Never heard of a workation? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one. However, this new trend is starting to take off and soon you will be hearing the word everywhere. But what exactly is a workation? No, it’s not a vacation from work. Workations are all about fully immersing yourself in work, while also traveling and unwinding to improve well being and productivity.
What is the Meaning of Workation and How is it Different From a Working Holiday?
Maybe you have heard of Work & Travel before. Mostly young people go to countries like New Zealand on working holiday visas and work different jobs to finance their travels.
. The big difference between a working holiday and a workation is that on a workation you have one main job and settle in one location for an extended period of time (often months).
Workations are popular with people working in remote jobs. Alternatively many companies are also allowing their employees whose roles can be done with only their laptop and a fast internet connection to take extended time out of the office so they can have a workation and “recharge”.
Where Do You Go On a Workation?
Workation destinations are normally places where others come to enjoy their holidays. The concept of working while being in beautiful places owes its success to the digital era we live in. High speed internet allows us to work from some of the most stunning landscapes on the planet. As long as you have a stable internet connection, you could lie in a hammock, sit on the beach or enjoy the view of the snow-capped mountains while you work.
Popular Workation Destinations
Workation-ing may still be a new concept but there are places all over the world set up with all the infrastructure and pampering you need to have a successful workation. Popular destinations include:
- Chiang Mai
These places are great. However, with the increasing popularity of workations, digital nomads coming in and increased tourism, they are starting to become overcrowded. It’s not quite as tranquil and relaxing working on a white sand beach, staring out at the crystal blue water when there are 1,000 people around you doing the same thing.
Not to worry though, there are some great up and coming workation destinations, you may never have even heard of.
Up And Coming Workation Destinations
With popular destinations becoming overcrowded with tourists, more and more people are looking further afield to “out of the norm” locations that are open to the idea of workation guests.
Locations include places such as:
One of these places is the Hostería PapaGayo in Ecuador! The pioneers were digital nomads.
In the beginnings of workations, a group of people often rented a big house or villa at AirBnB where they would live and work together in a sharing community for their duration of the workation. Entrepreneurs and start-ups followed the trend and created their workspaces temporarily in new and different environments.
Spending time in self-catering units has the advantage that groups get to know each other very well, as they must cook together and live together. All the household chores take away quite a bit of the “vacation” time. This is why, hotels, resorts and similar destinations have developed their own workation concepts where the guest is catered for. In this way, guests can concentrate on their work and enjoy the vacation without worrying about cooking or cleaning.
Who Are Workations For?
Workations are interesting for two different groups of people mainly. Some are solo-workers/travellers and the other are employers.
Workations For Solo Travellers
Solo workers/travellers are often freelancers. They work in design, marketing, programming etc.. For a solo travelling freelancer it is possible to work almost everywhere. Therefore, they can go on a workation to almost anywhere in the world.
Often, they are looking for a quiet place in a beautiful area, where they can focus on their work and, as soon as they close their notebook, are immediately in an exciting environment with a tonne of activities to do. A place gains a lot of value for a solo traveller, when they can meet other digital nomads and can exchange ideas or even develop new projects together.
Workations For Employers
Workation look a bit different for our second group: the entrepreneur, and their employees. Joint business travel is not yet an established part of companies, but it could become a great way of building teams and working on projects.
With generation Y entering the workforce, company travel will become more and more popular. A team gets to know each other in a more relaxed environment making it easier to form relationships than in an office.
Company travel can be particularly beneficial for newly formed teams or to work on new projects. Teams work more efficiently without the distraction of daily life in the office and with more personal time to relax. For workshops or seminars the concept of workation works, too.
Solo workers and employees are just two groups of people who should consider a workation. Of course, everyone, who does not need more than the internet for their work, can take a workation.
Workations at Hostería Papagayo
Hostería Papagayo, as one of the first places in Ecuador, offers workations! We believe that a workation has many advantages for you as a solo traveller/freelancer or as an employer. That is why we suggest you try it out on the Avenue of the volcanoes. To convince you, we listed just some of the advantages of a workation at Papagayo:
- The Most Stunning Scenery In All Of South America
Let the fresh mountain air and the breath-taking landscapes of the Páramo be an inspiration to your work. Besides several activities at the hostería, we offer to take you to visit some of the most epic volcanoes on the planet, just a short drive away.
