Stride climate

Trip Type : Group Tour
Andes Highland Haciendas tour

Andes Highland Haciendas

AdventureSmith
4.9 . Excellent
100%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays. Luxury - 5 star
4 days
From: $ 1,845 $ 461 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Discover the beauty of the Andes Mountains
  • Ecuador's northern sierra region
  • Visit rural Andean villages
  • Explore Quito

Short Description

Discover the beauty of the Andes Mountains and rich cultural heritage of Ecuador's northern sierra region on this active cultural exploration. Visit rural Andean villages known for hand made crafts, the world famous market at Otovalo and take a guided hike between rural indigenous villages. Accommodations include luxurious, centuries old haciendas, now converted into comfortable inns and living museums.

Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Trip Type Group Tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.
Lodging Level Luxury - 5 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Quito
End City Quito

Trip Includes

  • Transportation
  • Accommodations
  • Local guides
  • Entrance fees
  • And meals as specified in itinerary

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Itinerary

Day 1: Andean Villages

Meals: Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Hacienda Cusin

Depart Quito early to visit the nearby villages of Peguche to observe traditional weaving, Calderon, known for its bread doll art, and Peguche which is known for its weaving and textiles. The relaxing drive allows you to enjoy spectacular Andean scenery. This afternoon visit nearby villages and hike to the Cuicocha Crater Lake. This evening drive to Hacienda Cusin, a restored 17th-century estate, in the nearby village of San Pablo. The hacienda offers a luxurious taste of Ecuador's colonial history among individually decorated rooms, gardens and courtyards.

Day 2: Otovalo Market & Imbabura Hike

Meals: Brerakfast Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Hacienda Zuleta

For hundreds of years indigenous people from over seventy surrounding villages have brought their crafts and produce to the world famous market in Otovalo. Here you can get involved in the excitement of bargaining and buying or merely photograph native textiles, flowers, fruits, vegetables, and pottery arranged in colorful displays. A short drive from Otovalo leads to the outskirts of San Pablo Village and Lake where indigenous Ecuadorian farms adorn the hillsides. Begin a three hour guided hike between villages where you can meet local people working in the fields, see their crafts and learn about traditional Quecha Indian culture. (A road connects the villages so you can hike part way or ride if you wish.) Pass under the shadow of the Imbabura volcano as you descend into a fertile agricultural valley. Conclude the hike at another traditional ranch called the Hacienda Zuleta. Originally built in 1690 the hacienda is the only working hacienda remaining in Ecuador. This evening dine with members of the Plaza-Lasso family, owners and caretakers of the hacienda for over 100 years. Overnight Hacienda Zuleta.

Day 3: Hacienda Zuleta

Meals: Breakfast Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Hacienda Zuleta

Today the history of Zuleta can be experienced throughout the Hacienda. The ranch is a showcase of progressive sustainable agriculture, ranching and industry in harmony with its natural and cultural surroundings. While at Zuleta you can enjoy a wonderful array of activities (at added cost) within the private 1800 hectare property. Miles of meandering mountain roads and trails make Zuleta an oasis for horseback riding, mountain biking, and hiking. Archaeological tours of the Caranqui Pyramids take you back in time to when the Zuleta valley was populated by ancient civilizations. The working farm itself offers a variety of entertaining possibilities with a trout farm, cheese factory, dairy farm and many other activities. Guests are also invited to visit the Gallo Plaza Foundation's projects which include the women's community embroidery project and the condor repopulation project. Dinner and overnight at Hacienda Zuleta.

Day 4: Mitad del Mundo

Meals: Breakfast

A final morning at the Hacienda before returning to Quito. Along the way stop at the Mitad del Mundo equatorial Monument located on the equator. Arrive Quito early afternoon and transfer to your hotel.

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 1,845
Price Per Day: $ 461 per day
Check Availability
  • Deposit Price: $ 500
  • Single Supplement (Single Occupancy): $ 1,350

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Stride Featured in

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15 AdventureSmith Travel Reviews & Ratings

100%
4.9 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 14
Great 0
Average 1
Disappointing 0
Terrible 0
Value
4.8
Guide
4.9
Activities
5.0
Lodging
4.9
Transportation
4.9
Meals
4.9

Andes Highland Haciendas

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Company Reviews

Adventure Smith was exceptional. Antarctica 21 corporate office was deplorable.

