Ask a Question

Check Availability

Hacienda La Alegria

Overview

Hacienda La Alegria specialises in horseback riding in the beautiful surroundings of the high Andes of Ecuador. Your host Gabriel Espinosa comes from a family steeped in equestrian tradition, and his enthusiasm for riding and horses is at the core of everything at La Alegria. All abilities are cate…

Highlights

  • Ride amidst the glorious Avenue of Volcanoes
  • Experience Andean mountains, cloud forests and paramo
  • Canter across high altiplano grasslands at over 3000m
  • Learn to be a chagra (cowboy) and watch them work
  • Relax in the hot tub looking out on the tropical garden

Essential Facts

  • 5 itineraries available
  • Max 15 riders per group (28 in camp)
  • Average of 5 - 6 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 95kg / 210lbs / 14 stone 9 lbs.
    more info

Description

Hacienda La Alegria specialises in horseback riding in the beautiful surroundings of the high Andes of Ecuador. Your host Gabriel Espinosa comes from a family steeped in equestrian tradition, and his enthusiasm for riding and horses is at the core of everything at La Alegria. All abilities are catered for from experienced riders to total beginners.

The Hacienda itself is nestled in the lush Machachi valley, and set in a 135-hectare organic dairy farm and ranch. Built more than a century ago in the Franco-Italian style and filled with historic charm, the Hacienda's large rooms are enclosed in thick adobe walls with high ceilings and original hardwood floors.

Multi-day trips travelling through the high mountains, cloud forests and paramo (high grasslands) of the Andes are a truly magical experience in one of the most breath-taking locations on earth. Experience riding through beautiful, diverse terrain in the longest continental mountain range in the world. Sub-tropical cloud forests, high open grasslands, rolling mountains and volcanoes in one of the most bio-diverse places left on earth make Ecuador a unique place.

Most of the horses have been bred on the farm from mixed Criollo (native South American), English Thoroughbred and Arabian stock, resulting in a near perfect combination of toughness, agility, calm temperament and "mountain sense". Beginners and experienced riders alike have found them easy to ride, willing and good mannered. If you have previous riding experience you will be given plenty of opportunity to canter.

A range of tack is available including Western, English style, 'McClellan' cavalry, Chilean and traditional Ecuadorian "Chagra" style with its intricate leather-work and saddle horn.

Horses & Riding

Tack

A range of tack is available including Western, English style, 'McClellan' cavalry, Chilean and traditional Ecuadorian "Chagra" style with its intricate leather-work and saddle horn.

Horses

Most have been bred on the farm from mixed Criollo (native South American), English Thoroughbred and Arabian stock.

Riding

There are 5 itineraries:

  • Cotopaxi and Quilotoa Loops is a trail ride
  • Volcano Ride - Quilotoa is a trail ride
  • Volcano Ride - Cotopaxi is a trail ride
  • Wild Andes Expedition is a trail ride
  • Hacienda Based Stay is a based ride

Ages

12yrs+ (discount for children under 15yrs)

Health

Fit and healthy, able to withstand high altitudes and ride for long periods of time over several days.

Weight

95kg / 210lbs / 14 stone 9 lbs.

Food & Accommodation

Food

All meals are included featuring delicious, gourmet international and Ecuadorian foods. Wine and beer is also included.

Accommodation

Depending on your chosen itinerary you will stay in Hacienda La Alegria, local haciendas (historic country houses), mountain lodges or a campsite with communal fire area inside a mountain refuge and toilets.

Nestled in the lush Machachi valley, Hacienda La Alegria is set in a 135-hectare organic dairy farm and ranch. Built more than a century ago in the Franco-Italian style and filled with historic charm, the Hacienda's large rooms are enclosed in thick adobe walls with high ceilings and original hardwood floors.

Hacienda La Alegria is environmentally friendly and use organic produce, they conserve energy and water and produce compost.

Itineraries

Cotopaxi and Quilotoa Loops Tented / Standard accommodation.

Volcano Ride - Quilotoa Standard accommodation.

Volcano Ride - Cotopaxi Standard accommodation.

Wild Andes Expedition Tented / Standard accommodation.

Hacienda Based Stay Standard accommodation.

Other Activities

Hiking in the cloud forest, eco-tourism activities.