- Hiking and Climbing
- Exchange Ideas With Like Minded People
Exchange new ideas with other travellers or your colleagues in our cosy living/dining/working area. Should you need a quiet space for a meeting, we can offer you a place for this, too.
The hacienda is over 200 years old and if these walls could talk, they had many stories to tell. But as they can’t, why not get to know the other residents of Papagayo? Visitors to Papagayo are coming from all walks of life. Some are on a round trip, others came for climbing and some, just like you, are here to work and live in a new environment.
When you are on workation the best part is definitely the flexibility. If you like to go on a bike ride in the morning, do it, work later. If you would like to take a break in the afternoon to spend some time with the llamas or horses, do it, work later. The freedom to decide when you would like to work comes with responsibility and requires a certain amount of discipline from you, but you will win so much time to try and learn new things.
- Healthy Work-Life Balance
At Papagayo we focus on a healthy work-life balance. Two times per day we offer Yoga classes. Additionally, you can learn a lot about yourself by spending some time with the horses. We are specialized in natural Horsemanship, where the horses are trained without force and the communication between human and horse is priority. Most of the activities at Papagayo can be done every day.
Workations are to get away from the normal daily routine for a while. Within a few days, you can feel how your motivation returns and you start enjoying working again.. Motivation is key to success. New people, new challenges and most importantly a new, positive environment keep you going and push you going the extra mile during your working time.
Why should you choose Hostería Papagayo as your workspace?
Easy! The Hostería Papagayo became a co-working space during the Corona-crisis. We tested the concept first-hand, and it worked more than well!
- Great Workspace
We have a tonne of work space. Sit on comfy sofas, at desks, or even outside in the sun. Private rooms also can come with their own desk if you would like to work in privacy.
- High Speed Wifi
The most important thing you need to get your work done is fast wifi. We have high speed connections throughout the main building and outside cabins. The connection is stable and we have almost no downtime.
We have an espresso machine, drip coffee maker, and kettle so you can help yourself to coffee and fuel up on caffeine to get through those tough work days.
- Tonnes of Activities
There is always something to do at Papagayo. If you like to take a walk and do some bird watching or party all night during our very own karaoke shows, it is your choice. In our activity folder you can have a closer look at all the activities offered with us, and we are constantly developing new ideas.
We would be thrilled to welcome you, alone or with your colleagues, at our beautiful Hacienda! Give it a try, test a workation yourself! For further information or an enquiry, please feel free to contact us!
When visiting Ecuador, horses might not be the first thing that come to your mind. But you should reconsider your planned activities and think of spending some time with these gentle animals and learn more about them and yourself.
“Horse experience is just something for girls.” ”I have never sat on a horse before. I am afraid.” ”I would just like to have a relaxed time.” – These could be arguments coming to your mind when somebody is suggesting a horse experience to you. Now is the moment to forget about all these thoughts. Let us explain to you what awaits you when you are open up to this new experience.
The Hostería Papagayo is situated on the Avenue of the Volcanoes. Only an hour drive from Quito, it is the perfect get-away for a long weekend, but also easily accessible for holiday makers who are travelling through Ecuador. It is also the home of our well-trained horses. They spend their days on green fields surrounded by some of the most impressive volcanoes of Ecuador. Regularly trained, they are some of the calmest horses you will find in the entire country. Upon arrival at Papagayo, you will experience how liberating the clear mountain air is. you will be greeted immediately by the farm animals, as the horses share their home with dogs, goats, lamas and more! here in Papagayo we believe in respect, harmony and the connection between horse and human. That is why we specialised in the introduction to horse experience. With this we differentiate a lot from most other places, which normally only offer rides through the landscape and focus little on the connection between human and horse.
In the picturesque setting, with sky scraping volcanos and lush, rich flora in the Andean environment your interactive session of horse behaviour and riding can start. With our naturally trained horses as teachers, your horizons will be heightened as you practice our unique methods and witness the true power of the horse-human connection.
