The joys of rural hospitality seems to be a theme which runs the length and breadth of the world. The further outside the cities you get, the friendlier the people become, and oftentimes, the more inviting the landscapes become too. Latin America is a friendly part of the world to begin with, and boasts a diverse set of landscapes capable of inspiring awe and setting one at ease simultaneously.
Apart from that though, spending some time outside the cities provides a glimpse into a different side of the place you’re visiting. Perhaps this is why hacienda (or estancia) stays in Latin America are becoming ever more popular. We now offer 3 separate opportunities for you to get a taste of hacienda life, ranging from an afternoon excursion to a 3 day/2 night visit. And here they are…
Hacienda Zuleta, Ecuador
Hacienda Zuleta is a beautiful estate in the Imbabura province of Ecuador. It lies in a rural part of the country, just to the north of Quito, surrounded by eye-popping green fields, in the shadow of the northern Ecuadorian Andes. The hacienda offers an exceptional experience, thanks to the high quality accommodation and the excellent service for which it is well known. Apart from luxuriously sized beds, complete with puffy duvets and pillows, the hacienda also operates a small cheese and dairy factory, a garden bursting with produce (all of which you will get to sample at the dinner table) and flowers, and there is livestock in the surrounding fields, adding to the ambience. We currently offer 3 day/2 night stays at Hacienda Zuleta, which allows you to relax into the rural Ecuadorian vibe and take advantage of the setting, perhaps by taking a walk through the grounds to spot some birds, and enjoy the gardens, or you could go for something a little more adventurous and hike in the surrounding hills.
Estancia Puesto Viejo, Argentina
Just an hour from Buenos Aires, Estancia Puesto Viejo is about as different from the city as it could be. Where the city is all tall, crowded buildings and plenty of people-traffic, the estancia is a small collection of buildings set amongst the expansive green countryside. Doubling as a polo club and boutique hotel, the 10 hotel rooms and various comfortable common areas are set in a leafy garden, complete with an infinity pool that looks out beyond the trees to the wide open landscape surrounding the estancia. There are of course the fields too, dotted with immaculately cared for polo ponies. The hotel itself is a stylish affair, with large fireplaces and equally large windows making it simultaneously homely. All meals are included on this excursion, including a daily afternoon tea of homemade cakes, a typically delightful touch. If it’s polo season, it is a must to take advantage of the opportunity to watch a free match, and you can cycle the grounds, walk or go horse-riding too.
Hacienda Sotuta de Peon, Mexico
Unlike our other hacienda options, the visit to the Hacienda Sotuta de Peon is part of the full day excursio, Hacienda & Cenote, leaving from the lovely city of Merida. An expansive estate dating back to the 1800’s, the hacienda has been restored to provide an insight into what life was like on the agave estates of the Yucatan, in the “green gold” heyday. Back then the agave cactus fibres were used to make rope for the shipping industry, and while it may not sound particularly impressive, it was a highly lucrative industry at the time. The excursion involves a tour of the hacienda’s grounds and buildings, and an introduction to how the cactus fibres were threaded to make ropes. Travel deeper into the plantation on a traditional truck to see an accurate replica of a traditional Maya house, before visiting a cenote – a natural subterranean water chamber, where you can take a dip if you dare. Afterwards you return to the hacienda homestead for a regionally-inspired lunch spread, enjoyed in a palm-roofed building amongst the hacienda’s well-tended gardens.
Keen to get a taste of hacienda life yourself? These excursions are available on all Galapagos & Ecuador holidays (Hacienda Zuleta), Argentina & Chile holidays (Estancia Puesto Viejo), and Mexico holidays (Hacienda Sotuta de Peon), respectively.