Hacienda Zuleta

Deep in the Ecuadorian Andes, this 17th C manor house and working farm has been in the Plaza Lasso family - descendants of the former president - for over 100 years. The 2000 acres are home to beautiful, peaceful gardens, green pasturelands of cattle and sheep, mountain lakes with panoramic views, a Condor rehabilitation project, and vast swathes of protected primary forest where endangered spectacled bears roam wild. Explore mountain lakes and panoramic Andean views of snow capped volcanoes on foot, by mountain bike or on horseback. Learn how to cook delicious local dishes or the famous Zuleteño embroidery. There’s also uniquely, a ‘Cheese House’, which showcases their on-site cheese factory, offering a hands-on tour and tastings of Zuleta’s award-winning cheeses. Guests get to experience authentic hacienda life and interact with the local community, whom the family work closely with.

Senderos Soul

Zuleta sits at the heart of its community and is a total one-off. Fernando and his family are the perfect hosts who welcome you like a long lost relative. I often close my eyes and imagine that once again I’m sitting on a hay bale in the courtyard around a blazing fire with local musicians playing and the guest and community dancing together - it’s hard to imagine a more perfect moment in all my travels! This beautiful and historic farm and manor house plays a key role in the conservation of Andean bears, condors and local culture. There’s a wonderful range of activities, but the horse rising is outstanding - I’ve never before been greeted with a hand crafted ‘directory’ listing the characteristics of all the horses in the stables! We rode our trusty steeds to the mysterious pre-inca pyramids and took in the untouched beauty of the mountains and lush green valleys that make up the landscape of Zuleta. And if like me you love eating delicious cheese, then visiting Zuleta is like going to cheese heaven! There’s a cheese factory on site which produces 17 different types, all made with local milk. I particularly loved the gouda, danbo & wild herb varieties. In fact all of the food is home cooked and of the highest quality and meals are one of the true delights of staying at Zuleta - shared together on the long table in the dining room or sumptuous picnic style, under canopies by the river bank.

Naomi, Senderos

Getting there

by road

BY ROAD

Two hours’ drive north of Quito; transfers on request

by air

BY AIR

Nearest airport: Quito (1 hour road transfer).