I planned to stay 2-3 weeks but left after 3 days. I cannot understand why this place is highly rated. I've traveled extensively and cannot think of another experience which compares. I have NEVER felt this unsafe. I felt unsafe with and bullied by Mauri. On our first ride together (alone), dogs attacked my horse (not barked at, ATTACKED). He never even turned around to look at me, let alone attempt to assist me in any way. When I regained control of my frightened, kicking horse and evaded the dogs, I told him I felt unsafe with him and wanted to return to the Hacienda. He didn't want to. ”They’re dogs,” he said, “what do you want me to do about it?” In that moment, I decided to cut my stay short. I insisted we return to the Hacienda. We were 20 min into our ride. I asked if we were returning every 15-20 min, for an hour. "Do you feel better now?" He asked after almost an hour and a half. I suspect he ignored my request to return hoping I'd forget the incident. This made me so uncomfortable. At the Hacienda, I told Mauri I planned to leave within the next few days. He angrily demanded to know why - though I’d already told him — and dismissively waved his hands in my face when I responded. Mauri seemed, multiple times over the course of that day and the following day, to “forget” I wanted to leave. He claimed he called the taxi — I asked that afternoon and 4x the following day. When I asked for the final time, in the evening, he said "so you're REALLY leaving?" I said yes. He said he had not received a response. "What should we do if they don't respond?" I asked. "Yeah well I don't know," he said, and glared at me in silence. Luckily I found the phone number and sent a WhatsApp message; they responded in five minutes! I arranged the taxi myself. I am traveling alone; I was so disturbed by this. If I want to leave, the hotel is supposed to help me arrange transportation; I felt held hostage. I realize this sounds insane; it felt insane living it in the moment. Backtracking: on my first day there, Mauri commented on my tattoos and told me I should “stop getting them.” He told me about another client — a tattooed American woman who got into the jacuzzi “in a tiny little bikini so you could see everything.” I thought this was inappropriate and it made me uncomfortable. I shrugged it off; I traveled so far to get here and had high hopes. Mauri gave me three different horses in my 2 days of riding. The first reared when spooking. Another bolted in the paddock and bucked several times when I slowed him. I was told “these are horses for experienced riders” in a tone that implied I somehow asked for this by saying I was experienced, and should “handle it.” I did, but this was jarring and not the experience I wanted or expected when I booked my trip here. No one ever assessed my riding ability. On my second day, I witnessed a small child fall off her horse and almost get trampled. Mauri blamed her for “not controlling her horse” (she was 8 and a first time rider) and then laughed. Gabriel called me on my last morning to ask why I was leaving. I told him I felt unsafe with Mauri's behavior and comments. He said “yeah well he (Mauri) is getting old.” I would not recommend this location. Bucking and rearing horses are not “advanced” horses, they’re liabilities. The good horse I rode, Moonshine, was bitless because of a bad tooth — this calls for vet care. I saw another horse with a badly infected leg. One of the employees told me the lame horses were given to children. All the trails at Alegria are on cobbled roads — and so is 90% of the cantering — unsafe for rider and bad for the horse.…
Traveling isn’t always such a rewarding experience. Staying at Hacienda Alegria is. Patty and Gabriel are such perfect hosts. One feels so totally at ease at this tranquil and elegant Hacienda . The friendly but unpretentious atmosphere captures one immediately. We decided to choose La Alegria to join Gabriel to a two day ride through the Cloud Forest. The first day you ride out to the premises around the Hacienda to pep up your ride abilities and of course to test if the horse and the saddle you are using are the right ones. In the afternoon you are asked to join to get to know the Hacienda, so you watch the cow milking process, you visit the mares and their ponies and you enjoy the tranquil surroundings. Food at La Alegria is delicious and Patty makes sure to look out for all your dietary requirements. The riding adventure started the next day. It was a real extraordinary experience. Gabriel and his wonderful team, including the patient and wonderful horses took us through a route where we could enjoy the espectacular scenery that started at 2800 mts over the mountains to a 3500 mts pass and then slowly descended to a totally different biosphere where giant farms, luscious plants and trees and thousands of orchids. Because humidity is high you are surrounded by a misty light fog that makes you feel like riding on clouds. This was a very special ride! …
I stayed 2 nights at Hacienda La Alegria, conveniently located about 1 hour south of Quito. This is a beautiful old hacienda, with a newer addition that blends in seamlessly where the guest area is located. La Alegria is mostly known for their horse riding vacations, with 100+ horses on the farm. They are also a working dairy farm. I did a lovely horse ride thru the scenic countryside and cobblestone paths. Mauricio, who helps out with the guests, was an excellent host and spoke very good English. I was interested in the local culture, and Mauricio took the time to drive me into town and around the farm. The guest rooms are large, well appointed, and have nice views. There is also a comfortable living room and deck area. Meals are good and served at an agreed upon time.
I had the pleasure of staying 11 days at Alegria and doing the cloud forest and quilotoa rides with Gabriel! The food, hosts, staff and horses are all top notch! Their passion for what they do is so apparent in their hospitality and the attention to detail! Book here you won’t regret it!
I spent an afternoon here, watching the chagras demonstrate their horsemanship. We saw wonderful displays of skill and then had a tour of the house. We also met many of the animals. It was an enjoyable afternoon.
I had the pleasure of spending 4 days riding with the Espinoza family. 3 nights at Hacienda La Alegria and 1 at Hacienda Bomboli. Great riding near the farm and a superb adventure across the mountain to a cloud forest. The horses are very fit, and if you can ride a good number of trots and long canters. The Hacienda is clean and comfortable, good home style cooking and even a jacuzzi.
this hidden gem just has it all! the horses are perfectly trained and both a fun and safe ride for different riding levels. the tack fits them perfectly and both horses and sadles are so comfortable I was 't even soar after 6 days of riding. the surroundings are just stunning and I can really recommend the cloud forest ride to bomboli...that place is just magical. I had the pleasure of meeting Gabriel and this lovely wife Paty over many delicious dinners (yes... the food is exquisit!) but it was his cousin Mauricio who guided me on the trailrides. To me Mauricio is the best guide in the world and every ride we took felt tailormade. at the Hacienda the beautiful bedrooms are very spacious and clean and the view on the mountains is exceptional. loved every second of this trip and can 't wait to go back 😊…
We stayed 2 nights and had a 3+ Hour horse back ride through beautiful countryside on quaint old cobbled lanes. Gabriel and Paty treated us as family and joined in all the meals. The family owned hacienda is over 100 years old. Gabriel and Paty speak perfect English and staff is learning.
This was a dream vacation for us! Horseback riding in the Andes is a bucketlist item for sure. Gabriel, Patty, Guido and Maurizio made us feel at home and could not do enough for us. The views, the horses, the dogs, the food, the accomodations, the company were all 5 star. As farmers, we throughly enjoyed the transfer of information and our evening conversations. We loved every minute of our time at the Hacienda. Much Love, Ian and Andrea
This was another stop for us on the Tren Crucero train from Guayaquil to Quito. The Chagras rode along side the train until we stopped at Hacienda La Alegria. How exciting!! We left the train and the cowboys put on a great exhibition for us and I was even able to get one of the rings that they speared!! The grounds were great and the chagras were extremely friendly. If we are ever back in Ecuador, we would definitely come here and stay a night or two!