If you are a morning person, you may want to enjoy a short walk around the grounds prior to breakfast. A large variety of bird life is attracted to the gardens and they are busy in the morning light. Adjacent to the main courtyard, the milking barn is usually full of activity at daybreak as some of the more than 300 Holstein dairy cows are being milked by Hacienda staff. After an exquisite farm fresh breakfast of eggs, pancakes, muesli, fruit and homemade bread, take a visit to the cheese factory. Learn about Zuleta’s semi-aged handmade cheeses, how the process has changed throughout history and where the cheeses are sold both domestically and internationally.
Mornings are usually sunny throughout the year, so take advantage of the sunshine for hiking, biking or horseback riding to the Condor reserve or the Condor Huasi Project.
In the mornings, you are also more likely to see wild Condors soaring as the sunlight creates thermal updrafts. You will learn about the foundation’s efforts, see rescued condors in the aviary, and visit the nearby trout farm. Your trip back to the hacienda takes you through Zuleta’s pastureland where you can discover ancient monuments of the Caranqui culture, including both small burial mounds dating back to 700 A.D. and giant ceremonial truncated pyramids from the 13th century.
At lunch time you can enjoy freshly caught trout, and then have coffee in the patio while admiring the giant hummingbirds that comes frequently to feed.
In the afternoon, visit the Zuleta Embroidery Project and Workshop. You will meet members of the Zuleta community, for which hand embroidery has been an important part of their artistic and cultural expression for centuries.
The Embroidery Project aims to keep this art form alive in the community through education and by providing local people with a sustainable form of income through their own embroidery shop. After your visit, a horse drawn carriage is waiting for to transfer you down the eucalyptus alley to visit the foundation-run library. This is where local kids spend their afternoons to get help with homework, read and play.
You may decide to do a more challenging hike up to Condor viewpoint, which provides a great panoramic view over the Zuleta valley. Keep your eyes peeled, as sightings of the Andean Spectacled Bear are common in this area!
End the day with a nice hot bath and another delicious dinner!
Hacienda Zuleta Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner