Monday, January 26, 2015

ECUADOR- Hacienda Zuleta

In the late 16th century, King Felipe II bequeathed the Zuleta region to the Jesuits, who implemented their Spanish methods of farming and cattle and sheep raising, drastically changing the Ecuadorian culture of farming. In 1713, under the direction of King Filipe V, the property was confiscated and transferred to Canon Gabriel Zuleta. Upon his death, the farm passed to the Posse family, who were inspired to bring the hacienda back to its 17th century grandeur.

The original inhabitants date back to 800 AD until the arrival of the warring Incas in the late 1470's. Within the ground are 130 Caranqui Mounds dating 1200 AD. By 1534 the last Incan king had been captured and assassinated by the Spanish Conquistador, Pizarro, leaving the Inca empire in collapse and allowing a free for all for the land-hungry vassals of the Spanish crown.

It wasn't until the farm was sold to Jose Maria Lasso in 1898 and passed through two more generations to Galo Plaza Lasso, the ex-president of Ecuador, that Zuleta recaptured its original prosperity as a productive farm. Galo was the first to bring Holstein cows, systematic seed selection and tractors to Ecuador.

In recent years, the historic doors of this amazing hacienda have been open to tourists seeking unmatched hospitality, great food, historic setting, hiking, horseback riding all in the magnificence of the Andes.

We had an amazing visit and loved every minute of it. Below are some photos taking in and around the hacienda and its environs.

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