The stunning luxurious Hacienda la Cienega in the Andes of Ecuador
What can add more to the experience of being in the heart of the Andes and the avenue of the volcanos than spending the night in an old, luxurious hacienda from the 16th century?
We loved spending the night in this historic hacienda and creating memories that will last for a lifetime in this stunning location in the Andes of Ecuador. We will share here all about our magical experience at Hacienda La Cienega so that you can learn about and start planning your visit.
One of the most sought-after experiences in Ecuador is a drive along the Avenue of the Volcanoes, a route filled by snow-covered peaks and mountains that have inspired artists and scientists alike. In fact, it was German Explorer Alexander von Humboldt who named it the “Avenue of the Volcanoes¨.
The drive through winding roads, amidst the impressive landscapes of the Andes scattered with snow-capped mountains, is exciting for most. Along the way, you can also meet some indigenous people offering their handcrafts, admire them in the colorful open-air markets or working the fields.
Living the country life at the high-altitude Hacienda La Cienega is one of the highlights for many who like us, are in search of the real Andes experience.
About Hacienda La Cienega
Surrounded by what looks like a patchwork quilt of colorful fields, the imposing Andes mountains, and with the Cotopaxi as a backdrop lies Hacienda La Cienega.
It is ideally located between Quito and Latacunga, only a 90-minute drive from the city of Quito.
One of the first impressions you get of the Hacienda is that of the awe-inspiring parallel rows of Eucalyptus trees leading you towards the hacienda. It is a welcoming, magical first impression to Hacienda la Cienega that has inspired many.
For some, this driveway is the perfect setting for a romantic photo shoot or perhaps even the start of the perfect romantic getaway. For us, it was both.
With over 400 years of history, Hacienda La Ciénega is one of the oldest colonial haciendas in the country. We had to come and spend the night here.
As you visit the different rooms and look at the black and white pictures you get more immersed in the history of this splendid hacienda. For us, it was wonderful to have the manager of the hacienda with us, telling us about the family and the history of the building.
We found out that the church was the first building to be built on the land of the hacienda. By 1590 the main farm-house was transformed into this imposing 3-story main building full of character and charm.
French scholars Charles Marie de la Condamine, Louis Godin, and Pierre Bouguer, spent days at Hacienda La Ciénega while studying the Cotopaxi volcano. It was the first time that Cotopaxi, one of the worlds highest active volcanoes, had gone into activity after 200 years of calm.
One of the rooms we visited was the Humboldt Room on the top floor, in honor of explorer and geographer Alexander von Humboldt who spent his days here while studying Cotopaxi.
These two are pictures of the ample rooms on the top floors of the house, with wide windows, elegant chandeliers and antiques, and some awe-inspiring views of the inner and outer gardens.
Our comfortable room which you can see in the picture below was spacious, full of that Andes hacienda feeling that I was able to grow up experiencing at my grandparents’ hacienda in the Northern part of Ecuador.
At night, the fireplace was lit and the room warm, inviting us to unwind and relax while reading a nice book.
As for our spacious bathroom, it was spotless and with all the amenities and hot running water. For some, we read hot water had been an issue before, but there are signs now informing you to wait a bit for the water to heat properly.
For our trip, it was a plus to know that the hacienda offers free parking and free wi-fi. Though, the wi-fi signal is stronger around the reception area.
Top notch service with warm detail-oriented staff who with their outstanding hospitality made us reminisce a bygone era in the Andes.
All throughout our stay, all details were carefully taken care of in the beautiful restaurant areas. Besides an impeccable service, we had the most succulent meals.
Our wonderful breakfast included fresh fruit and fruit juice, warm bread, coffee, eggs, butter, and jam and took place in one of the outer restaurants inside the house. Here we were able to enjoy our tasty meal with the rays of sunlight entering the room while taking in the beautiful garden views of the hacienda.
For many groups visiting the area, lunch at Hacienda La Ciénega is a must on their itinerary. This is the place they come in order to get the high-altitude luxury experience.
The hacienda offers fine dining, and for us it included a meal at night that was amazingly well executed! We enjoyed our mouth-watering sirloin steak in the charm of the restaurant that is used for dinner.
Full of character, this splendid hacienda is decorated with paintings, elegant chandeliers, colonial architecture, and beautiful antiques.
The decor also includes open hallways with five-foot thick walls, vaulted ceilings and large doorways reflecting the history of this hacienda in the Andes.
One of the main hallways has a cozy sitting area by a fireplace, ideal for those travelers who want to enjoy a nice book or the view while sipping a hot cup of tea or infusion.
We loved wandering along the hallways and exploring the ample living rooms, learning a bit more about the history of the hacienda in every room.
Stroll along the inner garden to experience pure magic as you take in the view of the chapel and fountain.
In the picture below you find a close up of the door with the emblem of La Cienega. It is the entrance to the large chapel with a pulpit that has witnessed many weddings.
How to get there
Hacienda La Ciénega is situated 70 km south from Quito and near the majestic Cotopaxi volcano, making it an ideal addition to your Andes experience.
The Hacienda lies just off the Panamericana highway, via a small dirt road in Lasso, in the province of Cotopaxi in Ecuador.
Here is the link to the map.
Activities near Hacienda La Ciénega
The other experiences that complement your stay at this luxurious hacienda are a visit to one of the highest active volcanoes in the world, the Cotopaxi and the turquoise lake within the volcanic crater of Quilotoa.
It is the base for exploring the volcanoes near Quito that have inspired scientists and explorers for centuries. It was Alexander von Humboldt who staring at the Cotopaxi volcano described it as “The most beautiful of all the colossal peaks of the Andes”.
Spend the night at the luxurious Hacienda La Cienega in the Andes for the most memorable experience in the highlands of Ecuador. In addition to the charm of the hacienda, the views are amazing and the service is outstanding.
We had a replenishing night of sleep and an unforgettable experience and would not hesitate to recommend Hacienda La Cienega.
Furthermore, we were blown away by the outstanding customer service we received. We can highly recommend booking your stay at the historic high-altitude Hacienda La Cienega to travel back in time and have the full Andes experience.
Editors Disclosure: I was a guest at Hacienda La Cienega. As always, all opinions expressed here are entirely my own and based on my personal experience.
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If you want more in-depth information and also a guide that you can bring along during your trip, I recommend the travel guide Lonely Planet Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands.
This is a great source of information and tips, maps and all you need if you plan on visiting Ecuador. I personally like the option of having a hard copy version where I can take notes and have at hand.
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