BellaVista Cloud Forest Reserve

by | Mar 30, 2002 | Archives

Each month we offer Deep Amazon Expeditions, but recent political problems on the Colombian border meant we were unable to take our recent group to our Amazon Amazing Eco Lodge. We chose BellaVista instead and the lodge lives up to its name. Located just north of the equator in 1,800 acres of virgin rain forest, the preserve sits on the edge of the Choco Bio-region. The reserve works with a conservation organization to preserve cloud forests for educational, scientific and recreational purposes.

The land ranges from 4,800 feet to 7,500 feet so includes a wide range of different plant animal and bird life. We found the habitat in the high mountains very different from that at lower altitudes. The forest is rich with epiphytes, ferns, orchids, moss and a multitude of vines and trees. There are an astounding number of botanical treasures, plus offering specialty birding tours. Ecuador has over 1,600 species of birds and many of them can be seen at Bellavista, over 320 species are on their bird list. The lodge is surrounded by hummingbirds that are so tame that they will land on your finger! Included in the 320 species in this forest are the Tanager-finch, Giant Antipitta, Swallow Tailed Nightjar, Plush-Capped finch, Beautiful Jay, plate-Billed Mountain Toucan and White-Faced Nunbird.

The animal life includes the Spectacled Bear, mountain lion and Andean Coati.

The lodge is also great as a place near Quito just to get away and hike the many miles of woods for a day. The rustic lodge is about ten miles off the paved highway and enveloped in peace and quiet. There are astounding views everywhere and the food (vegetarian if you choose) is plentiful and delicious after a hard day’s hike! The lodge has English speaking guides and biologists that can take you for hikes and help you spot birds. Rubber boots are provided, but bring plenty of warm clothes. Mornings tend to be warm and clear but we found that mists filled the afternoon and temperatures dropped.

The lodge has ten rooms, many with private baths, English, Spanish, French and German speaking guides, horses for hire and over six miles of trails. You can get details from Ecuador Amazing at It is a breathtaking experience.