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Ecuador - Colonial Hacienda
Ecuador - Colonial Hacienda
Ecuador - Colonial Hacienda
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Ecuador - Colonial Hacienda

Ride between patchwork fields in the beautiful northern highlands and then ride close to the snow-capped Cotopaxi. Your guide Sally has been leading tours in Ecuador since 1996 when she moved from England having been completely taken aback by the sheer wildness and beauty of the Andean landscape.

You begin the week riding on the grassy tracks between the patchwork fields of the green valleys of the northern highlands; then on the fifth day you make the short journey by vehicle through the stunning scenery of the 'Avenue of Volcanoes'. Here you meet fresh horses and ride south into very different scenery towards the perfect conical shape of the Cotopaxi Volcano. You ride up into the gently undulating grasslands, across the Cotopaxi foothills and into the pine and eucalyptus forests before ending the ride galloping across the arid plains below the snow-capped Cotopaxi peak.

During the first part of the ride in particular you pass through villages which are home to very friendly Ecuadorians in their vibrant traditional dress going about their daily tasks; the children shepherding the unruly pigs and sheep and the farmers working the land in much the same way as their forefathers did. This is a fascinating insight into Andean country life. You also visit the famous Otavalo market and if there is time you may also see the fascinating local market at Saquisili which has changed very little over the centuries.

Nights are spent in haciendas - historic country houses - most dating back to the 17th and 18th century. Warmly greeted by the owners, you relax in front of open fireplaces and enjoy the fine period detail, atmospheric courtyards and flowering gardens.

The Colonial Haciendas tour includes market and Hacienda visits, as well as taking in other places of interest on foot. If you would prefer to cover more diverse terrain, then have a look at the Andean Adventure, where you ride in the Zuleta valley and the remote Pinan area. Because of the higher standard of accommodation the Colonial Haciendas tour is more expensive than the Andean Adventure which still uses comfortable accommodation in stunning locations.

Of course, if you cannot make up your mind between the Andean Adventure and the Colonial Haciendas tours, then you could consider the Volcanoes & Vistas which is a ten night tour including the Zuleta valley and Cotopaxi area.

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Ecuadorian Riding Specialist  Abigail Wood

Abigail says:

Varied paced riding in two stunning yet very distinct areas of Ecuador. Start on the grassy tracks between the patchwork fields of the valleys of the northern highlands and end with some exhilarating canters across the arid plains in the Cotopaxi national park.

My top tip:

This ride is at very high altitude and we do recommend that you arrive to Quito for a night or two prior to the start of the ride in order to acclimatise as much as you can.

Call: 01299 272 239 | email:

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