Travel

Return airport transfers from and to Quito airport (1hr travel time) can be arranged at additional cost.

Testimonials

Sara, Jan. 8, 2020

The holiday was great. It surpassed my expectations, the ride to Quilitoa was beautiful. The horses were amazing and the scenery was fantastic. I had a couple of days at the Hacienda before the ride and those were also wonderful, I’d highly recommend this ride. My favourite memory was travelling as a group with several free horses was really nice each day moving through the beautiful countryside and small villages. Everyday had amazing scenery and varied terrain.


Melinda C. (Volcano Ride), Nov. 17, 2016

I loved my trip. it was amazing. A very enriching experience with views of the landscape that varied in great detail. The lodges were really awesome - Fireplaces everywhere! The food was so good! Gabriel (host) was awesome and his wife Patty, so gracious. Overall a wonderful place to stay and the ride... it was a real adventure, never to be forgotten. No rushing to meet deadlines, and it was just a very enriching experience, all the way around. So glad I went there!!!! Loved it!


Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

NB. This ride starts with plenty of riding, so you may wish to add an additional night at the hacienda to allow time to acclimatise and so that you are on-site. Otherwise, you will have an early morning transfer from Quito.

Your first ride will start in the arena so you can start to feel comfortable with your horse and tack. You then head out in a westerly direction through the dairy farms and up to 3,500m behind Viudita Mountain, which stands at 3,800m. From here you can see the fertile Machachi Valley and view the route you will take over the next few days. Stop for a packed lunch and then return to the hacienda to enjoy an evening in front of the fire or perhaps ease your muscles in the hot tub. 

Today is only 4-5 hours riding so that you have time to adjust to the altitude.

Day 2

Riding: 6 hours

In the morning you ride west towards Corazon at 4,000m and then descend into the cloud forest. You will ride through 3 different ecosystems - the valley, paramo and cloud forest. Within the cloud forest is a great biodiversity of plants and flowers including giant guneras and orchids, as well as many birds such as the Guan or turkey of the forest. 

In the afternoon you arrive at Hacienda Bomboli (3000m) in time for tea in front of the fire.

Day 3

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

Leave the cloud forest behind you and ride along the old road which connected Quito with the coast from 1873 until 1960. Cross extensive pastures and eucalyptus forests until reaching Hacienda Alegria again in time for lunch. If you've not been happy with your first horse then you will be able to change mounts for the rest of the route.

Day 4

Riding: 8 hours

After breakfast, set off for your firs long journey on horseback, riding eastwards across the Machachi valley and past Ruminahui volcano to reach Cotopaxi national park. You will spend the night in a refuge (3750m) which has hot showers and spectacular views of Cotopaxi volcano.

Day 5

Riding: 8 - 10 hours

Wake to a stunning view of the active volcano  and head out easterly to skirt the northern base of Cotopaxi, to reach the skirts of the Morro mountain. You will ride in close proximity to wild horses which live in the park and are the descendants of horses brought over by the Spanish in the 16th century. Tonight you camp at 3500m at Hacienda Pansache.

Day 6

Riding: 6 hours

Leave the mountain and head west on long trails across large areas of wilderness and pine trees, reaching the warmer valley where you stop for lunch. Here you can see the giant Cotopaxi from the south side. By the end of the afternoon you reach Hacienda La Cienega which was built in 1570 but has been converted into a luxury hotel (3000m). Here you can rest after your long days of riding.

Day 7

Riding: 8 hours

Another long day in the saddle, which starts with a short (30min) car journey south of the hacienda to meet your horses. Today you will ride along an old Inca trail comprised of dirt roads and paths leading to Sigchos, the village known as the last home of the Inca, Atahualpa. You will ride through dramatic landscapes comprising steep ravines and narrow passages. You will see your destination on the horizon, but there are many mountain chains to cross before you get there. 

Eventually you arrive at the Hacienda San Jose, a working dairy farm and guesthouse, in time for a good meal, sauna and jacuzzi. Your horses will over in lush fields of grass - the last they will see until they return home.

Day 8

Riding: 8 - 10 hours

After breakfast you head south to the Quilotoa crater lake. Your trail goes up the mountain and after drops down to the bottom of the Toachi canyon for lunch. Your challenge is then to climb to the summit of Quilotoa at 3800m, where you will get spectacular views of the crater lake. Your hostel is situated beside the crater. 

