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Hacienda Pinsaquí, Otavalo 

Kilometer 5, Panamericana Norte
Tel: 593 6 2946 116
view web site ›'s insider take:

Take a crash course in living Ecuadoran history at this most atmospheric of haciendas, site of the 1863 signing of the Treaty of Pinsaquí (the peace accord between Ecuador and Colombia) and still home to the same Freile-Larrea family who had the place built in the 1780s. The house is decked out with 18th-century French and Mexican antiques, crystal chandeliers, roaring fires, miles of marble and mirrors, and brocade chaise longues from which to contemplate the formal landscaped gardens. The showiest of the 29 rooms are in the main house; others, past the family chapel across the courtyard, are more rustic (though very comfortable and with their own fireplaces). Arriving groups get a welcome drink in the medieval cellar, where they'll likely be joined by the owner riding his favorite stallion down the stone steps. Photo ops ensue, with slightly drunk tourists sitting like toddlers on the long-suffering horse. The next day, they can ride for real; the property's stable has five horses. Non-equestrians can visit the nearby Otavalo market.

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