Explore the Cloud Forests of Tandayapa

Set in a private reserve of more than 700 hectares in the cloud forest of Tandayapa, Ecuador, the Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve offers eco-conscious tourists the vacation of a lifetime. Located less than two hours from Quito, the journey to Bellavista is an adventure in itself as visitors travel the Ecoruta el Paseo del Quinde with its dramatic changes in elevation and vegetation, and friendly local communities along the way. Birding enthusiasts can become quite overwhelmed with the sheer diversity and numbers of birds in the area and will soon discover why the area has had the highest 24-hour bird count in the Audubon Christmas Bird Count for the Americas three years in a row.

As a founding member of the Foundation for the Sustainability of NorthWestern Ecuador, Bellavista aims to conserve the cloud forest and provide educational recreation while, together with other private reserves in Tandayapa Valley, pursuing the goal of creating one large reserve in conjunction with Ecuador’s national system of protected areas.

The cloud forests of Ecuador occur between 900 and 2500 meters on the slopes of the Andes and support an astounding variety of fauna and flora, much of which remains undiscovered and undocumented. The temperate climate resulting from being located on the equator means that flowers bloom all year around in the Tandayapa Valley. Colorful orchids, bromeliads, and countless species from the Melastomataceae and Gesneriaceae families are seen everywhere, surrounded by lush vegetation and huge numbers of epiphytes, or “air plants” – growing on other plants, without being parasites. The roots of these unusual plants are used as anchors, while absorbing water and nutrients through their leaves.

With more than 330 recorded species of birds, Bellavista is a popular birding destination. Multitudes of hummingbirds, tanagers, toucans, swifts, flycatchers, wrens, thrushes, jays, warblers, grosbeaks and more can be seen from the balconies of the lodge, with walks in the surrounding forests adding to the list. The network of trails around Bellavista will keep nature lovers enthralled for hours, and birders will want to keep an eye out for the Crested Quetzal, Golden-headed Quetzal, Andean Cock-of-the Rock, Rufescent Screech-Owl, and Giant Antpitta.

Ecuador is well-known for its natural treasures and is a favored destination for nature loving travelers. Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve opens up a world of diversity that brings visitors back for more.