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Cloud Forest, Ecuador

Cloud Forest

An hour and a half north of Quito stands a moss and vine draped, mist shrouded, primeval cloud forest. Spilling over with lush vegetation, find epiphytes, bryophytes, mosses and lichens clinging to the trunks and branches of the trees.

Hummingbird, Mindo, Ecuador
Cloud Forest, Ecuador

Amongst this web of flora from the forest floor to the canopy, including thousands of varieties of orchid, there is a rich variety of insects, reptiles, mammals and birds. Due to the mountainous terrain, views through the trees can be beautiful over the canopy top.

Cycle through the Cloud Lodge on Mashpi Lodge’s sky bike, or riding the 2 km gondola, through and over the cloud forest canopy affords you a bird’s eye view of this biodiverse wonderland, over waterfalls and treetops alongside toucans and hummingbirds.

Experiences

Embark on Night Walks

Stumble upon bio-luminescent rotting wood and search for nocturnal critters by torchlight during a night walk.

Search for Native Wildlife

Marvel at the plate-sized butterflies that swarm all around, search for tracks of spectacled bears, and absorb the overwhelming sound of many species of monkeys.

Go Birding

Venture into the cloud forest in search of exotic and colourful hummingbirds and iconic cocks-of-the-rock.

Explore the Cloud Forest

Hike to refreshing forest waterfalls, go tubing or rafting atop winding rivers, or embark on a canyoning adventure.

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Sachatamia Lodge £££££

  • Ecuador
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge

Burrowed within 300-acres of cloud forest reserve, Sachatamia Lodge is a bird-watchers paradise situated beside the protected forest of Mindo-Nambillo, an area renowned for its exceptional biodiversity and abundant flora and fauna. Constructed almost entirely from wood, the lodge is a rustic building that blends in with the surrounding landscape, offering an indoor swimming pool and jacuzzi. Inside, its 10 wood-clad lodge rooms and bungalows are cosy and elegantly decorated, boasting incredible views of the verdant cloud forest.

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Mashpi Lodge £££££

  • Ecuador
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge

Seamlessly blending lush jungle with an urban comfort, Mashpi Lodge is at once enormously elegant and uniquely natural. An Ecuadorean cloud forest hideaway that is exclusive in feeling, the lodge is situated on a scenic plateau that overlooks distant forested mountains and up-close untamed foliage. A stunningly contemporary piece of architectural design, the lodge offers 22 rooms that aim to immerse guests in the striking landscape through the use of sweeping floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall windows. The flabbergasting restaurant and Explorer’s Bar prepare cuisine and beverages that have been created with a focus on native ingredients and flavours from both the coastal and Andean regions. An indulgent indoor forest experience is a show-stopping, immersive addition to the luxurious property.

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Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge £££££

  • Ecuador
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge

Set within nearly 2000-acres of private reserve in Ecuador’s cloud forest, Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge is two hours outside of Quito and provides an ideal base for adventure, exploration and relaxation. Surrounded by hidden valleys, waterfalls and crystal-clear streams, there is a network of trails that you can amble in peace at your own pace without bumping into crowds of other people. Offering a unique stay above the forest canopy, the lodge is comprised of a selection of accommodation options from camping and mountain-view rooms to forest-view bamboo houses and geodesic domes.

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Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Paul Bird

From quaint Andean villages and colourful markets to staggering volcanic landscapes and the Amazon Rainforest, Paul has explored the length and breadth of Ecuador.
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  • 01285 601 784

James Armitage

This small country encapsulates the continent of South America, and James has been privileged to visit the Amazon, the Andes, the coastal regions and the enchanting Galapagos Islands.
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  • 01285 601 784

John Faithfull

John rode the railways of Ecuador on the carriage roof before it was outlawed, but still recommends a jaunt along the Devil’s Nose – an engineering marvel that can still be enjoyed from inside a carriage.
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  • 01285 601 784

Roxy Dukes

I love to squeeze as much out of my day as possible. An outdoors fanatic, I love to delve into harsh environments having summited numerous mountains and trail running into the unknown whenever I get the chance – whether at home or overseas. Funnily enough, it didn’t start like that. It took a few years for the burning fire of adventure to truly take light with my eyes opened by the adventures travel could afford.
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  • 01285 601 784

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As usual all aspects of this trip went like clockwork, even thought we were in South America where timings can be different to other parts of the world! This we put down to the work done by Paul and his knowledge of the country.

Destination: Ecuador
Travel Expert: Paul

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