La Cienega

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Hotel class: 3 stars
Lasso Panamericana Sur Km 72, Cotopaxi, Ecuador
La Cienega - In the garden
La Cienega - The hacienda's chapel
La Cienega - A corridor in the Hacienda la Cienega
La Cienega - Another view of our room - fireplace and bathroom
La Cienega - Our bedroom at the Hacienda la Cienega
La Cienega - Hacienda la Cienega
La Cienega - Hacienda la Cienega

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La Cienega Cotopaxi Reviews

Toonsarah Toonsarah
393 reviews
Packed with history Oct 30, 2012
Leaving the Cotopaxi National Park in the rain we headed for our base for the night, the Hacienda La Cienega, arriving here in the middle of a storm. We received a friendly welcome and were shown to our room, having arranged to meet up with Jose Luiz later for dinner. The room, number 31, was on the far side of this historic property and was a good size, with a large and comfortable bed, and was nicely decorated. We were pleased to see that it had a heater as well as a fireplace, as the day was chilly at these heights (over 3,000 metres above sea level I believe) and the fire not lit – although later it was lit for us, and very cosy it was too!

We went to the small bar to see if we could get a coffee but the friendly manager immediately proposed that we sat in the then-empty restaurant (it was only about 4.30 pm) as there was a good fire going. He brought us a cafetière of excellent coffee and even lit some candles! Later in the afternoon we went to sit in one of the hallways to take advantage of the free wifi (which didn’t work in our bedroom) and again staff hurried to make us comfortable, stoking up the fire in the wood-burning stove. Later the rain stopped and I took a brief walk in the courtyard garden, its lush tropical trees and bushes dripping and birds starting to sing after their soaking.

The hacienda is packed with history! It dates from the early part of the 18th century, and was so well built that it survived the 1744 eruption of Cotopaxi. It has played host to numerous famous people, including Charles Marie de la Condamine, a French scientist who participated in the 1736-44 Geodesic Mission that determined the true shape of the earth (and identified the location of the equator just north of Quito) and to Alexander von Humboldt, the German geographer/naturalist who studied Cotopaxi’s volcanic activity in 1802, and who is best known for proposing the theory that the lands bordering the Atlantic were once joined (and for having an ocean current named for him!), as well as many of Ecuador’s former presidents.

On one side of the courtyard is the small but beautiful Chapel of Our Lady of the Rosary. It can apparently be used for weddings, and Jose Luiz told us later that on some visits his tourist guests have been accommodated for dinner in one part of the dining room while the wedding party celebrated in the other. The chapel doors stood open when I was exploring the garden, as they did the next morning, so I was able to have a look inside at the lovely wooden altarpiece, unusual reed ceiling and several old paintings.

In the evening we had a somewhat disappointing dinner in the atmospheric restaurant, which I describe in my separate review, as the it is open to non-residents and I believe is a popular lunch stop for private tours to Cotopaxi. The next morning we had breakfast in the same restaurant which was more of a success than the dinner had been – fresh fruit (melon, pineapple and banana), fresh juice (babaco – related to papaya and very refreshing), scrambled eggs and bacon, and reasonable coffee.

Overall we really liked our short stay here, because of the special atmosphere and history of the place, and I would recommend it – but take a warm jumper and ask to order your dinner from the main menu!
Hacienda la Cienega
Our bedroom at the Hacienda la Cie…
Another view of our room - firepla…
A corridor in the Hacienda la Cien…
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La Cienega Overview

32 Single rooms Double rooms Twin rooms Triple rooms Countryside 20 kms to city centre 50 kms to the nearest airport (quito)

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photo by: Biedjee