Holiday review by Mandy H
Name: Mandy H
Date of trip: 17/05/2015
Number of people: 2
I jumped off a boat in the ocean and snorkeled (after a bit of practice). I have always been too scared to be out of my depth before. We milked a cow. Hacienda Zuleta is a paradise, so restful and interesting. My favourite "hotel" ever. MV Evolution and Galapagos - just a stunning experience. This holiday had a perfect mix of history, culture, luxury, sightseeing, gastronomy and rest. At Zuleta and Evolution we met some really interesting people and spent many happy hours in the most convivial company.
It was brilliant!
Somehow or other Tribes made sense of the garble of dates, times, countries, places and sights I gave them and brought me and my daughter together from across the world to have one of the best holidays ever.
Guides were on time, spoke English well and also were flexible with the standard tour itinerary to show us what we wanted to see most.
Social & Environmental Responsibility:
Yes, I think so. Especially on Galapagos where one learnt so much about minimizing the impact of tourism. However, I had fewer opportunities in Ecuador for social and environmental awareness (at least on this trip) than on other trips I have taken such as to Cambodia and Laos. It was good to see how Hacienda Zuleta supports its local community.
The places you stayed
noisy rooms at night with only internal windows onto corridors. However, a beautiful and restful hotel that is steeped in history and has been sensitively restored. Perfect location for exploring the old town.
Set in the Andes and run by the family of a previous president, this is one of the loveliest hotels I have ever had the pleasure to stay at. The buildings are superb. One feels a part of the family who run this working farm with a cheese factory and a condor rescue centre. We milked a cow with one of the villagers! The four children of the previous owner each run a different part of the complex. We met and dined with 3 of them. So interesting to hear about history of the family. The main house is like a very comfortable museum with some superb pieces of furniture. There are roaring log fires to gather round with a drink and the most convivial company. Our room had a log burner and a huge patio. Lots of walking trails, a beautiful vegetable garden, cheese factory tour, condor visit, horse riding and marvellous views. My daughter and I felt so much more than guests, more like treasured visiting cousins. Go here if you possibly can and stay a minimum of 2 nights - I wish we had stayed for longer