Just a couple of hours’ drive from Quito lies the small town of Mindo explore the wonderfully mysterious Cloud Forest from here or stay at rustic or luxurious ecolodges with their own private reserves.
The forest lies on steep-sided mountains that are surrounded by the afternoon mists. The deeply forested mountains contain protected reserves which descend to gorges with rushing waterfalls and crystalline streams. The views stretch far away to the distant foothills of the Andes. Afternoon mists creep into the forest giving it an almost eerie feel.
The trees are festooned with orchids, bromeliads, mosses and lichens, numerous species of colourful butterflies and are home to toucans, parrots and myriad colourful tanagers and hummingbirds. This is excellent bird-watching country.
Accommodation in the cloud forest is rustic but comfortable and set in magical locations, like Bellavista. A four-storey, thatched roof, glass geodesic dome, with guestrooms made from bamboo. The view from the dome is 360 degrees and you can see the peaks of Pichincha and Cotacachi in the distance. You can sit on your own private balcony and observe the activity of hummingbirds up close. Here our local guides will take you walking through the miles of trails or horse riding in the hills.
It is the perfect place for adventure, relaxation and for discovery of the cloud forest, its birds and diversity of plant life.
A bird watchers paradise
When to go: All year round