El Molino is a country home build in a reconstructed old 18th century water mill, which was used until the 1960´s to grind barley, wheat and other grains from the surrounding farms and communities. In the 1980´s my grandparents remodeled the house to host friends and , specially, newlyweds!
This property is part of Hacienda Zuleta , the Plaza family state ( it is a working farm that has been open to a very few special guests since 1998. Hacienda Zuleta is located at the heart of the inter andean valleys of the Andes Mountain range of Ecuador. At only 1 hour and 45 minutes from the Quito International airport, and 35 minutes from the most visited markets in Ecuador, Otavalo and Cotacachi. And 30 minutes from Ibarra, the capital of the northern province of Imbabura.
El Molino is surrounded by cultivated land , cows pastures and it's inside the Protected Zuleta Forest Reserve. Inside a beautiful and mysterious canyon, with water springs flowing from the mountains, native vegetation and fauna that will captivate you. Two beautiful and peaceful indian communities are our neighbors and many work for our family for generations. An impressive 11th century archaeological site, and a Condor Rehabilitation and Interpretation Center which you can visit and be mesmerized by the majestic and extremely endangered, andean condor , when he flies above your head.
We are located in the Northern Province of Imbabura, in the Community of Zuleta , at the foot of the eastern Andean mountain range. The mill is at 2770 meters ( 9000 feet) above sea level, with a Spring like weather almost all the year. El Molino´s property is about 120 hectares (290 acres) of agricultural land, pastures for grazing cows and native forests.
An ideal place for hiking, horseback riding, mountain climbing, picnics , camping, cultural immersion , or just to take slowly and relax , absorbing all the good energy that surrounds it.
We have conserve the original structure of mill, as well as the stone grinding mechanism, which are part of the master bedroom. The house has two bedrooms , with their own bathrooms , a beautiful living room with a very efficient Masonry Heater that will keep your warm and cozy. The dining room is incorporated to the kitchen , we love cooking, so we have put a lot of energy in our kitchen, we are sure you will enjoy cooking in it. We have added a BBQ and a Pizza Oven outside, this is a great meeting area for your friends and family.
Huge windows give a great view of the Tahuando river waterfall and of the beautiful Santa Martha Canyon.
The Mill´s grinding system is exposed and is part of the ambiance of the living room.
The house is about 180 m2 (590 ft2) and it is surrounded by a private garden, with an area for tents and a fire pit and hammocks can be hung around the fire, great place to enjoy the beautiful andean skies! The house has two decks , the larger extends the living rooms space, and it´s an ideal breakfast area with the morning sun warming it directly. It also has a wood stove to enjoy a night cup and great discussion about life and friendship.
The principal activity of the farm is milk production , every day we produce approximate 800 liters of milk a day, we also have an area where the community members milk their cows twice a day at 5 am and 4 pm, you can join forces and try your luck with hand milking !
We have 9 trails of different lengths and effort that take you throughout the farm protected areas, pastures and communities. You can also coordinate, with the farm lodge to visit the property's unique area , you can visit the Condor Rehabilitation Center, the Cheese Factory, garden go horseback riding and even have lunch or dinner in their majestic four century old dining room. Prior reservations are required, we will help you with this.
The Zuleta community is known for their unique hand embroidery , where you can buy directly in the shops that line the main road. Every other weekend there is a farmers market where you can find natural products and crafts.
We love guests coming to El Molino, and we love visitors that are eager to enjoy our little andean paradise, we will make everything in our power to help you make the most of your vacation. We are full of great ideas and information so your visit to this magical country is a success. The longer you stay the happier you will be!!
Come to Ecuador , you will love it!!
Carolina and Fernando