the structure of the original colonial building could not be drastically changed, every room has its different shape and charm, which brings a feeling of unique Ecuadorian culture. Individually decorated with antiques, authentic family pictures and hand embroidered linens, the guestrooms transmit the feeling of a private home. The rooms have beautiful garden and mountain views and some provide access to private gardens, terraces or a courtyard where hummingbirds feed, making these rooms beautiful bird watching.

Double beds are queen or king size, with four pillows and anti-allergic bedding. While guests are enjoying their dinner, room service staff place hot water bottles with beautiful embroidered cases in every bed and light the fireplaces. Suites for families and adjoining rooms are available. Satellite television, movies and games are available at any time in one of the living rooms, as well as coffee, soft drinks and a bar service. Phone calls can be made from the public areas and offices. Wifi is available in some parts of the farm house and a computer with 24/7 internet service is also available for guests. Our excellent service to our guest makes Zuleta a prime spot for the perfect Ecuador ecotourism vacation.

Departure Dates:

January – December

Customized itinerary, dates and length of stay available to fit your travel needs.  Call for more information, pricing or to book your stay!

Trip Length: Customizable
Trip Price:

Starting at $280 per person, based on double occupancy

Add on a trip to the world famous Otavalo Market on your way to/from Hacienda Zuleta!