When Isabelle Escudero moved from the coast to purchase the 2,500 acres of land sprawling beneath Cotopaxi Volcano, her family advised against it. “No hay porvenir”, they told her, a warning that there would be no future on that barren plot of land. Against their advice, she named it Hacienda el Porvenir and built her own future there.
And as it turns out, the future would be more abundant than she had ever imagined. The land remained within the family for generations until her great, great grandson renovated the house in 1999. Now, guests come to Hacienda el Porvenir from around the world for one-stop legendary experiences. You decide whether you spend your time in Cotopaxi mountain biking amongst an extensive network of trails, horeseback riding in full Andean cowboy gear, or watching the cloud-covered volcanoes climb into view from the comfort of your room.
We got lucky enough to experience one of the most unique things to do in Ecuador at Hacienda el Porvenir. If you’re looking for a memorable experience in one of the most unique hotels in Cotopaxi, here’s everything you need to know about staying in Hacienda el Porvenir.
Just a couple of hours south of Quito leers Volcan Cotopaxi. At 19,347 ft (5,897 m) the snow-capped, still-active volcano both threatens the surrounding cities and defines their skylines. Adventurers have long endeavored to climb Volcan Cotopaxi, but anyone who simply visits Cotopaxi National Park will get to experience its grandeur. The landscape is complete with bizarre rock formations, low-hanging clouds, and moss that survives in nutrient poor soil. Cotopaxi is a stunning place from all angles.
About Hacienda el Porvenir
It is possible to get a look at Volcan Cotopaxi on a day trip from Quito, but we’d say the most pleasant way is to stay in one of the unique little hotels in Cotopaxi. So what makes this place so unique?
Rooms: Hacienda el Porvenir offers suites ($172-210), traditional rooms ($115) and machai rooms ($43 – 109). The machai rooms are super uncommon, and the original reason we chose to stay with Hacienda el Porvenir. They’re designed in the style of huts inhabited by highland Indians with thatched roofs and matted walls. For our first night, we stayed in one of about a dozen machai rooms at Hacienda el Porvenir. Each has two twin beds, a bedside table and lantern, and a shared bathroom at the end of the hall. The rooms close only with a curtain, but there are large lockers available in the hallway. For our second night, we got to stay in one of the gorgeous suites that includes a large king bed, bedside table, wood stove, couch and chairs, private bathroom, and huge windows facing both the mountains and the inner courtyard. Book your room here!
Value: The rooms themselves are beautiful, but the real value is in staying on the extensive grounds of Hacienda el Porvenir with easy access to horses, biking trails, hiking routes, and a glimpse at Andean culture. If you’re going for a unique hotel experience, the machai rooms are the better value. If you’re hoping for something luxurious, the suites are an obvious choice.
Horseback riding in Ecuador isn’t just any old horseback ride. At Hacienda el Porvenir, we geared up in chaps and a poncho for the full Chagra (Andean Cowboy) experience. Before the ride, our Spanish-speaking guide offered a debrief on horseback riding commands. With gentle horses and easy trails, it’s a great place to learn the ropes. Rides on the property range from between 1-4 hours, but you can ride in the area for up to 7 days. The scenery really can’t be beat!
Prices: Prices for horseback riding from 1-6 hours ranges from $25-$85 per person, and include a Spanish-speaking guide, riding helmet, and riding clothes.**
We can’t exactly remember the last time we hopped on a bike at home, but we knew we would have to give mountain biking in Cotopaxi a go. Hacienda el Porvenir has built a network of easy bike trails around the property with easy inclines and some fun little forests to navigate through. If you’re looking for something more challenging, the whole Cotopaxi region is rife for exploring by mountain bike.
Prices: Prices for 1 hour – full day mountain bike rentals range from $22-$56 per person, and include the bike, a helmet, and elbow or knee protection as needed.**
When it rains, it pours in Cotopaxi. While we had ambitions for the big climb, we instead used our afternoon for some easy hiking around the hacienda. There are four hiking trails at the Hacienda, two self-guided (yellow and red) and two guided (green and Ruminhui). Our two-hour self-guided hike along the red trail took us past livestock, open fields, and to a little overlook above the village below.
Prices: The self-guided hikes are free, while the guided hikes go for $12-$29 per person.**
The restaurant at Hacienda el Porvenir serves up lovely renditions of local cuisine. Breakfast was some of the best we’d had in Ecuador with freshly cooked bread and crunchy french toast. For dinner, menu offerings included trout cooked on volcanic stone and Andean tortillas. After a long day of exploring, you’ll get served amongst lit candles with woven blankets running the tables. The presentation was consistently beautiful.
Prices: As the location is a bit far from the city, you should bring snacks or budget to eat most of your meals in the restaurant. Continental breakfast is included with room price, and the upgraded breakfast with fruit and eggs costs an additional $5. Prices for entrees average $8-$13 which is quite high by Ecuadorian standards. That being said, the preparation and plating was next level and can be worth the splurge for a few days. **
* Hacienda el Porvenir charges a 24% tax (14% IVA and 10% service) on all lodging and food. The rates mentioned above (2016) include this tax, but be sure to factor this into your budget.
** Hacienda el Porvenir charges a 14% tax on all activities. The rates mentioned above (2016) include this tax, but be sure to factor this into your budget.
Cotopaxi National Park: Hacienda el Porvenir is just a short drive from the North entrance to Cotopaxi National Park. It’s easy to get lost exploring the grounds of the Hacienda, but well worth the day trip into the park itself. If you have the necessary fitness, making the two-day trek to the summit of Volcan Cotopaxi is well worth the view!
High Ropes Course: Just across from the property is a high-ropes course where you can learn climbing techniques and test your fear of heights!
Hacienda el Tambo: The sister property to Hacienda el Porvenir, Hacienda el Tambo, is known as “luxury of the simple”. You can venture to Hacienda el Tambo 50km from the main property, for a simple stay free of light pollution.
wanna stay at Hacienda el Porvenir?
Make your Reservation: Booking.com
Phone: (593-2) 2 041-520 / 6 009-533 / 099 4 980115
Address: Vía Láctea E2-134 y Juan Montalvo Cumbayá – Quito
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