This session is directed towards beginners so that they have the chance to learn and understand horses a little more before jumping on and riding one of these beautiful but powerful animals. Through a variety of on ground and in saddle activities, you will have the chance to open your mind to many new things and experiences with our naturally trained horses. The idea is to connect to the horse and build a friendship in the most natural way possible, no aggression or extreme force is needed when you are communicating with the horse in a way that they can understand.
We usually start the session by getting to know the clients knowledge of horses, no matter how basic or comprehensive that is. From there we will enter the horses paddock, where we will find our herd living freely in nature, doing as they please. In this moment we ask each client to approach every horse individually and observe them for a little, before coming back and letting us know how they got on and what they found out about each horse. From this exercise alone, just watching the horses you can learn so much about their reactions, personalities and how they are with human contact.
The second exercise is to put on the head collar and walk with the horse. It sounds very easy but becomes a challenge for most clients. In order for the horse to follow you willingly, the horse must accept you as the leader. You will learn how to ask this of the horse through your actions, body language, voice and even mindset. Horses are extremely sensitive and smart so they feel energies, and if they feel that you are unsure they will not confide in you and follow free of choice. However if you portray confident energies and are certain that you know where you’re going and do it with intention, the horse will happily follow. Once you and the horse are connected we will make it a little more difficult by bringing in obstacles such as cones or tyres, walking at different velocities and in different directions.
From there we will normally take the horses over to groom them. In this exercise you will get to know the horses body, the brushes we use for each part of the body and why it is so important to groom your horse.
Once the horses are sparkling clean and we have checked the whole body, we will demonstrate how to correctly tack up a horse. The horses will be tacked up with either a comfy bareback pad or English saddle depending on what you prefer. We always give the choice but personally prefer the bareback pads as it gives you the chance to really feel the rhythm of the horse and connect on another level. We train our horses bitless or with very soft bridles, ensuring the horse is comfortable but that you still have control. Within the paddock you will experience how it is to ride with your eyes closed, arms out or seated backwards, in order to really feel the horse experience and how it is when you put all your trust in them.
Once you feel comfortable, in control and connected with your horse we will do a short tour around the Hostería, so you can explore the beautiful nature that surrounds us.
From this experience we only hope that each client learns something new and leaves happy, but also thinking in this new, exciting way to be with horses naturally.
Quito, as the capital of Ecuador and also a former colonial capital, possesses a heritage to be known. Very few Andean capitals can boast so much, in such a small territory. Here, we have prepared a short list of attractions that are not to be missed during a visit to Quito. It’s recommended that you stay in a central hotel in Quito to visit these places.
“La Capilla del Hombre” (Chapel of Man)
“La Capilla del Hombre” is a work of architecture in recognition of a timeless Latin American man. It was built as a tribute to the great Ecuadorian artist, Guayasamín, and is currently a cultural complex that shows different archaeological and artistic collections of Ecuador.
This great complex began with the Casa Taller Guayasamín, the painter’s home and place of work. It consists of a section that exhibits part of the archaeological pieces and colonial and contemporary art that the artist collected throughout his life. The rest of the sections allow the public the explore spaces in which Master Guayasamín lived and worked.
The courtyard of the Casa Taller features the Tree of Life, which is also the sepulcher of the Master Guayasamín. His remains are protected under the shade of the tree he planted a long time ago.
The Chapel of Man is located on the hill Guangüiltagua, bordering one of the entrances to the Metropolitan Park. Specifically, the address is: Lorenzo Chávez EA18-143 and Mariano Calvache, corner, in the Bellavista sector.
Oldtown of Quito
With almost 320 hectares, and some 130 monumental buildings dating from the time of the Spanish Conquest through the republican era and the early twentieth century, this is perhaps the best-preserved historic center in Latin America. Thousands of pieces of colonial art can be found in these historic spaces. There are numerous paintings and sculptures that were the product of what was called The Quito School, or Escuela Quiteña—a set of styles and artistic schools formed by both indigenous and mestizos of La Colonia. The magnificent result of this School, unique in the world, was born from the syncretism between the Inca cultures and the ancestral ones, together with the dominant Spanish culture. These are the main reasons why the city of Quito was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978.
