Ecuador

iStock International

Hacienda Zuleta

Address: Angochagua

Neighborhood:

City: Provincia Imbabura

Phone: 011-593-6-2662-182

Website: www.zuleta.com

Expert Review

Zuleta, a 17th-century Spanish colonial-style house on 4,500 acres in the Andes, offers 11 guest rooms (furnished with antiques, fireplaces, and hand-embroidered linens) on a working, largely sustainable farm that produces milk and cheese, barley, artichokes, and a variety of livestock, yielding family-style meals that are astoundingly fresh and varied.

Head to the nearby mountainside Condor Huasi Recovery Reserve to help protect and care for the country's most famous endangered bird. Zuleta gives back in other ways too: The embroidery workshop's tours and demonstrations aid hundreds of local craftswomen. The star here is a stable of 90 Zuleteño horses, a cross of thoroughbred, Spanish-Andalusian, and quarter horse breeds. Exploring the surrounding forests and pre-Incan archaeological sites on a 3- to 7-day riding program is an unmatched thrill. 2008 Smart Luxury Award winner

Great Value Alternative: In Nicaragua, Morgan's Rock Hacienda & Ecolodge has gorgeous open-air jungle bungalows. www.morgansrock.com

Tags: luxury | smart splurge | smart luxury winner | eco-friendly

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