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Ecuador Haciendas Life

Ecuador Haciendas Life

By Merri Scott

Ecuador haciendas are charming and romantic.

Many people often ask Gary and me “Why Ecuador?  What made you love it so much there?”

Well, of course. basically it is the many charms of Ecuador…and Ecuador’s haciendas are one.

First of all, there are the people…caring, good spirited, friendly, helpful and very very charming.

The lifestyle in Ecuador also was most appealing to us.  Often people comment to me thinking that life in Ecuador is similar to life in most of Latin America.  But not true!  One of the hallmarks of Ecuador is what we call Hacienda Life.

This is a soft life lived mainly high in the Andes that drew us and won our hearts.

Almost 15 years ago, we traveled throughout Ecuador searching (we knew not for what), exploring, enjoying and learning.  But once we discovered the High Andes, our hearts were captured.

We arrived with a small group of friends late one afternoon fifteen years ago to the Equator in Cayambe. Both Gary and I still talk about how we felt…arriving down a long entrance to an old hacienda.  There was a late afternoon sun dancing between the ancient line of trees and horses lined up waiting to be ridden.

All of us hopped out after a long drive through the cordillera and were just astounded at the simple, quiet and beautiful life of a hacienda.

Our first one-Guachala, still my favorite today!  This was our introduction of the hacienda way of life full of softness and comfort and good old things all hidden behind its walls.  We were lucky and honored to meet the owner, Diego Bonifaz Andrade.  He delighted all of us with an informal talk after dinner about the origins of the hacienda and his ancestors.

This is the oldest existing colonial hacienda in all of Ecuador and our first!  Located at 0° 24′, this gracious manor dates from 1580 and oozes that good hacienda life offering a glimpse into the glorious past.

It is said that the land originally contained over 1100 hectares (2,640 acres) and was a gift to the Pope, who settled a dispute between Spain and Portugal.  He was offered any land in South America and wisely chose Ecuador and its Equator!  What a person of insight and forethought.  And that Pope was one of the forefathers of today’s owners.

All this history and all these years can be felt and enjoyed visiting the haciendas of Ecuador. Gary and I that night sunk down deep into some old old worn leather chairs, and put our feet up by the roaring fire and looked at each other with delight.

We felt something there, something special.  We felt at home and at ease…and all these years later that feeling has not diminished.

Be careful. Hacienda Life is not to be taken lightly.  It could be addictive.  It could lead to a lifelong love affair with this charming country of Ecuador.


I would like to continue a series of Gary’s and my favorite historical haciendas in hopes of giving you a glimpse of their graciousness, charm and hopefully infect you with as much delight as they have for us.

Merri Scott

You can see more pictures at the source of the shots above at www.tripadvisor.com

See dates for our Autumn Ecuador courses and tours

Coastal-Quito Real Estate Tour

Super Thinking + Spanish Course

At our next Imbabura Real Estate Tour  we’ll view Hacienda San Francisco if there is a request and if it is still for sale. The Hacienda San Francisco is a picturesque lodge where visitors have been coming for years to relax in the countryside, improve their health, and enjoy a unique vacation. It has has been in the Freile Larrea Family since 1640, and is just now for sale. Here is a shot of this hacienda.


If you are interested in haciendas this one is rich with the history of the region. There is extraordinary beauty along the 30-minute ride on cobble stone roads. The hacienda is nestled high in the countryside and its thermal baths, are said to promote good health. There are many miles of trails nearby, a pool restaurant, outdoor tables, lounge chairs, tennis courts and a special area for barbecues. Asking price $200,000.

See Hacienda San Francico! Join Steve for our Imbabura real estate tour.

Ecuador Import Export Course

International Investing and Business Made EZ Ecuador

See discounts for attending more than one course.