Hacienda Pinsaqui

What is this delightful place? When GATE1 changed our hotel I hadn’t given it much thought, but I certainly wasn’t expecting “Shangri-La”. So when we pulled up to the Hacienda I was simply elated over our new utopian paradise!

This unexpected beauty is Hacienda Pinsaqui and is located about 1 1/2 hours north of Quito at the base of the Imbabura Volcanoe in Octavalo. It was originally built in 1790 as a textile plant but now serves as a boutique hotel with about 20 rooms; which meant only our group would be hosted for the evening.

During the evenings festivities we met with our fellow travelers in the hotels Equestrian bar. We moved toward the back of the bar where they kept a nice fire going and served us warm cinnamon tea and shots of tequila. Marco had us to do the traditional South American toast which consisted shouting “Arriba (glasses up), abajo (glasses down), al centro (glasses to the front….. with a little shake of the hips), y adentro (just gulp it down)!

The Haciendas manager then joined us for talks on the history of this place. It was fascinating to learn of the dignitaries who were hosted here such as the Venezuelan Simon Bolivar, an important military leader that led the independence from the Spanish Empire. Also that this hallowed ground had been used for the signing of the “Treaty of Pinsaqui” which signaled a peace agreement between Ecuador and Columbia. Our host then spoke of the Larrea family who bought the Hacienda in the early 19th century and continues to own it today.

After a few more specialty drinks, a little dancing and indigenous music performed by a local band we all returned to our rooms to find hot warming bottles in our beds. This was perfect!

I really liked this unique place and wished we had more time to spend here. The grounds were charming, as you might expect with a 300 year old colonial style hacienda. No pool but horses wandering the grounds…..like a utopian dude ranch.

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