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Reviewed May 22, 2013

I don't think words or pictures could describe how wonderful the experience at Hacienda la Alegria really was. The property is beautiful, the views are spectacular and the hosts, Patty and Gabriel, were simply amazing. Their team prepared the most wonderful home-cooked Ecuadorian food and treated us like members of the family. We took a horseback ride through the countryside and the experience was nothing short of perfect. The horses were well cared for and the cowboys were outstanding. If you are looking for a place to find peace, relaxation, the beauty of the countryside and amazing food and company, stay here. Don't make the mistake we did and stay for only one night, you'll be disappointed it's not longer. Enjoy!

Date of stay: May 2013
  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
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Thank SamanthaJohnston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 5, 2013

My purpose in visiting Ecuador this trip was to stay in Haciendas where I could ride horses and enjoy the beauty of the country. I was not disappointed.

Gabriel and his family made sure that my short trip was worth every moment. I rode three different horses, each offering a different experience. The horses were all well-cared for. We took short 3 hour rides and a long 6 hour ride, all with incredible views. I most enjoyed the long trail ride up the mountain with a picnic on top. It felt as though we were on top of the world as we were above the clouds. I was treated to a demonstration one morning of "cowboy" activities including roping a wild bull, riding a horse with no saddle or bridle, and viewing the other animal residents - llamas, alpacas, and vicunas.

Lodging was exceptional. My bedroom was spacious with incredible views of the Hacienda and mountains beyond. My bathroom was en-suite and had all the necessary toiletries and hairdryer. Our meals were served family style. I enjoyed this opportunity to get to know Gabriel and his wife, to talk about the similarities and differences in raising cattle - dairy and meat, and to get to know about their life on the Hacienda.

My stay was exceptional and I hope to return there in the not so distant future.

Date of stay: March 2013
  • Trip type: Traveled solo
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Thank lunanegra5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2013

Gabriel, owner of Hacienda La Alegria, and his lovely family treated me and my friends to the most memorable experience of our lives. The property, close to Quito, is a stunning oasis of calm. My friends and I had travelled to Quito for business and pleasure, and found ourselves riding horseback across the mountain tops towards historic volcano, Cotopaxi. I have been terrified of horses my entire life, but Gabriel's horses were gentle and connected with whomever rode them. 100 miles and a few sore bums later, my crew and I were all smiles as we galloped across plains, hills, and creeks. Aside from the sheer ecstasy of living completely in the present, which Alegria's horse trips (even for beginners) provide, the hacienda was complete with rustic yet cozy rooms, a hot tub overlooking the sunsets to relax those sore muscles, and an array of gourmet traditional foods to sample from.

This family is well versed in its country's history, is itself an important part of Quito culture, and is guaranteed to provide anyone who stays in Alegria with some of the happiest memories that will last a lifetime.

Room tip: All rooms are wonderful.
Date of stay: March 2013
  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
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Thank Cacolackey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2013

The reviews are all true. This place is great. It is a hacienda about an hour south of Quito. Only 15 or 20 miles from the airport perhaps, but there is lots of traffic near the city. About an hour or a little more from the old city center to the hacienda. $60 plus tip for a van from the airport, $40 plus tip to the old city center.

We went there after a week in the galapagos, and the hacienda was the highlight of the trip.

The hacienda is a working dairy farm, with about 120 cows, and a lama or two. Also Oreo the dog, and 60 horses, plus or minus. The owners, "El Padron" Gabriel Espinosa and his wife Patti, make you feel at home. The main house was built 100+ year ago and has been in the family for 4 generations. The family has been in Ecudaor for hundreds of years, having fled Spain to avoid the Inquisition.

He has remodeled part of a wing of the house into a dining room, a lounge, and he has built 12 modern, comfortable guest rooms with ensuite baths further down in the same wing. 8 rooms are on the first floor, and 4 are above. Some have a wood stove, some have an electric heater. Some have a sleeping loft and are suitable for families. All the beds are very comfortable, with excellent linens. The rooms and the common lounge have a view into a private garden and then across the valley to the mountains on the other side. There is a terrace with a hot tub accessible from the lounge. On a clear day you can see snow covered Cotapaxi from the garden, 20 miles away. Meals are served in the rustic dining room with a huge fireplace at the far end. The food is simple but excellent. The staff are great, and very responsive to any needs. The property is pleasant enough just for relaxing and walking around the gardens, you don't need to ride to enjoy it.

The stable operation is great. A wide variety of well mannered horses is available. You can ride in the ring, do short rides, days rides, or multi day trips. The tack is comfortable, and the whole operation is excellent. Don Gabriel breeds his own stock, and he likes to cross breeds for hybrid vigor. A lot of the horses have some Arabian blood, many are on the small side but very fit. Some have the Ecuadorian version of paso fino breeding. He makes an effort to match the horse to the rider.

We did a two day ride thru the rain forest, and spent the night at Bomboli, a rustic "hacienda" (no electric power, but it does have hot water and comfortable modern rooms. We had two families, 4 aduls and four teenagers from 11 to 16, plus Don Gabriel and his main wrangler, Rodrigo.It was seven hours there and five back, but worth it. Several hours of the ride were in the high altitude rain forest, full of tree ferns, bromeliads and orchids. On the way there, we went over the mountain behind La Alegria, over a pass at 14000 feet. (La Alegria is at about 9000 feet, as is Bomboli.) It was marvelous. On the way back, we stopped at lunch time at a rural school that Don Gabriel helps support, with maybe 15 or 20 students. The kids were great, it was one of the high points of the trip.

My wife did a 9 day ride with him a few years ago, past Cotapaxi and back, and had a wonderful time as well, although it was hard fast riding, not for novices. The rain forest ride was suitable for anyone with at least a little riding experience, some trotting and cantering, mostly just a long day in the saddle, but with spectacular views.

The day after the ride, we all went in two cars with Don Gabriel to several village markets south of the hacienda, near Cotapaxi.

All in all, a fabulous place. Gabriel and his wife make you feel like guests in their home, not like tourists in a hotel. Don't miss this place. And a great value for what you get.

PS I couldnt get my photos to upload but the place is great, the gardens are lovely, the views are great

Room tip: they are all good 4 are on the second floor, so if you cant do stairs lat them know.
Date of stay: March 2013
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
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1  Thank troutesq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2013

We stayed here for one night, and wished we had booked a longer stay. The property is beautiful, the accommodations were top notch with stunning views, and the service was more than hospitable. All of our meals were fantastic, and the riding horses around the farm was incredible. It's a short trip from Quito, but feels like a serene escape from city life. Highly recommended.

Date of stay: February 2013
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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Thank ryanjorgenson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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