Riding in Ecuador
along ancient Inca paths through lovely countryside and in the foothills of snow-capped volcanoes
Ride in the Andean highlands following ancient Inca highways and Spanish colonial routes, through national parks and across open grasslands, staying in working haciendas and small inns. The scenery is spectacular and there are good opportunities to see wildlife and meet the friendly local people.
To enquire about this itinerary, or one like it, please email us or click the Enquire button.
The Northern Sierra
About 100km north of Quito, in lovely countryside near San Pablo lake, is the market town of Otavalo and some wonderful historic haciendas, most of which have good horses. The riding is along ancient Inca highways and Spanish colonial routes, through pastoral valleys in the foothills of snow-capped volcanoes and to local indigenous markets. Whether you base yourself in a colonial hacienda and do day rides, or ride from hacienda to hacienda there are options for both beginner and experienced riders.
The Southern Sierra
South of Quito, along the 'Avenue of the Volcanoes', colonial haciendas are found near the eastern flank of Cotopaxi National Park which surrounds the world's highest active volcano. The riding in this region offers magnificent views, with snow-capped peaks lining the central valley - ride across luna landscapes, rolling grassy hills, along mountain tracks and over high mountain passes. With good opportunities for some faster paced riding and the attraction of the annual cattle round-up, the riding tends to be more suited to those with some experience, particularly when riding from hacienda to hacienda rather than doing day rides.
In both regions we offer guided rides of 4-10 days, in a small group or on a private basis.
Our outfitter for riding in Ecuador is Sally Vergette and her company Ride Andes. Using her excellent contacts at haciendas throughout the region Sally organises unique rides that can cover both the northern and southern sierras.
“Thank you once more for a wonderful holiday. The ride in Ecuador with Sally is the only ride abroad that I have returned to for a second time, so I hope that speaks volumes about how much I have enjoyed the whole experience. Maybe it will be Uruguay for a second time at some future date! Thanks again to Sally, the staff and her fabulous horses.” - CH
In the following section you will see our suggested options for possible accommodation.
Colonial Hacienda ride - $3,635 for 7 nights
An 8 day escorted ride in the Northern and Southern Sierras (two stunningly beautiful yet very distinct areas of the Andean highlands) staying in comfortable colonial haciendas. The price is based on a minimum of 4 riders but can also be organised for 2.
- Hacienda Cusin - an historic hacienda with wonderful gardens about 20 minutes from the market down of Otavalo. There are some lovely walks and rides in the surrounding valleys.
- Hacienda La Merced - a small family-run hacienda on a working farm in rolling countryside. They have beautiful Andalusian horses, fighting bulls and a large dairy herd.
- Hacienda Pinsaqui - an old hacienda - originally a colonial textile workshop - whose spacious rooms are decorated with many original furnishings. There are lovely gardens and a small chapel.
Hacienda stays - $150-300 per day
The majority of haciendas own horses and offer rides of varying lengths for both beginner and experienced riders.
- Hacienda Cusin - an historic hacienda with individually furnished rooms, some in the wonderful gardens, about 20 minutes from the market down of Otavalo. There are some lovely walks and good horses.
- Hacienda El Porvenir - a traditional Ecuadorian hacienda on 4,500 hectares 4km from Cotopaxi National Park and in the foothills of Rumiñahui volcano. Riding is one of their main activities.
- Hacienda San Agustin de Callo - a colonial hacienda on the site of an important Inca palace and with fine views of Cotopaxi and Chimborazo volcanoes and some excellent riding in the nearby fertile valleys.
- Hacienda Zuleta - a classic and traditional family-run hacienda and working farm in the Zuleta Valley, about 2 hours north of Quito. There is some excellent riding in the surrounding valleys, and you can help with farm activities.
Vistas and Volcanoes - $3,435 for 10 nights
An 11 day escorted ride through incredibly varied terrain, with some fast-paced riding across the plains of Cotopaxi National Park, staying at working haciendas and in family inns. The price is based on a minimum of 4 riders but can also be organised for 2.
- Hacienda El Porvenir - a traditional Ecuadorian hacienda in the foothills of Rumiñahui volcano, where riding is one of the main activities.
- Hacienda La Merced - a small family run hacienda on a working farm with beautiful Andalusian horses, fighting bulls and a large dairy herd.
- Hosteria Chilcabamba - a mountain lodge just outside Cotopaxi National Park, surrounded by snow capped peaks, and an excellent base for both riding and hiking.