The land here is very dry and the soil is composed of pumice from the eruption 1,280 years ago, so very little grows here.

Day 9

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

Take a short walk this morning to take some photos at the viewpoint and then start your ride downhill along a beautiful old trail. It will take half the day to descend into the canyon, passing a few villages that will remind you of old images from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Few people live in this area because the ground hinders agriculture. Eventually you'll arrive at a small village called Insilivi which was founded in 1857 - here you will find your hostel, which was originally started by an entrepreneur from the UK 16yrs ago, but is now owned by a Dutch couple.

Day 10

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

Your last day of riding takes you along several narrow paths which ascend to the paramo of the high Andes. From here you can admire the scenery from one valley to another. The colours and mountains highlight the changes from paramo to eroded land to agriculture. In the distance you can see the Eastern Mountain Chain. You then continue your ride to return to Hacienda la Alegria for a final dinner.

Day 11

Riding: No riding.

After breakfast you are transferred to the airport for your flight home or onward travel.

Accommodation

7 nights in haciendas and guesthouses/hostels, with three nights of camping

Experience Experienced

Experienced and physically fit riders only. Long days of 7-9 hours in the saddle. Riding at high altitude and over mountainous terrain.

Minimum group size 2
Maximum group size 10
Departure windows

Nov. 5, 2021 - Nov. 16, 2021

Nov. 4, 2022 - Nov. 15, 2022

Pricing

2021/2022
Sharing
£2455 $3400 €2915
Included 10 nights accommodation in shared rooms, all meals, with picnic lunches during trails; all drinks with meals, including wine and beer, 10 days of horse riding, with all riding equipment including wool ponchos, rain ponchos, chaps, helmets and saddlebags, bilingual Spanish/English guide and 4x4 support vehicle.
Not included Flights, travel insurance, airport transfers, tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2021/2022 - Airport Transfer £72 $100 €86
Paid to Far and Ride
Return Quito airport/city transfers, per vehicle (1-3 pax).
2021/2022 - Single Supplement £108 $150 €129
Paid to Far and Ride
2021/2022 - Small Group Supplement £108 $150 €129
Paid to Far and Ride
To confirm for two riders
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.

Day 1

Riding: No riding.

Depending on your arrival hour you can meet the horses and have a short ride, followed by dinner at the hacienda.

Accommodation: La Alegria

Day 2

Riding: 4 hours

Ride in the arena and try the horses and a variety of tack so that you can be paired with a suitable horse that you will enjoy. Afterwards ride around the neighbouring Haciendas in the west Andes. Today is designed to help you get acclimatised to the altitude, so you will experience your first ascent and descent but only ride for around 4 hours. Afterwards you will have lunch in the Hacienda, visit the milking barn, the aging cheese cave and enjoy the hot tub.

Accommodation: La Alegria

Day 3

Riding: 6 hours

After breakfast you set out on your first ride, crossing extensive pastures and eucalyptus forests and getting your first spectacular view of the "Avenue of Volcanoes". From here you can appreciate the green and fertile Machachi Valley and view the route you will be taking over the next few days, across the eastern mountain chain.

Ascend along Corazon volcano up to 4000 metres and then descend into the cloud forest. In this now endangered ecosystem you can observe a great biodiversity of plants and flowers, including giant guneras, orchids, and birds. In the afternoon you will ride to Hacienda Bomboli at a height of 3000 metres and relax by the fireplace enjoying the sunset and watching the lights of the villages near the coast while being served a hearty meal.

Accommodation: Hacienda Bomboli

Day 4

Riding: 6 hours

In the morning you will have the chance to walk through the hacienda's gardens to learn about the incredible variety of orchids and cloud forest plants.

You then set out riding up hill, admiring the forest and the hundreds of plants and flowers. You ride along an ancient road which was built in 1873 to connect Quito to the coast, and arrive back at Hacienda LaAlegria in time for a late lunch. In the afternoon you can relax or enjoy the hot tub or fireplace.

