There is something quite special about Hacienda Zuleta. Surrounded by more than 2,000 acres of forest and grazing lands, it was built at the end of the 16th century and is still a private family home. You can get a sense Ecuador's history here, and that of the Galo Plaza-Lasso family (which has produced two of country's most beloved former presidents) in their photos, paintings, and furnishings. There are just 11 guest rooms at the estate, plus beautiful gardens, famous hospitality, and excellent food, often fresh from the organic garden and trout farm (and Zuleta's hand-made artisan cheese is delicious). All the guest rooms and the main sitting room have roaring fireplaces to keep away the chill of the 9,000-foot altitude. There are no TVs or video games here to break the spell, just peace and quiet in a spectacular Andean setting. It's a delightful place to call home after a day of hiking, visiting the condor rehabilitation project, or horseback riding in the high Andes.