Charming strolls by the river, visits to the nearby hilltops and villages, witnessing ceramic pots come to life in the hands of local artisans, bread prepared in wood-fired ovens and dulce de leche in bronze cauldrons, sugarcane milled by oxen to make guarapo spirit, fruits and vegetables sown from the earth, visits to the chapel or the cheese “factory”, the harvesting and roasting of prime highland coffee, cattle rodeos, milking of cows, horseback riding on paso horses…
One descends to the farm and its lands from the main dirt road, winding down to a small country hideaway, completely isolated from the world. It is far from many hacienda-hotels in the country, subsumed by highways and engulfed amid cellular and broadband signals.
The fragrance of freshly-brewed coffee, the taste of organic Ecuadorian limes, the warmth of the house’s rustic, traditional décor, its wood and adobe age-old simplicity, the pleasant homely smiles of a staff intimately linked to hacienda life.
Surrounding the hacienda, crops of coffee, banana, yucca and various types of beans, carrots, chili peppers and selected legumes thrive. Lowing cattle produce milk, a delicious dulce de leche and excellent fresh cheese (served at meals). The hacienda’s family respects agricultural cycles and employs ecologically-friendly practices. Wherever you look in Gonzabal, you realize that everything is made here.
Self-sufficient, sustainable, free of contaminants of all kinds, free of chemicals, free of car horns, where you only smell and feel nature all around.
The earliest records of the estate date from 1642. Since the 18th century, Hacienda Gonzabal has belonged to the Burneo family.
The excellent home-made food made with organic-certified products is cooked almost exclusively with what is produced within the hacienda’s lands. Imagine a fresh carrot soup, trays of beans of every color and the excellent dry chili powder with spices, as you sit and watch the sunlight dance over the valley and the beautiful mountains that rise in the distance.
A place like Gonzabal, of course, is not for everyone, but it should be… because a place like Gonzabal can only do good to one’s heart and soul.
Gonzabal lies a 45-minute drive from Loja, along the Taquil-Chuquiribamba road, just past Cachipamba de Cera. Nourished by 400 years of history, this mountain niche offers a space of peace and connection with nature.
Via Taquil Chuquiribamba Barrio Gonzabal Loja, Ecuador
+ (593 9) 9945 0545