Accommodation: Hacienda La Alegria

Day 5

Riding: 8 hours

Today's ride is a long one. You are first transferred by vehicle one hour south of the hacienda to start your four day journey into the southern Andes. You set out riding along an old Inca trail, along dirt paths and roads which lead to Sigchos - this village is known as the last home of the Inca general Ruminahui. Your adventure from here will take you through dramatic landscapes including steep ravines and narrow passages. Even though you can see where you are heading and it looks close, there are many mountain chains to cross before reaching your destination. The area is a combination of forest, rock peaks and land which has eroded over the last centuries. You arrive at Hacienda San Jose, a working dairy farm and guesthouse in time for a good meal, jacuzzi and sauna. Here your horses will be able to graze on lush grasses in the paddocks.

Accommodation: Hacienda San Jose

Day 6

Riding: 8 hours

After breakfast you set off south to the Quilotoa crater lake. Your trail heads west along a high mountain route where you will see a smattering of farms with dairy cattle or making cheese. As you head down into the canyon the land is very dry and the soil is composed of pumice from the eruption of Quilotoa volcano in 1280. In the afternoon you arrive at the summit of Quilotoa at 3800 metres and view the breathtaking Quiltoa crater lake.

Quilotoa is a crater lake caldera and the most western volcano in the Ecuadorian Andes. The 3km caldera was formed by the collapse of this dacite volcano following an eruption.

Accommodations: Quilotoa Hostel, beside the crater

Day 7

Riding: 4 hours

There is time this morning to take a short walk for photos of the crater lake before mounting to ride down the volcano on a beautiful old path. It takes half a day to descend into the canyon, passing a few villages which may remind you of old photographs of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly! The volcanic pumice and dry soil makes this a really poor area for agriculture and so there are only a few people living here.

You then ride into the paramo (above the treeline but below the harsh mountain tops) and the change in soil and water makes a difference. After crossing several hills you reach a small village called Insilivi which was founded in 1857. You stay in a hostel which was started 16 years ago by a UK entrepreneurial lady but is now Dutch owned.

Accommodations: Insilivi hostel

Day 8

Riding: 6 hours

Your final day in the region sees you riding along several narrow paths as you ascend to the high Andes paramo, from where you can view the scenery stretching from one valley to another. The colours on the mountain sides make it easy to see where the paramo changes to eroded land and then farmland. Continue your ride until reaching Hacienda La Alegria for a final dinner.

Accommodations: Hacienda La Alegria

Day 9

Riding: No riding.

Transfer back to Quito airport

Accommodation

4 nights spent at Hacienda la Alegria, 1 night at Hacienda Bomboli, 1 night at Hacienda San Jose, 1 night at Quilotoa Hostel and 1 night at Insilivi hostel.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Intermediate and above with ability to ride long hours at altitude. The Hacienda caters for children of 12+ to go on trails, please contact us to discuss suitability if you wish to travel with children.

Minimum group size 2
Maximum group size 10
Departure windows

Sept. 24, 2021 - Oct. 2, 2021

Oct. 8, 2021 - Oct. 16, 2021

Nov. 19, 2021 - Nov. 27, 2021

Dec. 15, 2021 - Dec. 23, 2021

Jan. 6, 2022 - Jan. 15, 2022

Feb. 10, 2022 - Feb. 19, 2022

April 21, 2022 - April 30, 2022

May 19, 2022 - May 28, 2022

July 21, 2022 - July 30, 2022

Sept. 8, 2022 - Sept. 17, 2022

Sept. 22, 2022 - Oct. 1, 2022

Oct. 6, 2022 - Oct. 15, 2022

Nov. 17, 2022 - Nov. 26, 2022

Dec. 14, 2022 - Dec. 23, 2022

Pricing

2021/2022
Sharing
£1880 $2600 €2230
Included 8 nights accommodation in shared rooms, all meals, with picnic lunches during trails, all drinks with meals, including wine and beer, 7 days of horse riding, with all riding equipment including wool ponchos, rain ponchos, chaps, helmets and saddlebags, bilingual Spanish/English guide and 4x4 support vehicle.
Not included Flights, travel insurance, Quito airport transfers, tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2021/2022 - Airport Transfer £72 $100 €86
Paid to Far and Ride
Return Quito airport transfers, per vehicle (1-3 pax)
2021/2022 - Single Supplement £108 $150 €129
Paid to Far and Ride
2021 - Child Discount 10% discount for under 15 year olds
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.

Day 1

Riding: No riding.