The large part of buildings in Quito’s center were scenes of diverse events that changed the course of our nation’s history. This includes not only the time of the European conquest, but dating back even before, since the Incan people built astronomical and sacred sites where the Spanish then constructed their buildings. This was even the site that some authors call the “Inca Quito”, second capital of the Tawantinsuyo empire.
“Basilica del Voto Nacional”
This impressive structure is considered one of the most important works of Neo-Gothic architecture in Ecuador. It is located in the center of the city, in the streets Carchi and Venezuela, next to the Convent of the Oblate Fathers.
La Basilica was built to commemorate the consecration of the Ecuadorian state to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, during the presidency of Gabriel García Moreno in 1873.
It is 115 meters high and made of 24 internal chapels that represent the country’s distinct provinces. This sanctuary was inaugurated and blessed by Pope John Paul II during his visit to Ecuador on January 18, 1985.
The structure and style of the Church is compared with two of the great cathedrals of the world: the Basilica of St. Patrick, located in New York, and the Cathedral of Notre Dame, in Paris. Its distinguishing detail, however, is found in the substitution of the classic gargoyles by reptiles and amphibians typical of Ecuador.
Mon-Fri 7:00-9:00/ 18:00-19:00
Sat and Sun 6:00-18:30
Viewpoint open daily from 9:30-17:30
Foreigners: $2.00, nationals $1.00, children and seniors $0.50 Religious services:
Masses: Mon to Fri 07:00, 08:00 and 18:30; Sat 07:00 and 10:00; Sun 07:00 and 12:00
This house was built between 1976 and 1979. It was the residence of Ecuadorian artist, Master
Oswaldo Guayasamín, until his death.
The architect who built it was Gustavo Guayasamín, Oswaldo’s brother, based on sketches made by the painter. The project was modified during its execution, until the construction spanned over 2,000 square meters. Throughout the 20 years that he lived there, Guayasumín never stopped adding new spaces: a swimming pool, guest rooms, adjustments in the patios, etc.
The functional approach of this house is rationalist, through the articulation of well-defined geometric blocks. The symbolism of the white walls with semicircular arches on a stone wall, configuring the courtyard of the bells, reflects the painter’s constant preoccupation with the Latin American identity that fuses Hispanic and Andean, the slopes of the Ecuadorian nationality.
Address: E18-94 and Barrio, Mariano Calvache, Quito 170122
Hours: Open Today – 10-17
House of the Alabado
The Casa del Alabado Pre-Columbian Art Museum opened its doors to the public in 2010. Located in the historic center of Quito, half a block from the Plaza San Francisco, it has become an obligatory stop for all those who pass through this emblematic sector of the city. Installed in a house built in the seventeenth century, the museum guards an archaeological heritage of approximately 5000 pieces, of which 500 are permanently exhibited.
Address: Cuenca N1-41, Quito
Phone: (02) 228-0940
The Intiñan Museum sets up an interactive tour, where you can explore everything from the history of our ancestral villages to the magnificent effects produced by the sun, in our solar cylinder. Travel to the past through our century-old huts, discover and understand the physical phenomena of the earth with our didactic examples, observe the path of the sun (Intiñan) in the Acoratene, and, of course, enjoy a natural and privileged environment. Our main objective is to rescue a new image of the existence of the ancestral cosmovision’s geographical center, and of an ethno-ecological habitat in the Middle of the World.
200 meters from the Mitad del Mundo roundabout, via Calacalí
(593 2) 239 5122 / 730 9508
Monday to Sunday 09h30 to 17h00
“La Compañía de Jesús” Colonial Church
“La Compañía de Jesús” Church, summit of Latin American Baroque architecture, was built between 1605 and 1765. Its design took references from two emblematic Jesuit temples in Rome: Il Gesú and San Ignacio. Its construction lasted 160 years—with the final results wellworth its century-in-the-making. The Jesuit temple features a Latin Cross floor plan, central nave, north and south naves, transept, north and south transept, presbytery, sacristy, sacristy, and chapel.
The central nave is covered by a vault 26 m high, made of brick, pumice stone and finely decorated with plasterwork, polychrome, and Mudejar-style gold leaf.
