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Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve & Lodge 2-Night Itinerary

This 3-day/2-night trip will take you into an Ecuadorian cloud forest, which is a subtropical rainforest that cloaks the steep slopes of the Andes from about 900 meters to about 2,500 meters. As you will discover, such forests are highly biodiverse, as they are covered with a profusion of little-studied wildlife and plants. Bellavista's resident mammals include the pumas, the endangered Spectacled Bear (which are sometimes captured by the lodge’s "Camera Traps"), and the Andean coati and tayra – to name just a few. In addition, you will also found a variety of botanical treasures such as bromeliads and orchids, as well as the fascinating families of Gesneriaceae and Melastomataceae – which all bloom year-round since these are located here on the equator. And added to all of this are 330 recorded species of birds. As a guest, you will have a chance to stay in this paradise surrounded by myriads of hummingbirds, enjoy gourmet dining, and find yourself in awe of the fabulous views of forest and mountains. This itinerary gives you the choice of a variety of guided activities along the lodge’s trails, in addition to the chance to explore on your own, or simply relax! It’s up to you as to how you wish to become acquainted with the special environment of the cloud forest.

Reviews

“I was very happy in every way with your booking and Cuyabeno Lodge. It surpassed my expectations in every way. No hitches with flights and transportation. The lodge was beautiful. The staff was professional and friendly.”Tim Matheson

Highlights

Mindo, Ecuador, Birdwatching, Bromeliads, Orchids

Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: Arrival at Bellavista – Forest Hike
Day 2: Early Morning Bird Hike – Waterfall Walk – Valley Trek – Evening Night-Bird Spotting
Day 3: Waterfall Hike (or another Optional Activity) – Short Hike or Siesta – Return to Quito
South America Map

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival at Bellavista – Forest Hike

AM: Leaving from either your Quito hotel at 6:30 a.m. or the Quito International Airport 6 a.m., we will descend a scenic Andean mountain road that possesses forested mountains and striking views. Reaching the Bellavista Valley, our drive will continue uphill — for even more fabulous views — where you will find the Bellavista Lodge is perched high on the mountain. After you have had a chance to settle into your room, you will be able to observe hummingbirds outside of the dining room as you enjoy one of the lodge’s special breakfasts. After dining, you will be invited to go on your first guided hike into the cloud forest, where you can discover the ecology of this mysterious forest and take part in a bit of birdwatching.

PM: After lunch, you go hiking on your own along well-marked forest trails, or go on one of the lodge’s guided hikes (included). One of these guided hikes will acquaint you with the cloud forest’s exuberant vegetation, as well as introduce you to the rich avian life that has amazingly adapted to life in this special environment. After dinner, you can kick back and relax, or even discover the incredible variety of area moths, many of which remain unknown to science.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 2
Early Morning Bird Hike – Waterfall Walk – Valley Trek – Evening Night-Bird Spotting

AM: After a good night’s sleep, you can go on an early morning bird hike, followed by a hearty breakfast back at the lodge. After eating, we will head out again to a waterfall that’s hidden in the forest. Alternatively, you can choose to walk along the lodge’s self-guided trail to explore further on your own.

PM: After lunch, we can go on an afternoon hike deep into the valleys of the reserve, while in the evening it should be possible to spot night birds and more.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 3
Waterfall Hike (or another Optional Activity) – Short Hike or Siesta – Return to Quito

AM: On your final day at the lodge, we can go on another early morning bird hike to discover more of the colorful denizens that inhabit the cloud forest. After returning to the lodge for breakfast, you can choose any of the lodge’s more than 20 optional day excursions, which might be a leisurely hike along trails closer to the lodge or simply observing the ever-present hummingbirds from the lodge’s deck.

PM: After lunch, until it’s time to leave you’ll have time to either go on a final short hike in the forest or take a peaceful siesta at the lodge. Departure will be around 3:00 p.m., allowing you to get back to Quito by around 5:00 p.m.

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Breakfast - Lunch

Prices

*Price per person based upon double occupancy.
*PP (per person)
Included in the price:
  • 8 meals, starting with breakfast on Day 1, and finishing with lunch on Day 3
  • 2 night’s accommodations
  • Shared naturalist-guided hikes
  • Access to the 700-hectare reserve
  • Round-trip transport from/to Quito City. (Important note: transfers from / to Tababela Airport or hotels nearby are available at extra cost)
Not included in the price:
  • Personal expenses and tips
  • Services not mentioned in the program
  • Domestic flights
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