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 are a network of quiet trails that can be ambled at leisure.
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. Boasting incredibly biodiverse forests and a plethora of little-studied wildlife, the lodge carefully balances the wonders of the natural world with cosy accommodations and authentic decor.
Why we like Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge
Owing to the important conservation programme operating in the reserve, there is an abundant and varied wildlife population. Resident mammals include the endangered spectacled bear, which has even been photographed by their camera traps, as well as mountain lions, South American coatis, kinkajous and olinguitos.
The reserve benefits from a web of approximately 20 trails that can be explored either alone or in the company of one of the resident naturalist guides, who can comment on natural history and identify the many species of birds. Hike to cascading waterfalls, plunging valleys or panoramic viewpoints, and admire the multitude of hummingbirds that hover around feeders in front of the communal lounge.
Visits to Cock of the Rock and a nearby butterfly farm can be arranged, and optional excursions outside of the reserve include ziplining and river tubing.
- Network of nearly 20 trails and four waterfalls
- Use of rubber boots
- Basic maps
- Optional guides available
- Hot showers
- Restaurant providing Ecuadorean and international cuisine
The Bellavista Reserve is a founding member of the Network of Private Protected Forests of Ecuador, which sees it collaborating with local conservation organisations to preserve the cloud forest. They are actively involved in the Corridor of the Spectacled Bear Project, a conservation effort directed towards the ecology and conservation of habitat of the spectacled bear. On a human level, the reserve has created an educational space wherein guests can contemplate nature and learn about the recuperation of its formerly deforested areas that have rapidly regrown.
The couple behind the reserve bought the land as a passion project, deliberately outbidding an individual who wished to expand a cattle hacienda by tearing down the forest. They described it as their destiny to protect this land.
Just two hours away from the colonial capital city of Quito, but with the feeling of being worlds apart, Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge is set within the private Bellavista Reserve in Ecuador’s cloud forest.