3.0
Details
Value3.0
Guide3.0
Activities5.0
Lodging3.0
Transportation4.0
Meals3.0
Adventure Smith was so helpful throughout-- from initial info to booking the trip to answering questions to helping us once Antarctica 21 cancelled our Mom's trip. But Antarctica 21 corporate office was deplorable. This review is in two parts: a) Antarctica 21 corporate office and b) Antarctica 21 on ship team. The overall headline: Think carefully before you share medical information with Antarctica 21--- as they can and will cancel your trip with no warning, no refund, and no recourse.

My mom, brother, and I booked with Antarctica 21 (A21) in February 2018 with an initial deposit and paid for the remaining balance in Sept 2018 for a late Jan-early Feb 2019 Antarctic cruise. We booked through Adventure Smith Explorations (ASE)—who were amazingly helpful throughout. Mom completed the A21 travel and health information when we each paid the trip deposit in Feb 2018, and she disclosed that she was in her early 80s and on anti-coagulant medication. Mom’s doctor also certified in writing to A21 that she was fit and able to take this trip. Then, 20 days before the start of the cruise in late Jan 2019, A21 sent an email to cancel Mom’s trip and refused to refund her $11,995 cruise price—citing medical concerns. We were stunned. When we asked the A21 representative to clarify which medical concerns led them to cancel Mom’s trip, she cited Mom’s age and use of anti-coag--- but all of this had been disclosed a year prior when the trip deposit was first paid in Feb 2018. Our representatives from ASE tried to appeal with A21, but to no avail. A21 flatly refused our offer for both of Mom’s doctors, whom she had visited within 40 days prior to the cruise, to provide additional fitness certification. A21 stated that no further information would be accepted and that their decision to remove Mom from the cruise was final.

My brother and I left for the trip without Mom, although this was supposed to be a memorable family trip together. On board, as we shared our experience with other passengers, people readily described their own medical conditions and were appalled that our Mom was not allowed on the cruise. Many of the 50-80 year old passengers said they were also on anti-coag and had various medical issues. At least six people told us they had significant health issues-- one had extensive knee surgery 3 weeks prior to the cruise, another had a stint placed in her heart a week before the cruise, two people had fused spines and very limited mobility, two others walked with canes and needed assistance. Three of the A21 team on board the ship told us directly that Mom had been too honest in noting that she took anti-coag. Many other passengers, including the six with major health issues and those on anti-coag, said they had not shared any of their conditions with A21. The last day of the cruise, we spoke with the cruise manager, and at first she would not give us any information about the decision or contact information at their corporate office. Several hours later, she reconsidered and shared one contact information at their Santiago corporate office, but she discouraged us from meeting with their team in Punta Arenas in person.
Also: Be careful with travel insurance. Mom paid over $1,800 for travel insurance for the trip. However, the insurance company denied her claim for reimbursement when A21 canceled her trip. A21 refused to put any reason in writing for us to use with the travel insurance claim. Most thankfully, Adventure Smith Expeditions reimbursed Mom the price of the cruise of $11,995, although Mom still lost the airfare to and from USA to Punta Arenas, Chile. Adventure Smith Expeditions deserves my most stellar recommendations for their help and information throughout our initial booking, during the trip, and once we returned.
Part 2 of the review: Onboard with A21: If you are able to take the trip, the on-board experience with A21 is good quality. My brother and I enjoyed the trip, although it was deeply bittersweet without Mom. The landscape, wildlife, and pristine Antarctic views were truly amazing. Many other reviews describe the actual cruise experience well, so I will be brief on this. A21 used the Ocean Nova ship for our cruise. The ship is well laid out, the ship staff (including captain, dining, and cleaning teams) were very helpful, rooms are tiny and spartan but as advertised, all public areas were very clean, and food quality is reasonable. The A21 tour manager (admin and logistics), expedition manager (excursion leader) and guides on board are enthusiastic, and many of the guides have extensive experience in the Antarctic and are happy to talk with passengers. With ship activities, including two landings on average each day, we stayed busy with information briefings and excursions plus three meals. A21 has other ships, including a new one they will launch in 2020, so look at the options carefully. This cruise option on the Ocean Nova worked well for us, with just 70 passengers for a smaller group although more modest accommodations.
As noted above, definitely buy travel insurance, as our flight from the Chilean military base back to Punta Arenas was delayed two days given bad weather, and we stayed on the boat during this time. A21 has some of the same investors as DAP, the airline for these flights, so our ship had priority with DAP once flights resumed, while other ships (major tour companies, researchers, etc) had to wait further. Travel insurance covered my revised ticket home, hotel in Punta Arenas, and other minor expenses, which were all more than the cost of travel insurance.
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a wonderful trip

