If you're like me, a "romantic getaway" is about more than a king-size bed and jacuzzi with a side of Champagne. Being active throughout the day, exploring and discovering together, all bring a richer glow as the evening descends.
That's why my perennial favorite for a romantic escape is Hacienda Zuleta
in Ecuador's Andean highlands. Zuleta comes with all the romantic pre-requisites… a beautifully restored historic estancia (previously occupied by the Ecuadorian President Galo Plaza), idyllic landscapes with brilliant flowers and hiking trails, intimate dinners created from the estancia's own organic gardens and cheese production facilities, and finally a glass of wine next to the crackling fire in your room's fireplace.
But there's so much more! A quaint horse-drawn carriage will transport couples to Zuleta's private Andean Condor rehabilitation project, overseen by their wildlife expert and biologist, Yann Potaufeu. If you keep a watchful eye out, you may even spot one of the estancia's resident Andean spectacled bears
, the only surviving species of bear native to South America. These rare and shy creatures have their own romance going at Zuleta, their numbers have grown within these protected boundaries. And the nighttime is the perfect moment for romantic rendezvous for the elusive pumas which inhabit the grasslands and forests of the hacienda. Life is good for all creatures here!
If you can tear yourself away from Zuleta, just outside the hacienda's borders are villages filled with excellent craftsmen, the famous market town of Otavalo, and not too far away, the gorgeous – and very romantic – Peguche waterfall, a perfect hike and picnic destination.
Do you need more reasons to plan a romantic getaway to Ecuador? Just call or email me, I can help plan your custom adventure.
Your friendly Ecuador expert,
PS: We can combine Hacienda Zuleta before or after one of our custom trips to the Galapagos, this has been an excellent option for many of our travelers.