The church was built with the hands of countless artists from the Quiteña School, most of whom were anonymous. They perpetuated their ability and dedication to carve and gild, skillfully plating every centimeter of the church with fine, 23-carat gold.
Two important religious events are linked to the La Compañía: one was the daily visit of Mariana de Jesús in an attitude of prayer, the first Ecuadorian saint who consecrated herself in this temple and chose it to dwell forever. Mariana died in 1645 (17th century) and it is in the high altar where her remains are now venerated. The second occurrence is the miracle of the Image of the Sorrowful Virgin, a deeply-believed miracle that happened in the dining room of the old San Gabriel School, inside the Jesuit building, on April 20, 1906.
Church of San Francisco
The Church of San Francisco is the most extraordinary work of Quito. It is located in the historic center, at 477 Cuenca Street and Sucre. In front of a square with the same name. With the plaza and its stunning structural accompaniment, the area turns it into an imposing architectural work.
According to some theories, San Francisco was built on top of the Palace of Huayna Capac, the eleventh and penultimate ruler of the Incan Empire. In fact, according to ancient chronicles, verbal traditions, and testimonies of the Spanish conquerors themselves, most of what is now the colonial Historic Center of Quito stands on top of Incan temples. If these syncreticallylayered sites interest you, be sure to also check out the sector of Panecillo, or Yavirac. Here previously stood the famous “Temple of the Sun,” decorated with gold and silver that Huayna Capac had brought from Cuzco.
For more information on the Church and Convent of San Francisco:
Telephone: (+593 2) 295 9911
E-mail: [email protected]
Quito’s “Teleferico” Cable Car
If you travel on a clear day to the top of the Pichincha Volcano in Quito’s stunning cable car, prepare your camera. You will be able to observe at least four snowy peaks, and 14 distinct volcanoes. This superior viewpoint opens to the whole city and its surrounding valleys.
The cable car ride lasts 10 minutes. It begins at 2,950 meters above sea level and reaches 4,053m (in a 2.5 kilometer double track).
Known as “Plaza de la Independencia” (Independence Square), the Plaza Grande is the nucleus of the Historical Center, where you will also be able to appreciate the daily dynamics of many Quiteños. It was not the city’s first square, but has been a meeting point par excellence since the 16th century. It is also the scene of many Quiteño legends and chronicles, as it is flanked by the Cathedral, the Presidential Palace, the Archbishop’s Palace, and the Municipal Palace.
At the sides and under the Cathedral, you will find cafeterias, where you can taste pork sandwiches, fresh fruit juices, and dried goat, prepared by women who have years of experience in their culinary trade.
As in few other parts of the world, on the lowest floor of the Government Palace, you will see a shop with handicrafts, and be struck by a very traditional barbershop.
The Independence Monument adorns the middle of the square, inaugurated on August 10th , 1909. You will notice a wounded lion (in reference to the Spanish troops); a condor breaking the chains of oppression (emblem of the country); and, at the top, the Roman goddess, Libertas, holding a torch.
Just a few steps from the square is the Pasaje Espejo, a pedestrian street in which the historic Teatro Bolívar and Plaza Chica are located. There are also typical and fusion restaurants.
Sources of information and reference
Quito’s climate tends from temperate to warm. Although it’s located virtually on the equator, its altitude ranges from 2,200 meters above sea level to 3,100 meters above sea level, cooling the otherwise scorching temperatures. Peripheral parishes, however, stoop into the valleys (Los Chillos, Cumbayá and Tumbaco), and tend to have both warmer and drier climates (especially Carapungo, Calderón, Pomasqui, and the “Middle of the World”). But, in the plateau, the climate is variable; the sun may shine in the morning, and in the afternoon, a strong downpour may fall. Likewise, as it may be a cloudy dawn and cool day, and then burn with a hot afternoon sun. It may even be sunny in a certain part of the city, while in another part it rains. Such is the capricious nature of Quito, that it’s famous for this particularity.
