One of the largest and most impressive haciendas in the Northern Sierra, Hacienda Piman is located in the heart of the tiny community of Piman, about an hour north of Otavalo and 2Â½ hours from Quito. The location is unusual even by Ecuadorian standards, a splash of greenery in an otherwise arid valley, with its own micro-climate fed by moisture rising from the lowlands. An astounding variety of vegetation can be found in the haciendaâ€™s extensive gardens, attracting a unique range of birds. The hacienda itself is over 200 years old, with many interesting original features and decorations that have been retained.
The hacienda has been meticulously restored, with 7 rooms in the old hacienda building and a further 10 in cottages in the gardens. The old hacienda kitchen has been converted into a social area, with a new restaurant and sitting area in the gardens. The beautiful chapel has been rebuilt and its impressive size gives an idea of the importance of the hacienda to the local community. The new constructions have been designed to sit harmoniously with the old buildings, with construction work carried out around the original trees wherever possible. Service is very personal, and the food here is excellent using many locally sourced ingredients.
Open: Hacienda Piman is open all year.
Location: Hacienda Piman is in a valley in the Andes mountains in the north of Ecuador. It is 9kms from the city of Ibarra and is at an altitude of 2,100m above sea level. The hacienda is at the centre of a fertile area of land which enjoys its own microclimate in the otherwise arid valley.
Rooms: There are 17 rooms, all with en-suite bathrooms. 7 rooms are in the main house and the remaining 10 are in 5 cottages in the gardens. Each room has a telephone, safe and heating. The dÃ©cor is stylish and understated and they are furnished with antiques.
Activities: While here you can go for walks, hikes and bike rides near the hacienda or travel a little further afield to the El Angel Reserve where you can explore the forests and lakes. Near here it is possible to visit he Afro-Ecuadorian communities of El Chota and its small museum. You can visit the salt museum in Ibarra. At one time in the 19th century salt was more valuable than gold and you can learn more about this commodity and its history. There are also many interesting historical buildings in the city. If you want to see the sea, you can take the 2 hour train ride from Ibarra to Salinas on the coast.
Facilities: The sitting room and library are in a neoclassical building, separate from the main house. The restaurant and lounge are in a new building with floor to ceiling windows giving views of the gardens. There is also an outdoor eating area. The gardens are full of exotic plants and trees which attract abundant birdlife. You can cool off in the outdoor swimming pool. The on-site chapel has been restored and is an interesting place to visit. There is a small spa.
Dining: Meals are eaten at individual tables.
Children: Children of all ages are welcome at Hacienda Piman.
Health: This is not a malarial area.
Communication: There is no internet access.