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3 Days Mystic Cloud Forest Horse Riding Tour in Ecuador

Hacienda La Alegria, Barrio Rumipamba Aloag Machachi, Quito 170150, Quito Canton, Pichincha Province, Ecuador

Horse Riding Tour Ecuador

Join Hacienda La Alegria on their horse riding tour in Quito, Ecuador! Uniquely, the only form of transportation during your trip will be your horse. They will be your partner throughout this adventure. You will thoroughly explore and experience the grandeur of the Andes, from the west to the east mountain chain, while marveling at the diversity of flora, fauna, and landscape. And, of course, you will have the opportunity to admire the majestic Cotopaxi, the highest active volcano on earth!

Key information

  • Tack Type: English
  • Horse Breed: Mixed Criollo (native South American), English thoroughbred, and Arabian stock

Meet the instructors

Gabriel
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Highlights

  • 3 days of riding
  • Approximate daily riding time: 5 hours
  • Use of wool ponchos, rain ponchos and chaps, horse bag, and helmets
  • Use of your choice of wool-protected saddles
  • Service of a bilingual guide
  • 2 nights' accommodation
  • Lunches

Skill level

  • Intermediate

Styles


3 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: Danish, Spanish
The maximum participants in the group is 12
Airport transfer available:
Mariscal Sucre International Airport (US$50 per person)
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Accommodation

Check-out Time:
16:00

During this tour, you will be accommodated at Hacienda La Alegria on the first night and Reserva Bosque Hacienda Bombolí on your second night.

Hacienda La Alegria

Hacienda La Alegria is a family-run horse and organic dairy farm located in the heart of Ecuador’s magnificent, Volcano Avenue. The Hacienda sits on 135 hectares, nestled in the fertile valley of Machachi, near the small village of Aloag. Built a century ago, the hacienda has retained its stately elegance and original character, as well as its exquisite surrounding gardens awash with colorful roses, native flowers, graceful trees, and intricate outdoor stonework.

Filled with historic charm, the hacienda’s large rooms are filled with antiques that have been in the Espinosa family for hundreds of years. To reach the hacienda, one drives along a cobblestone road originally built by the Spaniards and Incas, lined with tall, majestic cedars, eucalyptus, and cypress trees as well as lush greenery.

Each of the 11 rooms at Hacienda La Alegria is different and decorated with Paty and Gabriel’s impeccable taste. The hacienda can accommodate up to 28 people in single, double, triple, and split-level family rooms which sleep five in comfort. The guest rooms have been tastefully restored with solid cypress floors and beams and modern en-suite bathrooms with plenty of hot water and powerful showers.

Program

This tour is suitable for families with children 12 years and older with good riding skills and capacity for long journeys. This tour is a 100 percent horseback trip. Once you start the ride, you will not be transferred by a car on any day of the trip. The pace is moderate, with trots and canters. During this tour, you will ride at the Avenue of the Volcanoes and visit several friendly haciendas throughout the countryside. There is also optional riding training at Hacienda La Alegria.

What's more, you will ride into an Ecuadorian could forest. At the cloud forest, you will enter a completely different environment and see an exciting change in the surrounding vegetation. You will have spectacular riding ascending up to 40,000 meters and experience a lush native tundra landscape. You will descend toward the coast and experience incredible sub-tropical vegetation along the way.

Itinerary

Day 1

You will ride in the arena and get acquainted with the horses and tack that you will use during the ride. You will then ride around the neighboring haciendas and mountains, such as La Viudita and Atacazo. Your first experiences at altitude will start this first day. Lunch will be served in the hacienda house. Then, you will visit the milking barn and aging cheese cave and enjoy the hot tub and fireplace.

  • Accommodation: Hacienda La Alegria
  • Riding hours: 4 hours

Day 2

In the morning, you will ride west towards the Corazón to 4,000 meters and descend to the cloud forest. At the cloud forest, you can observe a great biodiversity of plants and flowers, including giant gunneras, orchids, and birds, such as the turkey of the forest (guan). In the afternoon, you will arrive for tea at Hacienda Bomboli (3,000 meters), relax by the fireplace, enjoying the sunset, and watch the lights of the villages near the coast following a great meal.

  • Accommodation: Reserva Bosque Hacienda Bombolí
  • Riding hours: 6 hours

Day 3

You will leave behind the cloud forest and ride the old road that until 1960, connected Quito with the coast. From there, you can appreciate the green and fertile Machachi valley and you can also see the routes you will take the next day along the east mountain chain. Afterward, you will be crossing extensive pastures and eucalyptus forests. Then, you will arrive at the valley for a delicious lunch at the hacienda. This is the end of Hacienda La Alegria's services.

  • Riding hours: 4 hours

Notes: You are free to use all Hacienda La Alegria's equipment, however, you may also bring your own equipment.

Horses and tack

At Hacienda La Alegria, the horses are very important to them. Most have been bred here 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. The horses are exceptional. Hacienda La Alegria breeds their own horses and their ancestors are Berber (local horse), Andalusian, and Arabian breeds.

Beginners and experienced riders alike have found them easy to ride, willing, and good-mannered. They are high quality, trained horses full of stamina. If you have previous riding experience, you will be given plenty of opportunity to canter. Hacienda La Alegria has a range of high-quality, well-maintained equipment and tack including North American style, English style, McClellan cavalry, Chilean, and traditional Ecuadorian chagra style with its intricate leather-work and saddle horn.

Instructors

Gabriel Espinosa

Location

The tour will take place in Hacienda La Alegria, Ecuador. It is located in the south of Quito in the verdant valley of Machachi. As it is surrounded by eleven volcanoes and cloud forest, this region is referred to as the Avenue of Volcanoes. Thus, the route will take you to neighboring haciendas and mountains, such as La Viudita and Atacazo, and Corazón. Along the way, you will be passing the valley of Machachi.

One of the unique features of the environment around Hacienda La Alegria is the endangered habitat of the Ecuadorian cloud forest. These subtropical montane 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.

Hacienda La Alegria is extremely fortunate to have an area of unspoiled primary forest close to their property. These luxuriant forests rank among some of the most bio-diverse habitats on the planet, with an astonishingly profusion of plant life, wax palms, giant gunneras (or the poor man’s umbrella), majestic trees covered with moss, orchids, epiphytes (air plants), high-altitude bamboo and tree fern, the oldest species in the world. There are hundreds of different orchids. Additionally, bird-watching is popular, with hummingbirds, nightjars, and other exotic species present boasts than any other country.

Food

All meals on this tour feature delicious, gourmet international, and Ecuadorian food. You will have lunch boxes on the second-day ride while for the first and third day, you will have lunch at the hacienda. Hacienda La Alegria's meals are tailored for hungry travelers, riders, and hikers, and combine delicious Ecuadorian and international cuisine. Their visitor's book contains many compliments to the chef at La Alegria! Vegetarian / other special dietary options are available on request.

What's included

  • 3 days of riding
  • Use of the necessary equipment (wool ponchos, rain ponchos and chaps, horse bag, and helmets)
  • Use of your choice of wool-protected saddles
  • Service of a bilingual guide
  • 2 nights' accommodation
  • Lunches

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 14% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.
3 days / 2 nights
from --
Special discount

There is a special discount of 15% per person for children up to 15 years old.

 

Tour information

This tour requires a minimum of two riders.

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