GEORGIA PEACH indicated that Hacienda Zuleta two hours north of Quito, between Ibarra and Cayambe and east of Otavalo, was her nomination as the most likely site for the episode 1 pit stop. After a lot of searching among Ecuador ranch information, I concur. It is the only ranch I could find that has cows (producing milk for Zuleta Jack cheese) which are evident in the photo behind Phil. It has a history dating back to 1691 and is rated as luxury accomodations for guests. And it's in the middle of nowhere. Just the place that the Amazing Race team would pick.
"The descendants of former Ecuadorian President and bullfighter Gallo Plaza have chosen to contribute to Ecuador's future by throwing Hacienda Zuleta into agrarian and environmental causes. The property has a large organic garden (from which your meals will be harvested) and a cheese factory famous for its Zuleta Jack." It's also home to a condor recovery program, which you will be invited to visit. The Hacienda offers a variety of activities including hiking and mountain biking behind the property, and there is a fine stable of horses for those who enjoy riding."
"This 4,000 acre working farm, built in 1691, offers guests a truly unique Ecuadorian experience. Saddle-up one of the Hacienda's ninety horses and explore the surrounding high-altitude grasslands and cloudforests, or visit Zuleta's condor re-population project, community embroidery workshop, dairy and cheese factory, or trout farm. Biking and hiking opportunities abound."