Depending on your arrival hour you can meet the horses and have a short ride, followed by dinner at the hacienda.

Accommodation: La Alegria

Day 2

Riding: 4 hours

Ride in the arena and try the horses and a variety of tack so that you can be paired with a suitable horse that you will enjoy. Afterwards ride around the neighbouring Haciendas in the west Andes. Today is designed to help you get acclimatised to the altitude, so you will experience your first ascent and descent but only ride for around 4 hours. Afterwards you will have lunch in the Hacienda, visit the milking barn, the aging cheese cave and enjoy the hot tub.

Accommodation: La Alegria

Day 3

Riding: 6 hours

After breakfast you set out on your first ride, crossing extensive pastures and eucalyptus forests and getting your first spectacular view of the "Avenue of Volcanoes". From here you can appreciate the green and fertile Machachi Valley and view the route you will be taking over the next few days, across the eastern mountain chain.

Ascend along Corazon volcano up to 4000 metres and then descend into the cloud forest. In this now endangered ecosystem you can observe a great biodiversity of plants and flowers, including giant guneras, orchids, and birds. In the afternoon you will ride to Hacienda Bomboli at a height of 3000 metres and relax by the fireplace enjoying the sunset and watching the lights of the villages near the coast while being served a hearty meal.

Accommodation: Hacienda Bomboli

Day 4

Riding: 6 hours

In the morning you will have the chance to walk through the hacienda's gardens to learn about the incredible variety of orchids and cloud forest plants.

You then set out riding up hill, admiring the forest and the hundreds of plants and flowers. You ride along an ancient road which was built in 1873 to connect Quito to the coast, and arrive back at Hacienda LaAlegria in time for a late lunch. In the afternoon you can relax or enjoy the hot tub or fireplace.

Accommodation: Hacienda La Alegria

Day 5

Riding: 8 hours

Today you set off on your trail to the west mountain range, passing through the valley towards Machachi where you can stop at the market (on Sundays).  Re-mount and ride towards Ruminahui volcano and stop at a beautiful hacienda for a snack. Continue riding until you reach the Pedregal valley where you stay overnight in a hacienda at 3,500m.

Accommodation: Pedregal Valley Hacienda (near Cotopaxi National Park)

Day 6

Riding: 6 - 8 hours

Enter the Cotopaxi national park and ride towards Sincholagua volcano, making a large loop downhill and into the valley. After stopping for a snack you continue across an area of different lava flows before ascending up to the north of Cotopaxi and the highest plains on your journey at 4,100m. Here you will experience the highest canter in the world! You ride in close proximity to Berber wild horse herds that live in the park and are descendants of horses brought over by the Spanish in the 16th century. 

Accommodation: Tambopaxi refuge

Day 7

Riding: 5 - 7 hours

Continue riding west and cross the highest point of your ride alongside rocks on the edge of Runinahui volcano at 4,250m. Drop down into the Machachi valley amongst the avenue of volcanoes and ride across the Machachi plaza, passing the town of Aloag and eventually returning to Hacienda La Alegria. A farewell dinner before relaxing in the hot tub and recounting your adventures in the mountains. 

Accommodation: Hacienda La Alegria

Day 8

Riding: No riding.

Transfer back to Quito airport.

Accommodation

4 nights at hacienda la Alegria, 1 night at Hacienda Bomboli, 1 night at Pedregal Valley Hacienda and 1 night in Tambopaxi refuge

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Intermediate and above with ability to ride long hours at altitude. The Hacienda caters for children of 12+ to go on trails, please contact us to discuss suitability if you wish to travel with children.

Minimum group size 2
Maximum group size 10
Departure windows

Oct. 22, 2021 - Oct. 29, 2021

Jan. 21, 2022 - Jan. 28, 2022

March 25, 2022 - April 1, 2022

June 17, 2022 - June 24, 2022

Aug. 5, 2022 - Aug. 12, 2022

Oct. 20, 2022 - Oct. 29, 2022

Pricing

2021/2022
Sharing
£1575 $2180 €1870
Included 7 nights accommodation in shared rooms, all meals, with picnic lunches during trails, all drinks with meals, including wine and beer, 6 days of horse riding, with all riding equipment including wool ponchos, rain ponchos, chaps, helmets and saddlebags, bilingual Spanish/English guide and 4x4 support vehicle.
Not included Flights, travel insurance, Quito airport transfers, tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2021/2022 - Airport Transfer £72 $100 €86
Paid to Far and Ride
Return Quito airport transfers, per vehicle (1-3 pax)
2021/2022 - Single Supplement £108 $150 €129
Paid to Far and Ride
2021/2022 - Small Group Supplement £108 $150 €129
Paid to Far and Ride
Payable to confirm ride for 2 people
2021 - Child discount 10% discount for under 15 year olds
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.

