Otavalo is a quaint and largely indigenous town in the Imbabura province to the north of Quito. The town is surrounded by the peaks of Imbabura, Cotacachi and Mojanda volcanoes and is renowned for its unique textiles, music and handicrafts which are sold in colorful local markets. Otavalo also features several historical haciendas (estates) found in the surrounding hills. These enormous haciendas contain an invaluable amount of colonial history as well as being spectacularly scenic. Today most of them are still used for agriculture and cattle production, but a select few of them have opened to guests and remained to be the best kept secrets in the Andes a visitor can find.


  • Adventure
  • Heritage
  • Landscape


  • Indian Markets
  • Horseback Riding
  • Mountain Biking
  • Hiking

Places to Stay

Enchanting Travels - Ecuador - Otavalo - Hacienda Cusin - outside
Hacienda Cusin

Style: Farmhouse / Estancia

Hacienda Cusin is a restored, 17th-century estate in the beautiful Andean highlands north of Quito near the lovely market town Otavalo.

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Hacienda Zuleta

Style: Farmhouse / Estancia

Dating from the late XVI century, Hacienda Zuleta lies in the spectacular Andean highlands at 9,600 feet (2,800 meters) above the sea level, and only two hours north of Quito.

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Activities in Otavalo

Mountain Biking at Otavalo (If you stay at Hacienda Zuleta)

Use of mountain bikes size 15′ to 18.5′ as well as helmets. Zuleta has many trails perfect for biking, and will be happy to drive you to the top of a nearby hill so you can enjoy the descent back to Zuleta! (self-guided activity, includes bikes and helmets)

Full Day at Otavalo Horseback Riding (If you stay at Hacienda Zuleta)

Experience the dramatic scenery of the highlands on this full day adventure on horseback. Depending on the climate, venture through lush valleys surrounded by mountains, emerald green lakes, passing the snow-capped Cayambe volcano, ancient pre-Incan earth mounds, waterfalls and dramatic views in or above the clouds. Amidst the impressive scenery indulge in a lovely gourmet picnic lunch featuring authentic Ecuadorian cuisine. (Full day, includes picnic lunch, local guide, half chaps, helmets, rain ponchos and a saddle bag)

Cooking Class at Otavalo (If you stay at Hacienda Zuleta)

Be impressed by the exquisite cuisine of Ecuador as you take part in a very unique experience in the hacienda’s kitchen where the cook will teach you how to prepare a traditional recipe that you will later enjoy during lunch. The recipes used have been inherited from great-grandmothers and are influenced by the various countries where family members have lived over the years, but always keeping the true Ecuadorian cuisine taste. Many of the dishes served are so unique you will not encounter them elsewhere!

3-4 hr Horseback (If you stay at Hacienda Zuleta)

On this half-day horse riding adventure, peek into Ecuador’s equestrian culture in the highlands. Riders will have the opportunity to explore the Andean countryside along trails that wind through the beautiful scenery of green valleys surrounded by snow-caped mountains. (Duration 3-4 hours, includes local guide, half chaps, helmets, rain ponchos and a saddle bag)

1-2 hr Horseback Riding (If you stay at Hacienda Zuleta)

On this brief horse riding adventure, peek into Ecuador’s equestrian culture in the highlands. Even a short ride has its particular beauty and charm as you venture into valleys surrounded by dramatic mountains. (Duration 1-2 hours, includes local guide, half chaps, helmets, rain ponchos and a saddle bag)

Oatvala 1 hr Horseback (If you stay at Hacienda Cusin)

A great way to explore the property and surrounds, enjoy a short horseback ride at Hacienda Cusin. (Duration 1 hour)

Included at Hacienda Zuleta

Enjoy short hikes, try to catch sight of the countless birds around the property, visit the cheese factory and learn more about Zuleta´s semi-aged, handmade Ecuadorian cheeses and how the process has changed throughout history. Visit the organic garden, where you can learn more about permaculture and see where the ingredients for your menu originate. You can explore the farm operation, feed calves, talk to the vaqueros (local cowboys) or watch our horsemen training young fillies.

Included at Hacienda Cusin

Guests at Hacienda Cusin can enjoy exploring the over 5 acres of extensive perennial gardens resplendent with flowers, hundreds of trees and dozens of lovely ponds, cobblestoned paths and patios. Guests also have access to the game room, squash and basketball courts.


Other Interesting Places in Ecuador/Galapagos

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