I had the chance to spend the day at the Hacienda San Martin really loved my experience. The setting is just lovely, so close to quito, but you feel youre in a whole different world! I couldnt believe how quite the trip to get there was, only about 45 minutes total, but you are transported to a lovely pastoral valley, all green (even during the dry season) and beautiful views.
the house is small, but charming. very clean and feels very homey.
As for activities, first we did a downhill bike trip to the bottom of the valley. It was a great ride - downhill the whole way, so minimal fitness needed - but just stunning views. it was really cool to see how the scenery changed, starting cool up top and getting slightly tropical towards the bottom.
Then I was able to go for a horseback ride. i personally grew up with horses, and so am often appalled by the local horses that im given to ride on tourist trips (small, skinny, sad looking), but these horses were just gorgeous. big, healthy, obviously very well cared for. It felt great riding them through the gorgeous pastures around the hacienda.
what was the best part of the experience was getting to know the family. they were so kind, giving us homemade canalozos and hot chocolate. we enjoyed great conversation about Ecuadorian politics and and soccer and all sorts of other topics.
highly recommend this, great escape from quito.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Our farm is located in Nono, 18 kilometers (11.2 Miles) to the west of Quito, in the foothills of Mount Pichincha. San Martin offers a diverse range of adventure tourism activities as well as other countryside entertainment choices in a cozy family atmosphere. San Martin has a long dairy production tradition and is also dedicated to the raising of livestock. On the farm, all activities are outdoors and the owners take care of food and lodging, which guarantees a personalized service in a warm, familial environment, and a tasty touch of tradition. ... more less