Tierra del Volcan Offers Volcanoes and Haciendas
Tierra del Volcan offers all-inclusive or custom-made tours to their three haciendas: Tambo, Porvenir, and Santa Rita, all in or near Cotopaxi National Park. They offer a wide variety of activities, from canyon zip-lining to horseback riding with Andean cowboys to hiking the slopes of Cotopaxi. Their haciendas magnificently match their highland surroundings and offer a warm respite after a fun-filled day of hiking and biking.
hough it is called the land of volcanoes, visitors to one of Ecuador’s most majestic national parks might best remember it as the land of plenty…plenty to do, that is.
Tierra del Volcan is a tour operator that coordinates visits to their three haciendas: Tambo, Porvenir, and Santa Rita, all in or near Cotopaxi National Park. Their specialty is eco-tourism and adventure tourism, but their focus is almost everything that could imaginably be done in the Andes Mountains.
Tours with Tierra del Volcan can be all-inclusive or tailor-made to your personal interests. One can get to know the entire Cotopaxi National Park park by visiting all three haciendas or by simply taking them one at a time depending on your schedule.
3,600 meters altitude, 1 ½ hours from Quito
Porvenir is the emblematic hacienda and iconic setting for visits to Cotopaxi, which is one of the world’s tallest active volcanoes. With its rustic exterior and warm colors, Porvenir perfectly matches the hues of the surrounding Andean highlands. Here visitors get to know this 2,000-hectare property by horseback riding, trekking, camping, or biking (cross country and downhill), or they can simply sip canelazo by the fireplace in between great Andean meals whose recipes have been handed down from generation to generation.
Though visitors can camp at Porvenir, the hacienda offers ample accommodations to fit your style. Machais ($35-80), Hacienda rooms ($95), and suites ($139), with additional beds ($21) are all available (service and taxes not included). But Porvenir offers the ideal day visit to Cotopaxi where you can enjoy lunch and activities a la carte with guided or self-guided tours by horse, bike, or on your own two feet.
Hacienda Santa Rita
3,200 meters altitude, 1 ½ hours from Quito
For camping away from the lights of Quito, Santa Rita is a 500-hectare private ecological reserve, half of which is covered by a protective forest — one of the few natural, high-Andean forests still left in Cotopaxi. It is a launch pad for exploring the area on foot with trails designed for short, medium, and long hikes. The forest provides access to the area’s native fauna, including more than 150 species of birds.
Santa Rita sits along the Rio Pita Canyon with easy access to the 90-meter Condor Machay waterfall. Tours can be guided (bi-lingual) or self-guided. Use of the campgrounds is $6 per person ($3 for kids). Lunch can be provided for an additional $6. For those who need a touch of civilization, the hacienda house 500 meters away provides hot water and showers, and food can be provided upon request for an additional charge. The campgrounds at Santa Rita offer a safe, comfortable, and family-friendly camping experience in Ecuador.
3,600 meters altitude, 3 hours from Quito
Hacienda Tambo is a 4,000-hectare working hacienda with 800 head of cattle. It is the birthplace of the “chagra” or Andean cowboy culture, and it offers one of the few opportunities to experience a genuine cattle drive, part of the normal operations of the hacienda. Tierra del Volcan also offers tailor-made adventures on horseback and a chance to live the chagra life for a few days.
Sitting at the southeastern extreme of Cotopaxi National park in the foothills of Quilindaña volcano and next to snow-capped Cotopaxi volcano, Tambo can only be reached by first stopping at Porvenir before entering and traversing the national park. Through their custom-made tours Tierra Volcan offers three ways to get there: car, bike, or horse. No cell phone or Internet service means you have no choice but to connect or reconnect with nature or family. Overnight stays at Tambo are $39 per person plus a $6 conservation fee. Breakfast and dinner are included (taxes and service are not).
Three in One – Volcano Ride
If you want to taste it all, Tierra del Volcan offers a four- or five-day tour where visitors can get the complete Cotopaxi National Park experience. Day one features zip-lining and trekking at Santa Rita, followed by a day on horses at Porvenir before spending your third day traversing the national park on specially made biking trails (or ride in the jeep if you prefer). Hike and fish at Tambo on your fourth day before heading back and stopping to visit the Cotopaxi refuge. Cost is $120 per day with all activities, meals, and transportation included (they will even pick you up and return you to your doorstep in Quito).
To take a tour of any of Tierra del Volcan’s three haciendas call the offices at 2-600-9533 or 094-980-121 or write to email@example.com.