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Andrew put together a wonderful trip to Greenland for us. The communication was excellent and the advice provided was very helpful. The ship was very comfortable and the ports, expeditions, food, and staff were better than expected
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Excellent

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
The best in the business!

from start to finish their trips are amazing!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
We have taken two trips with this company and I wouldn’t use any other. Their customer service is great, guides and vendors are awesome and from start to finish their trips are amazing! They take all the hassle out of traveling and make each trip a memory to last a life time!!
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an incredibly positive experience

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I have had an incredibly positive experience booking travel through AdventureSmith over the past few years. Their level of professionalism, depth of knowledge of small ship cruising, and insight into destinations around the world is impressive. My first trip was a private charter in the Mediterranean and after that was a small ship in Patagonia. Now I am looking forward to Alaska this July! I feel fortunate to have found Adventuresmith, their unique trips, and their friendly staff.
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trips were beyond our expectations

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
We have booked two trips with Adventuresmith and they trips were beyond our expectations. Plan on booking another trip in the future would use no one else.
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Details

Optional Activities

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Ecuador Amazon Adventure From: $1155; 4 days

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Mashpi - Rainforest Tour From: $1,523; 3 days

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Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Cancellation Policy:

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of $500 is required at the time of booking. A Reservation Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Cancellations are subject to the following fees, based on number of days prior to departure:

Up to 91 days - 50% of deposit

90 to 31 days - 50% of total trip cost

30 to 0 days - 100% of total trip cost

Age Notes

Families & Children

The Amazon rainforest is a wonderful place for family travel. Minimum age for the Ecuador Amazon Adventure is 5 years old. Children 5-12 years old receive a 30% discount when sharing with parents.

Min. Age: 5

Additional Information:

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 21 days of booking your trip for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions.

Families & Children

The Amazon rainforest is a wonderful place for family travel. Minimum age for the Ecuador Amazon Adventure is 5 years old. Children 5-12 years old receive a 30% discount when sharing with parents.

Reservations

All persons wishing to make a reservation, and all persons who will be traveling, must complete and sign the Traveller Information Form. All reservations are made with Adventure Smith Travel Services Inc., d/b/a Adventure Smith Explorations. No person has any authority on Adventure Smith Explorations’ behalf to vary these terms and conditions.

Travel Documents

The client must obtain and have possession of a valid passport, all visas, permits and certificates, and vaccination certificates, required for the entire tour. The client accepts responsibility for obtaining these documents and any other necessary documents. It is the client’s responsibility to assure that the name on your airline ticket, cruise tickets, or any other travel documents matches your name as printed in your passport (or domestic identification, where applicable) by providing the exact name as it appears on your passport (or domestic identification, where applicable) to AdventureSmith Explorations before tickets are issued.

 

Trip level I

Our level one trips are designed for travellers interested in lodge and hotel accommodations combined with mild activities, plenty of flexibility and options for more rigorous activity. Expect two to four hours of activity each day over straightforward terrain. Travellers should be comfortable hiking or walking 3-5 miles per day. Other level one activities include snorkelling or sea kayaking sheltered waters and river rafting class I-II water. Expedition Cruising aboard small ships and yachts is level one and may include fun and easy activities such as hiking, snorkelling and kayaking. Enjoying a relaxed pace with a focus on nature, culture and history is often a priority for those who choose this trip level.

Trip ID#:

andhigadv

Trip Excludes

  • Airfare to Ecuador
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Taxes and port fees
  • Quito airport international departure tax
  • Gratuities to Naturalist Staff and crew
  • Items of a personal nature such as alcoholic beverages
  • And insurance of any kind

Meals Included:

3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches and 3 Dinners

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