Blogs from Bellavista Cloud Forest, North, Ecuador, South America


South America » Ecuador » North » Bellavista Cloud Forest October 18th 2011

So I spent the weekend in the the Bellavista Cloud Forest. This is a 700- hectare reserve in the western Andes about 2000m above sea level. I think the lodge mainly appeals to avid bird watchers...that being said, the views were spectacular and I went on some wonderful hikes with an English-speaking guide. I saw numerous types of colorful birds, the names of which I can not recall. Birdwatching will likely never be a passion for me but it was fun nonetheless. My room I thought was a overpriced but the views were amazing! There was 180 degree views from my sitting room. My room was very cold and the wooden walls enabled me to hear all my neighbors comings and goings. On Saturday, they were doing work on my cabin so that disrupted the ... read more
My comfy bed
View from my sitting room
A Team

South America » Ecuador » North » Bellavista Cloud Forest September 17th 2011

From a hot sticky Amazon, we were transferred by fast boat, small plane and 4WD to a mountainous area outside of Quito called the Cloud Forest. This mystical place serves both as an ornithologist's paradise and a get-away-from-it-all location. A mad Englishman came here in 1992, bought a valley and a couple of mountains that had been turned from native forest to agriculture and set them back to the way they were. Just like that! In 19 years the forest has regrown and now there are an amazing number of bird species living there. A once thought extinct brown speckled bear has also re-established himself. After a night sleeping in a treehouse, Sarah and I went for a walk with a guide and a bloke from Tasmania. Now Tasmanians are not usually the first people you ... read more

South America » Ecuador » North » Bellavista Cloud Forest January 21st 2011

Hey there! Thursday morning week took off from Universidad de San Francisco at 7 in the morning to head to a cloudforest spot in Ecuador called Maquipucuna. It was about a 2 hour drive from Quito in a big coach travel bus. When we got closer to the area where we would be staying we started passing through the most adorable villages ever. People were outside everywhere and would all wave at out bus passing. There were chicken coups at almost all of the houses and small gardens where bananas, papayas, guava and more yummy fruits grew. Also all their clothes were hanging outside to dry, making colorful clothes lines decorate the houses. I was quite jealous of the way their life style looked. Maquipucuna is an ecological reserve that protects about 14,000 acres of biodiversity ... read more
Photo 4
Trail Map

South America » Ecuador » North » Bellavista Cloud Forest January 28th 2010

Marquipucuna cloud forest is a small reserve about 4 hrs from Quito It was listed as a protected ares in 1995 It is a truly unique and diverse ecosystem Situated within pristine primary rainforest and nestled within a thick band of cloud. Hence the cloud forest. Like so many places in Ecuador it struggles to maintain diversity. Pressure from local agriculture and poaching threatens to destroy this beautiful ecosystem which is one of the most biologically diverse places on the planet. The area was once used as a thoroughfare to bring booze into Quito from the surrounding towns. The trail is called the "Culuncos" it is so well worn from the hundreds of years in use it is 2-3m deep in places. Today it is still used to traffic drugs which is also a problem for ... read more
Maquipucuna 167
The booze trail

South America » Ecuador » North » Bellavista Cloud Forest April 12th 2009

From One Extreme to Another I´m writing this update by candlelight in a fabulous cabin with extensive views of misty mountains, at Santa Lucia Cloudforest Reserve. We have just spent the last 2 days in noisy bustling Quito (capital of Ecuador) and I can´t quite believe that after a 1 1/2 hours bus trip that wound its way through the mountains, a very bumpy 4WD trip (30 mins) and then a 1 1/2 hour hike that climbed 400m in 2km that I´m sitting here and all I can hear is the rain on the roof and the crickets happily chirping away. We spent our first day in Quito locating the bank and office to pay for the Santa Lucia trip and our trip to the Amazon and although this in itself was not interesting we ... read more
Condor man
Colourful market beads
Writing by Candlelight

South America » Ecuador » North » Bellavista Cloud Forest August 18th 2008

The last week has been hectic... Spanish classes started Monday, so it was four hours of intense Spanish ever day. Did a number of cultural events during the week, including Salsa lessons, a cooking class, and a cultural dance performance. I feel like a down-right Ecuadorian! This weekend we took a trip out to Mindu, which is about 2 hours from Quito. We got there at about 9 Sat morning and checked into a hostal with a group of American girls we met on the bus. Anns, Man, and I then grabbed a quick breakfast and headed to a tour agency to fill the day with events. We spent most of Saturday hiking through the cloud forest, stopping to swim in breathtakingly beautiful waterfalls. The biggest waterfall we stopped at also had a slide built into ... read more
ziplining in the cloud rainforest
At the Equador

Once more this weary traveler delays sleep to broadcast her intrepid adventures.......geez I´m exhausted.... I left off just before we went to the ¨New Town¨for some shopping (me? shopping?). And once again I have made some fragile purchases......I knew I should have packed that bubble wrap! After a fairly non descript dinner, we headed back to "Old town" and on the way I saw the greatest sign.....I wish I could have gotten a picture; "Clinica Veterinaria Rottweiler".....seriously, who would take their beloved pet to Rottweiler Veterinary Clinic?? After an hour of mentally cursing myself for misplacing the all important ear plugs, I finally got to sleep and slept well until my internal clock went off at 5:45 (6:45 GA time). This was exceedingly fortunate since our pick up time for Bellevista was 6:30 and somehow Sharon ... read more
Hummer´s nest
The holy grail of the hike....
At Alambi Reserve

Bellavista Cloud Forest is a charming place two hours drive from Quito on the Mindo road. Its worth taking the 1 or 2 day all inclusive package as they pick you up from your hotel which is a lot easier than getting the bus to Mindo and then arranging for further transport to the reserve. I took the 2 night 3 day trip and it was recommended by the Rough guide and a few trip reports on the South American Explorers club had said it was great. The reserve comprises 7 square kilometres of mountains, deep gorges, streams, waterfalls clothed in dense cloudforests. There are 20 well marked trails and a guide takes you out twice a day. Some of the trails are challenging but excellent walks and I´d never been to a cloudforest before. There ... read more
Out hiking
Waterfall on trail Q
View of mountains

Seven Days in Ecuador - Part Three Fri 16/05 - Sun 18/05/08 The coach pulls into Mindo around 11am. Mindo is a small town with less than 3000 inhabitants. The high street extends a couple of hundred yards, consisting mainly of bars, restaurants and tour operators. Mindo thrives on ecotourism, pulling in the punters who come to see the diverse wildlife and to take part in outdoor activities among the lush jungle backgrounds. I booked myself into a place called the "Frog Hostel" online, and so set about trying to find it. No one in town seems to have heard of the place, but I've got directions. I need to head for a place called Mindo gardens, then make a left and the hostel is a five minute walk from there. Mindo Gardens are 4km away, ... read more
Cloud Forest
Tucan Play That Game

Ahoyhoy! This week has gone by quite quickly. We caught a bus at 6:00 on monday morning to take us back to Mindo and start our work for the week. We arrived right on time at 8:30 for breakfast, and started work very quickly. Our work this week has consisted mostly of planting more coffee trees. However, I made rather an unpleasant discovery in regards to the organization we are working for. The owners of the Mindo Cloudforest Foundation, who are Americans, have assigned us to the job of planting coffee with the intention to sell it and raise funds for the organization and to pay the full time workers. However, they also let on that they planned to keep any extra funds as a personal profit for the owners, whereas the sign with their mission ... read more

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