Day 1

Riding: No riding.

Depending on your arrival hour, you can meet the horses and have a short ride, followed by dinner at the hacienda. Accommodation: La Alegria

Day 2

Riding: 4 hours

Ride in the arena and try the horses and a variety of tack so that you can be paired with a suitable horse. Afterwards ride around the neighbouring haciendas of the western Andes. Today is designed to help you acclimatise to the altitude and will be your first introduction to the high Andes, therefore you only ride for four hours. Afterwards you will have lunch in the hacienda, visit the milking barn, the aging cheese cave and enjoy the hot tub. Accommodation: La Alegria.

Day 3

Riding: 6 hours

This morning you will ride west towards the Corazon at 4000 metres before descending into the cloud forest. Your ride takes you through three different ecosystems - the valley, paramo and cloud forest. In the cloud forest you can see a great biodiversity of plants and flowers including giant guneras, orchids and birds, such as the turkey of the forest (guan). In the afternoon you will arrive for tea at Hacienda Bomboli (at 3000 metres). You can relax by the fireplace, enjoying the sunset and watching the lights of the villages near the coast after a great meal. You will spend the night here.

Day 4

Riding: 6 hours

Today you leave the cloud forest behind and ride along an ancient road which until 1960 connected Quito with the coast. From there you can appreciate the green and fertile Machachi Valley and can view the routes you will be taking the next day along the East mountain chain.  After crossing extensive pastures and eucalyptus forests you stop in the valley for a snack before returning to Hacienda La Alegria for the night.

Day 5

Riding: 8 hours

This morning you are transferred by car for one hour, to a point south of Hacienda la Alegria, where you will begin your 6 day adventure into the Southern Andes. You start by riding along an ancient Inca trail and dirt roads and paths that take you to Sigchos - this village is known as the last home of the Inca general Ruminahui. From this day on you will ride through a dramatic landscape including steep ravines and narrow passages. Even though you will be able to see where you are heading, it will appear nearer than it really is and you will have to cross many mountain chains to get there. The area is a combination of forest, rock peaks, and eroded land from centuries past. You arrive at the Hacienda San Jose, a working dairy farm and guest house in time for a good meal, jacuzzi, sauna and rest. Here the horses will have fields of lush grass which will be the last of this expedition.

Day 6

Riding: 8 - 10 hours

After breakfast your ride will take you South to the Quilotoa crater lake. The trail follows the bottom of the Toachi canyon where you will enjoy lunch. There are only a few farming villages and houses here as the land is very dry and the soil is composed of pumice from the eruption of Quilotoa volcano in 1280. It is a challenging ride to the Quilotoa summit at 3800 metres above sea level, from where you can witness an amazing view of the breathtaking Quilotoa crater lake.  Quilotoa is a crater lake caldera and the most western volcano in the Ecuadorian Andres. The three kilometer wide caldere was formed by the collapse of this dacite volcano following a catastrophic eruption . Elevation: 12,841'  (3,914m)  Last Eruption:1280. Overnight in a hostel close to the crater lake.

Day 7

Riding: 8 - 10 hours

You continue your ride into the High Andes by riding firstly through the village of Zumbahua and then onwards until reaching an isolated homestead of about fifty families, where there are no roads and the only connection to civilisation is via a three hour path to Angamarca. You will see llama herds which are still used as pack animals as well as sheep guided by children working as shepherds. Today will be an intense riding day and will be the climax of your adventure. You are some of the first tourists to arrive in this area, where you will be camping overnight and using one of the grass huts for a kitchen. Your hosts are helping the community to make a path to the East to enable the locals to sell their products to larger markets and to get better prices for their produce of cheese, potatoes, broad beans and barley. You will be camping overnight here at Guambaine.