Over the course of the year, Quito has a generally spring-like climate—with the exception of a dry and rainy period, both of about four months duration. The dry period is between June and September—with the hottest, blazing months being June and August. The rainy period is between January and April—with the wettest, soggy months being March and April. During this time, it often also hails, filling the city street with the closest thing they get to snow. The average temperature varies between 10º C (50º F) and 22º C (71º F), depending on whether it rains or not. Minimum temperatures are recorded at dawn, 2º C (35º F), maximum temperatures are recorded around midday, 25º C (77º F).
How do I pack to cope with Quito, Ecuador’s climate?
Any trip to Quito will necessarily have a multi-purpose, wind-water-sun-breaking layer on the packing list.
In addition, we recommend these items, according to the time of year:
Winter (October to May):
The winter in Quito is characterized by two elements: it rains generally until 9:00 am, then is sunny, tinged with occasional cold and cloudy days. From 14h00, in the afternoon hours, intermittent rains can be expected, with greater force from 16h30 onwards.
The nights almost always include a light or very heavy rain, so we recommend the following packing list for the winter:
For Business Trips:
– Portable waterproof jacket
– Suit or formal suit, blazer
– Formal trousers or casual jeans
– Blouses or warm tops for ladies
– Medium heel shoes for ladies, to avoid heel problems in a possible downpour
– Executive suits for ladies
– Leather or waterproof shoes
– Waterproof backpacks or briefcases to protect documents and laptops
For Casual Vacations:
– Heavy waterproof or rain resistant jacket to withstand both burning sun and cold, night wind
– Cotton polo shirts or shirts
– Jeans or cargo pants
– Rain-resistant hiking or sports shoes
– Hat or cap that covers the face well
– More than 50 SPF, waterproof sunscreen—at least 2 applications daily
– Waterproof backpack or suitcase
Summer (June – September)
Summer in Quito is characterized by two elements: clear, but very cold, mornings until 9am; then sunny, sunny, with an incredibly strong, dry heat. The midday sun is infamous to generate skin cancer, due to its strength in the combination of high altitude and geographical location on the equator.
In the afternoons, from 14h00 and on, you can expect some clouds; however, the sun will remain present until 18h50.
These tips are also available for visitors arriving in Quito and staying at the MERCURE HOTEL Alameda Quito.
Our enchanting hacienda is full of character and life. Dressed with a rich history, PapaGayo continues to carry the same charm as when its fascinating story began. When people visit our hacienda, they often inquire about the history of Hostería PapaGayo, and our staff are always happy to recount the story. Given the quantity of inquiries into the story behind PapaGayo, we decided to share it with you on our blog.
Hostería PapaGayo, which opened its doors on March 27, 2002, has been a silent witness to countless events since it welcomed the families of the great liberators of South America, Antonio José de Sucre and Simón Bolívar. It was in this space, where Hostería PapaGayo is located today, that the beginning of the combat began that led to the freedom of millions of people on the South American continent. Until 1829, Hostería PapaGayo, as we know it today, belonged to Marquise of Solanda and Villarocha Mariana Carcelén, who was the wife of the great marshal of Ayacucho, Antonio José de Sucre. In the same year of 1829, their family celebrated Easter at the hacienda.
Mariana was an Ecuadorian aristocrat that met Antonio José de Sucre on May 24, 1822 in the city of Quito immediately after the Battle of Pichincha. Mariana and her family sought refuge in the Santo Domingo Church during the battle. When they heard troops celebrating after the conclusion of the battle, they exited the church to find a procession of soldiers. Mariana, who was not yet 17 years old, was considered very beautiful with her fair skin and long black hair. Upon seeing Mariana, Sucre jumped off his horse, introduced himself to her and her family, and told them that it was safe to return home.
Shortly before dying, Mariana’s father, the Marques, visited Sucre to offer his daughter’s hand in marriage. Sucre accepted although he continued to serve in the military for the next five years. Sucre was in love with Mariana, but it appears that Mariana never truly loved Sucre. During his prolonged absence during the war, Mariana and Sucre remained in touch through letter writing. They married in 1828, while Sucre was president of Bolivia. Mariana then became the First Lady of Bolivia, holding this position for 8 days since Sucre resigned shortly after.
