The ancient ritual of rodeo riding has been held for centuries at Hacienda El Porvenir and Hacienda El Tambo. El Rodeo (cattle roundup or cattle drive) is an epic experience for any horseback rider and probably one of the most intense and beautiful rides one can be involved at. You can be part of this tradition that was featured by AFAR magazine on it’s Experiential Travel Awards 2014 where almost one thousand cows and dozens of Chagras (Andean Cowboys) will gather around the hacienda, after several days of riding our horses to “round” cattle and bring them to the corrals.
DAY 1 (L,D)
ACCLIMATIZATION RIDE EL PORVENIR- RUMIÑAHUI VOLCANO
You will leave Quito early in the morning (7:30AM) and head towards Hacienda El Porvenir. After a brief riding lesson, our ride begins towards the slopes of the dormant Rumiñahui volcano on exclusive paths. As we travel across majestic Andean panoramas, we will see herds of wild bulls, birds and other wildlife. We will eventually arrive near the rocky peaks of Rumiñahui where you can see 12 more volcanoes on a clear day. Additionally, we will stop by Chusigmachai, or the Owl Refuge, before riding back to the farm house. Pack lunch is included during the the trip. We will arrive at Hacienda El Porvenir for dinner and an overnight stay.
DAY 2 (B,L,D)
HACIENDA EL PORVENIR – HACIENDA EL TAMBO – COTOPAXI NATIONAL PARK
Today’s ride will cover 42 km. With an average altitude of 3800 m / 12.464 ft. it is a worthwhile effort. We will cross the eastern road of Cotopaxi National Park and visit some sites along the way including Inca Ruins, fresh water springs and Andean lakes. We will then follow 18 km of exclusive trails inside Hacienda El Tambo with some magnificent views. At our arrival to El Tambo Hacienda house, we will be welcomed with a drink next to a crackling fireplace and a hot shower. A delicious dinner or BBQ will be served. Overnight at Hacienda El Tambo.
DAY 3 – 6 (B,L,D)
After breakfast we gather at the Bomba where the orders of the day will be given by the owners and the administrators of the hacienda. After we are assigned to an area to bring the cattle down to the valleys, we will start the ride. The first hours are rather slow and the pace will be mainly walking. Once we reach the place we were designated, we will stop and wait until the rest of the riders are all in position. Signals will be given and a fast descent will start, always keeping the position so that we don’t leave “empty” spaces where the cattle can scape. We will herd the cattle down the hill to the plains and from there to the corrals. Riding time: Approximately 4-6 hours.
After lunch and some minutes to rest the corral work will start. The cattle that were gathered during the day will be counted, vaccinated, separated for sale and marked. The Chagras on their horses will lasso the bulls, cows and calves so that the Chasquis of Chagras on the ground can work with the animals. This is a period of bonding where the Chagras will work hard and often make jokes and laugh. Corral working time will be approximately 4 hours. Guests are welcome to participate, observe or they can go for a short hike to nearby natural sites or go fishing.
After dinner, we all gather by the fire. Chagras will start arriving and some spirit will warm up the night. Drinking, singing, dancing and telling stories is a fundamental part of this ancient tradition, where oral knowledge passes from the old Chagras to the new ones.
DAY 7 (B,L)
RETURN TO QUITO
After the ride return to Quito.
Accommodation (based on double occupancy, with a shared bathroom and living room) Rooms with private bathroom and or living room available at el Porvenir with extra costs.
Meals (19 full meals, from lunch first day to lunch last day)
Drinks (alcoholic and nonalcoholic)
Activities as described in the itinerary
Professional guides (Certified English speaking guide and native chagra guide)
Riding gear (riding helmets, wool poncho, water poncho, saddle bags and chaps)
Transport from and to Quito and within the tour days
Safety backup vehicle
Entrance fee to Hacienda El Tambo Private Conservation Area
24/7 assistance in Dutch, English and Spanish
Optional tips for the guide
8 days/ 7 nights – $1899.- p.p. with a minimum of 2 guests
UPCOMING RODEO RIDES
With these special rodeo departures we are depended on the cowboys, when they have to get the herd in. The next planned departure is February 10th 2017.
* The technical difficulty and physical effort for this tour is advanced.
*The itinerary of the rodeo is determined at the rodeo and it depends on various factors: weather, status and location of the herds, number of participants involved, etc. Since the rodeo is a cattle farming authentic task we ask flexibility on the itineraries.
* Since we will ride in the mountains where the trails could be steep and where there is less oxygen lead us to put a maximum on rider weights of 200 pounds.
* Important things to bring: waterproof clothing, comfortable shoes (no flipflops or other type of open shoes), water, sun block, mosquito repellent, sunglasses and your passport.
* It is important that you will have current travel insurance including personal medical insurance. Please inform us of any known medical conditions you have.
* The operator reserves the right to change the itinerary without previous notice due to weather, National Park regulations or notifications and unpredictable circumstances.