Day 8

Riding: 7 hours

This morning you will have the chance to watch a sunrise over the high cloud forests and mountains. As you head away from the settlement you will experience the beautiful 'paramo', a montane ecosystem above the continuous treeline but below the highest mountain peaks. Here there are lots of small farms, many producing milk - 50% of the milk produced in Ecuador comes from farms of less than 5 acres. The afternoon will provide you with views into a ravine from the Chimborazo volcano, the highest in Ecuador at 6300 metres. Alongside the river in the ravine runs an old road built in the 1830s called "camino de Flores"  being the first road to connect the highlands with the coast. In the afternoon you  arrive at Salado where there are hot springs and camp will be set up so you can enjoy a BBQ dinner.

Day 9

Riding: 8 - 10 hours

The expedition continues along the skirt of the Chimborazo mountain. The terrain is varied and challenging with dry plateaus, swampy paramo areas and rocky mountain sides where you will hopefully see herds of wild vicunas running along in the open terrain. Overnight will be in the Chimborazo refuge.

Carihuairazo is a volcanic caldera adjacent to Ecuador's highest mountain Chimborazo. Elevation:16,463' (5,018m). First ascent: 1951 Prominence: 2,034' (6210m). Chimborazo is a currently inactive stratovolcano in the Cordillera Occidental range of the Andes. Its last known eruption is believed to have occurred around 550 AD. Elevation: 20,564' (6,268m). First ascent:1880.  Prominence:13,524' (4,122m)

Day 10

Riding: 8 - 10 hours

The last day of the expedition will be in the Tungurahua area that has been affected over the last 14 years by volcanic ash and periodic eruptions. This ride completes your journey, bringing you east through fertile fields of potatoes, beans and cash crops grown around mountain villages on the sides of the Igualata volcano. You descend all the way down from 4000 metres to 2400 metres. As you head down the volcanic terrain you will traverse through the Chambo canyon to the slopes of the Tungurahua volcano where you camp overnight with impressive views. The horses will return to the hacienda and you will stay on in Banos and overnight here.

Day 11

Riding: No riding.

Today you will take a short journey to the town of Banos to visit the hot springs. Banos is a very unique city that is the entrance to the Amazon jungle region and well known for its thermal water springs. You return to the Hacienda by vehicle for lunch and a relaxing afternoon. Overnight at the Hacienda Alegria. No riding today.

Day 12

Riding: No riding.

You will be transferred to the airport after breakfast.

Accommodation

4 nights Hacienda La Alegria
1 night Hacienda Bomboli
1 night Hacienda San Jose
2 nights in Mountain hostels/refuges
3 nights Camping

Experience Experienced

Experienced and physically fit riders only. Long days of 7-9 hours in the saddle. Riding at high altitude and over mountainous terrain.

Minimum group size 2
Maximum group size 6
Departure windows

Nov. 21, 2021 - Dec. 3, 2021  (one day longer than usual)

Dec. 3, 2021 - Dec. 14, 2021

Jan. 28, 2022 - Feb. 8, 2022

Dec. 2, 2022 - Dec. 13, 2022

Pricing

2021/2022
Sharing
£2455 $3400 €2915
Included 11 nights accommodation in shared rooms, all meals, with picnic lunches during trails, all drinks with meals, including wine and beer, 10 days of horse riding, with all riding equipment including wool ponchos, rain ponchos, chaps, helmets and saddlebags, bilingual Spanish/English guide and 4x4 support vehicle.
Not included Flights, travel insurance, Quito airport transfers, tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2021/2022 - Airport Transfer £72 $100 €86
Paid to Far and Ride
Return Quito airport transfers, per vehicle (1-3 pax)
2021/2022 - Single Supplement £108 $150 €129
Paid to Far and Ride
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.

Day 1 - Arrival

Riding: No riding.

Depending on your arrival hour you can meet the horses and possibly have a short ride, followed by dinner at the hacienda.

On your first ride you will start in the arena so you can ride under surveillance from your guide. Once everyone is comfortable, happy and in control, then you will head out onto the trails. This initial arena-based ride allows you to switch horses if you aren't happy or adjust your saddle/equipment if needed.

