Earlier this month we were invited to stay at Hacienda Uzhupud in Paute. Our family stayed for two nights and three days.
Fresh Air and Beautiful Surroundings
One of the first things I noticed when we arrived at Uzhupud was how good the air smelled. It smelled a lot like lilacs. There were flowers everywhere: large vases of fresh cut roses, flowering plants, bushes and trees.
I’m still not sure which flower was making that smell, but I loved it.
Three Days in Three Minutes
Experiencing The Culture
The hacienda (ranch) is over two hundred years old and many of the antiques are from the original owners. It was easy to see that maintaining the culture of the hacienda is very important at Uzhupud.
Almost everywhere we looked we saw cultural artwork and there was antique furniture in the rooms and social areas of the main building.
There are two different lodging areas at Uzhupud. A main building (which overlooks the pool) and a pueblito (little town) just up the hill. Both areas look as they would have a hundred years ago.
The pueblito is an area built like a small Andean town. It reminded me of an Andean-style Avonlea, the Anne of Green Gables town on Prince Edward Island, Canada. A picture perfect little town.
There are traditional activities (depending on occupancy and time of year) and traditional food.
Uzhupud Was Relaxing And Fun
We had a lot of fun at Uzhupud! They have outside games like ping-pong, tennis, and volleyball. They also have horseback riding and paddle-boats.
Drew especially loved the pool and hot tub. When we got out of the water we felt a little cool, so we spent a few minutes warming up in the sauna.
The property is large and fenced-in so we enjoyed going for walks, looking at the flowers, plants and trees. It was also nice to walk through the the large organic garden. We picked some vegetables which were made into a salad that we had with our lunch.
Milking A Cow On Vacation?!
We loved spending time with the animals. The barns are on the same grounds, just a short walk away from the main lodging area.
Drew loved feeding the chickens and holding the guinea-pigs, fuzzy baby chicks and rabbits! She even tried milking the cow and she was a natural! The farm was one of her favorite parts of the visit – she kept asking to go back to see the animals.
Milking a Cow with a Traditional Pauteña
After that, Drew gathered some eggs in a little basket. We all watched as they were prepared and cooked in a wood-fired oven for our breakfast.
Delicious Traditional Food
The menu has a nice variety of traditional food (including higos con queso) and other cuisine. We had some of both and it was all delicious.
A highlight for our family was making our own pizza. We wore big white chef hats and everything. It was fun! After we did our best with the dough and put on all the toppings the pizzas were cooked in a traditional wood-fired oven. We ate outside under a starry sky, it was a very special treat.
There are two dining areas at Uzhupud. A fancy dining room and a cafe with a more casual atmosphere. They also have beautiful outside eating areas.
For Expats And Travelers
The last time we wanted a taste of luxury, we traveled to the Caribbean. But now we are planning a return trip to Uzhupud instead. Luxury without the expensive international flights.
This is also a great option for travelers looking to experience the culture of Ecuador with their family. They offer a shuttle service to/from Cuenca which could make things a little more convenient.
They were working on an apartment type lodging while we were there. It has a couple of rooms a small kitchen and large balcony area. This might be good for larger families or people looking to stay for more than a few days.
Have you stayed at Uzhupud? What did you think of your stay? Please let us know by commenting on this post.