Despite its small size, Ecuador is unique with its fantastic mountains, the Amazon River and its rainforest vegetation, Indian culture and colorful markets. Riding in this country is incredibly exciting. Our hacienda is situated south of Quito in the verdant valley of Machachi. As it is surrounded by eleven volcanoes, this region is often referred to as “The Volcano Avenue”.The first day of the trip is designed for the guests to get used to the altitude, to chose your horse and be introduced to the chagras’ lifestyle.
Indeed, you will come to appreciate the tradition and customs of the chagras’ (cowboys) abilities in the hacienda. In their goatskin chaps and woollen ponchos, they welcome guests to demonstrate their centuries old tradition of herding cattle. The chagras’ skill on horseback and knowledge of the Andean paramo are legendary. The Hacienda enjoys a special relationship with the chagras, participating with them in rodeos and festivals and visiting them in their homes each month. They are the inspiration for our journey, framed by ancient volcanoes, highland plateaus, and rivers that flow down the massive Andes towards the Amazon and the Pacific. Your host Gabriel comes from a family steeped in equestrian tradition, and his enthusiasm for riding and horses is at the core of everything they do at the hacienda (ranch).
Experience the beauty of the Ecuadorean Andes on horseback. Each morning brings new experiences and a chance to contemplate the beauty of the mountains and valleys. Our ride incorporates rides by Ruminahui, and Quilindaña volcanoes. And, of course, you will see the majestic highest active volcano Cotopaxi, from many different angles throughout the ride.
One of the unique features of the environment is the endangered habitat of the Ecuadorian cloud forest. These subtropical Montagne Cloud forests used to cloak much of the steep western slopes of the Andes between 1,000 and 3,000 meters, but are now classified as threatened.