Day 2 - The Valley and Surroundings

Riding: 2 - 3 hours

There are many rides and routes on offer depending on your experience and fitness level. If this is your first stop in the high Andes, then we recommend taking it gently to start with so that your body can adjust to the altitude. The following itinerary is a sample and the order/selection of rides offered may vary but always with your best interests at heart.

This ride is through the valley of Gualilahua Aloag, following historical paths and old railroads. Admire the nearby volcanoes of Viudita, Atacazo and Pasochoa. Max height 2900m.

Day 3 - Miraflores or Trout Fishing

Riding: 3 hours

Today's ride for more experienced riders offers opportunities to canter as you ascend Miraflores hill to admire the valley of nine volcanoes. Max height 3200m.

Alternatively, you could ride for 1.5 hours to some trout pools on a neighbouring hacienda where you can enjoy some fishing before returning home with your catch.

Day 4 - Widow Farm or Widow Mountain

Riding: 2 - 5 hours

The ride to Widow Farm is an entertaining route which takes you through two different ecosystems to the base of Viudita volcano. The view is spectacular and allows you to recognise the valley of the nine volcanoes. Max height 3200m and duration 2-3 hours.

Alternatively, for fitter riders, you can ascend to 3600m to observe the Machachi valley, ride around Widow mountain and descend into the valley below. Follow a narrow path through the paramo which suddenly changes to bamboo forest where you can see forest turkeys and other birds. Enjoy views of the cloud forest, nine volcanoes and the city of Quito in the distance. This route is subject to weather conditions and takes c. 5 hours.

Day 5 - Lagchig and the Black Lagoon

Riding: 5 hours

Cross the Lagchig gorge which is the start of the 100 year old canal to the hacienda. Observe different landscapes and ecosystems including ravines, gorges, waterfalls and forests. Max height 3200m

Day 6 - Corazon and Pucara

Riding: 3 - 4 hours

Two different routes to choose from today.

Option one takes you through a large eucalyptus forest before reaching large cultivated areas where you can canter through oats and pasture before reaching Aichapicho Pucara. A mound of earth in the middle of the plain suggests it is handmade, along with a stone wall using rocks brought from a river more than 10km away. You can also view treasure hunters excavations called huacas. Along with other Pucaras and the volcanoes on the eastern mountains you will start to understand the strategy and logistics of the Incas to control the Andes. Max height 3400m. Riding time 3 hours.

Alternatively, take a route which allows you to canter across wide grasslands with beautiful views of the volcanoes. Harvest the fruit of the green cactus as you descend and then start the process of making capers after you arrive. Ride through the streets of Aloag village where the locals will greet you as you pass. Max height 3400m. Riding time 4 hours.

Day 7 - Corazon and Paramo or Cloud Forest

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

Riding through the Paramo is a unique experience. This immense ecosystem comprises the vegetation that surrounds volcanoes and mountains over 3400m and the grass (paja) grows so dense that it can be difficult for the horses to make a path. You'll also see small groves of native plants such as Pumamaqui and orchids that grow in the proximity of the cloud forest. Max height 3600.

Alternatively, experience the magical cloud forest on this ride of a lifetime. Ride on secondary roads and trails full of vegetation which gives the impression you have gone back in time. Reach a different estancia and view their orchid garden after lunch and then return to La Alegria by vehicle. Max height 3300m

Day 8 - Departure

Riding: No riding.

Depart after breakfast

Accommodation

Each night is spent at the comfortable hacienda.

Experience Beginner / Intermediate / Experienced

All abilities can be accommodated.

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 15
Accommodation for up to 28.
Departure windows

At any time during: May 25, 2021 - Dec. 31, 2021  (Flexible arrivals/departures with min 3 night stay)

At any time during: Jan. 1, 2022 - Dec. 31, 2022  (Flexible arrivals/departures with min 3 night stay)

Pricing

2021
Adult sharing per night
£181 $250 €210 per night
2021
Single Adult per night
£215 $300 €255 per night
Included Accommodation in shared rooms, all meals, all drinks with meals, including wine and beer, horse riding with all riding equipment including wool ponchos, rain ponchos, chaps, helmets and saddlebags, bilingual Spanish/English guide.
Not included Flights, travel insurance, Quito airport transfers, tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2021 - Airport Transfer £72 $100 €86
Paid to Far and Ride
Return Quito airport transfers, per vehicle (1-3 pax)
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.