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Andean Luxury Hacienda Tour
Discover the magnificent city of Otavalo, also called the “Intercultural Capital of Ecuador” being recognized for its cultural and historical richness, and for being the cradle of the Quichua people, the Otavalos who have given rise of the largest indigenous handicrafts market in Latin America known as “Plaza de los Ponchos“. But, is in the rural parish of Angochagua, located in the middle of Andean hills on the eastern side of the ‘Taita’ Imbabura, find the most beautiful embroidered handmade textiles, the famous Zuleta women’s embroideries, that became very popular for many years thanks to Hacienda Zuleta. This tour will definitely surprise you with the scenic beauty and cultural richness that you can enjoy during this.
Culture and tradition
Handicrafts and embroideries
On this tour, you’ll visit the Hacienda Zuleta, there you will have the opportunity to enjoy a mix of colonial architecture, nature and culture, while you have the chance to do activities like hiking, horseback riding, carriage ride, cycling, bird watching, cooking or embroidery classes, and at night, a relaxing bonfire accompanied by traditional Andean music and culture. Also, you will delight yourself with meals prepared using the handpicked produce from the Hacienda Zuleta’s organic gardens. And finally, you’ll meet Quichua people, the Otavalos, in the largest indigenous handicrafts market in Latin America known as “Plaza de los Ponchos“.
So get ready to learn about Karanki’s cultural legacy, surprise yourself with the Zuleteña women’s embroidery ability and with the beautiful colors of the “Plaza de los Ponchos”.
The Vultur gryphus is considered the King of the Andes and the national bird of Ecuador. It is one of the largest land-based flying birds in the world and a symbol of spirituality and power for many Andean cultures. They are scavenger birds (sweepers of nature), have a wingspan of up to 3.5 meters and a length of up to 1.3 meters from the beak to the base of the tail, and weigh between 9 and 16 kilograms. They are usually black and have a characteristic white collar, as well as some white markings on their wings. Males have a crest and brown eyes, while females lack a crest and have red eyes. They are monogamous, with each breeding pair only having one calf every two years, and both parents must care for the calf for an entire year. Due to the extermination, they suffered in the 70s and 80s, and their complex reproductive habit, they are currently listed as a critically endangered species.
The owners and administrators are the children and grandchildren of former president Galo Plaza Lasso and his wife, Avelina, thanks to whom the production of the embroidered textiles by hand became popular in the 40s, and for which the Imbaburean women's but especially the Zuleta women's embroiderers are known in the actuality yet. This property is a very clear example of sustainable tourism because it isn’t only centered on the economic benefits of the community, due to not only the promotion of embroidery or because it's a source of employment for the young people of the place, but also because through the Galo Plaza Lasso Foundation they have developed socio-economic and environmental projects to benefit the natural and cultural wealth of Zuleta, such as the dairy farm and the trout farm, the sheep, the cheese factory, the organic garden, the Condor Rehabilitation Project (Cóndor Huasi), archaeological sites, the embroidery shop, and its award-winning Zuleteños horses. These projects are financed with the contributions obtained from the tourists that they receive for being an outstanding, luxurious and very well-preserved construction (hacienda) from the 17th century, and for the welcoming service they offer to them. And that has led the Hacienda Zuleta to be recognized internationally (it was chosen as part of the "Top Ten Finds" in the world by Outside Magazine and named one of the Best Ecuadorian Hotels by National Geographic Traveler).
The famous and colorful indigenous handicrafts market of Otavalo originates from the 16th century when the indigenous merchants occupied it for their commercial exchanges, but it was not until 1870, when it became an official space for coexistence in Otavalo, thanks to the former president Gabriel García Moreno that decreed that on Sundays local crafts could be sold there. Since that time, this place stands out for the wide variety of manual works and the ability of Kichwa merchants to start businesses. It is characterized by the sale of tapestries, ponchos, wool bags, hats, gloves, scarves, embroidered blouses, belts, espadrilles, bags, dresses, balsa stick figures, paintings, and other handicrafts elaborated by hand and impregnated with the culture of the Otavaleños.
Hacienda Zuleta, Angochagua, Ecuador
Plaza de los Ponchos
Plaza de Ponchos, Otavalo, Ecuador
To have a better experience during this tour remember to wear warm clothes and also comfortable walking shoes. It’s also very important to have cash if you want to buy handicrafts in the “Plaza de los Ponchos”.
- Hotel pick up
- Departure Time
- 8:00 am
- Return Time
- 1:00 pm
- Not Included
Other activities that aren't detailed in the itinerary
Hotel pick up.