Although built in the sixteenth century, this ranch is most famous for being owned by the descendants of Galo Plaza Lasso, president of Ecuador from 1948-52. Its industry makes it one of the most productive ranches on this list. The dinner table alone attests to its output: fresh milk and hand-churned butter, handmade cheese and bread made from estate-grown wheat. Also raised here are sheep and Zuleteño horses, a robust crossbreed of Andalusian, English and quarter horses. Rides along high-altitude trails will take you to cloud forests and ancient pre-Inca sites. Your stay also gives you a chance to be socially responsible, since Hacienda Zuleta supports a condor rehabilitation project and a women's cooperative to preserve indigenous embroidery traditions. Because the hacienda has only fourteen bedrooms (each with its own fireplace), the atmosphere is intimate and sociable.