Sucre decided to give up his military and political life and commit himself to raising a family. He returned to Quito, where he and Mariana moved into her family’s mansion. Ten months later, Mariana gave birth to a baby girl. In 1829, Sucre was commanded to travel to Bogota to prevent the collapse of Gran Colombia. On his way back to Quito in 1830, he was assassinated. Mariana was only 24 years old when he died, and she was in great distress following his death.
In 1933, Don Miguel Angel Benalcazar, great-grandson of “The Great Liberator” Simon Bolivar, bought part of the land containing Mariana’s hacienda. We are not certain of the hacienda’s story between the time that the Marquise and Sucre spent time in the hacienda to when Benalcazar bought the land. What we do know is that Simon Bolivar had a son, Miguel. Because Simon Bolivar was such a target among many enemies, he adopted the last name Camacho for his son in order to protect him. Miguel Camacho´s family later changed their last name yet again to Benalcazar. Miguel Camacho grandson, Miguel Angel Benalcazar, is the one who bought the land containing the hacienda and named it “Hacienda Bolivia”.
Marisol Benalcazar inherited the hacienda in 1997 and decided to sell it after 5 years. In 2001, Eran Hayoun arrived to Ecuador from Israel at the age of 26 with the dream of establishing his own true business in the western Sierra. He was searching for a hacienda, and after six months of searching, he found Hacienda Bolivia. He began working to convert the hacienda into a hotel. On March 27, 2002, Eran opened “Hostería PapaGayo” for those who want to enjoy nature. Today, PapaGayo offers multiple programs for your entertainment, such as mountain climbing programs, horseback riding, yoga, family activities and much more.
The history of Hostería PapaGayo has carried tremendous events for nearly 200 years, starting with the great Marquise of Solanda and Villarocha.
The life of the Marquise of Solanda and Villarocha after Sucre’s death
Although the Marquise’s time with the hacienda ended after Sucre’s death, we were intrigued about the details of her life after his death. Her fascinating life was certainly one of hardship. After Sucre’s death, she remarried thirteen months later to Colombian General Isidoro Barriga, who fought alongside Sucre in Peru. Her decision to remarry at this time was controversial, as widows were expected to wait 5 years before remarrying. Mariana has been cited with saying, “They married me with Sucre; I married Barriga,” hinting at her true love for Barriga that was lacking in her first marriage. Barriga behaved like a gentleman during their courtship but revealed his true colors as a frequent partygoer, card player, and womanizer once they were married.
Several months after their marriage, Barriga was playing with Mariana’s daughter, when the small child fell, hit her head, and died. She was two years old. There was some speculation that the death was intentional, although historians conclude that the death was an accident. In 1832, Mariana gave birth to a son, her only child with Barriga. Barriga died in 1850.
One year later, Mariana married a third time to a lawyer. They had one child together, who died shortly after birth likely due to complications related to Mariana’s age at 46 years old. Mariana’s only surviving child was from her marriage with Barriga. He married the daughter of the general who was believed to have killed Sucre. Mariana was distressed by her son’s decision to marry the daughter of her first husband’s murderer, and her relationship with her son suffered.
Mariana died at the age of 56 due to an infection. It was noted that she was very beautiful up until death. She was widely known for her generous charity to the poor, and the city of Quito mourned her death. She was celebrated for not having an ostentatious life.
Mariana was known for crying constantly. We believe this is with good reason, as she had a hard life. Her parents obliged her into a loveless marriage, she had a bad marriage with her second husband, her daughter died tragically, she was widowed twice, and her son’s marriage led her to despair.
Our Charming Hacienda
Visit PapaGayo today and be immersed in our historical hacienda as well as the pure nature that surrounds it. Located among the spectacular Avenue of Volcanoes, PapaGayo offers you both adventure and relaxation. PapaGayo is also located close to quaint indigenous villages, allowing you the chance to share with local Andean communities. Sitting at a height of 3,200 m (10,500 ft), it’s the perfect homebase if you are acclimatizing and preparing to hike the nearby mountains. You can experience all of this plus much more on the very grounds where Mariana Carcelén and Antonio José de Sucre once walked.
Quito, capital of Ecuador, is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Latin America. Surrounded by mountains and volcanoes, this city was founded in 1534 by the Spaniard Sebastián de Benalcazar. There are several theories regarding the origin of its name, the most accepted relates that it comes from the languages tsa’fiki and cha’fiki: “qui” (de quitsa) means means half, and “to” or “tu” means land. Thus, the word “Quito,” or “Quitu,” is translated as: “Earth in the middle of the World”.
This applies to a very specific reason: Quito is only about 20 km away from the equator. The winter and summer equinoxes have a special connotation and integral function in and around the city.
The pre-Incan name of the city coincides with a series of astronomical phenomena visible from the area and its the nearby valleys, creating a zone of special interest for astronomy. The impact of these phenomena is so deep and strong that there are several archaeological remains near Quito, where the observation of events associated with the sun, moon, and stars have mathematical precision.
All these references date from at least 700 or 800 years before the arrival of the Incas. In fact, according to historical sources, the civilization moved their empire towards the north on purpose, towards the exact point where the sun did not have shade.
One of Quito’s unique characteristics is not only its geographical position along the equator, but also its altitude. At 2,800 meters above sea level, this city is guarded by active volcanoes such as Pichincha, Cotopaxi, and Cayambe. It is a real jewel embedded in the Andes Mountain Range. These form a ring of no less than 14 volcanoes visible from the city on a clear day.
The history of this city is wonderful. Pre-Hispanic cultures with surprising wisdom inhabited these lands, settling the “Kingdom of Quito.” In fact, it is now possible to visit in the surrounding site’s museums that exhibit remains of buildings and archaeological pieces—testimonies of the level of social organization that ancient civilizations like the Quitus, Caras, etc. developed. In this territory, and on sacred sites, the Spaniards founded the city of San Francisco de Quito.
The Spanish conquistadores took advantage of native construction and astronomical knowledge to create unique architecture as they took over the land of Quito. A symbiosis of Andean and European techniques resulted in what has been called baroque art, which was embodied in the construction of buildings that are part of the Historic Center of Quito, declared by UNESCO in 1978 as Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The Spanish conquest marked the history of the city of Quito in many ways. In addition to architecture, the Escuela de Arte Quiteña (Quito Art School) was here born, forming artisans who elaborated religious art that astonished the world. Paintings, sculptures, altarpieces, among other works, can be seen in churches, convents, and museums that exhibit the splendor of an era of worship of the Catholic religion (XVI, XVII and XVIII centuries). Perhaps this is the only city in the world that has immense, gold-leaf covered altars, which can be visited and admired. The majority of artistic objects were made by anonymous colonial authors. Some have been identified, however, as in the inspiring case of Caspicara: an Indian who used techniques and materials that are still the subject of research.
Quito is also an eminently political city. Here was the first cry of Spanish independence. In 1809, indigenous and mestizo leaders (the latter a mixture of indigenous and Spanish blood) fought to achieve independence from the Spanish colony. Years of struggle finally led to the constitution of the Republic of Ecuador in 1830. This struggle was taken as an example by other nations and made Quito known as the “Luz de América.”
With the passage of time, the pace of the economy made Quito a true metropolis. It currently has a population of approximately 2 million inhabitants, with three areas perfectly marked: the north, the modern area; the center, the largest colonial hub of America; and the south, where most of the population lives and the industrial zone is located.
This city is the political center of Ecuador, housing all the public institutions of the national government. It is the soul of Ecuadorian bureaucracy and the meeting point of the country’s accredited international organizations .
In addition to learning the pre-Hispanic, colonial, and republican history, being in Quito allows visitors to enter a modern city with all the novelties and comforts of the 21st century. Shopping malls, which offer the most famous brands in the world, have become places of meeting and leisure. It’s also possible to enjoy a variety of local and international, while preparing to discover a city with a nightlife that will surprise. The city has a great supply of hotels that allow you to tailor-plan your trip. The Mercure Alameda Hotel Quito comes especially recommended. Located in the north central area of the city, it gives you the possibility to mobilize anywhere, in the shortest time, and with the greatest security. The capital and beloved city of the Ecuadorians is a gem to explore. You will love diving through its layers of history, art, culture, and fun!