Explore, hike and look for birds and orchids at Bellavista cloud forest lodge, enjoy the gourmet food and just relax, or tackle a real adventure to the hidden falls!
Our expanding 700 hectare (2,000 acres) reserve is characterized by sharply angled and deeply forested mountains which descend into gorges sprinkled with rushing waterfalls and crystalline streams.
Only two hours from Quito, Bellavista is an ideal place for Ecuador tourists to adventure and relax. It's a great option for those traveling to the Galapagos and don't have time for a trip to the Amazon. But above all, Bellavista is a wonderful place for discovering the cloud forest and its magical diversity of bird and plant life.
Special occasions and retreats are encouraged at Bellavista. Ask us about renting out the entire lodge with kitchen privileges or catering for one or more days. What better way to celebrate a 40th or 50th birthday, a wedding anniversary or a family reunion?
Cloud Forest Ecology
The Bellavista Reserve is composed of pre-montane cloud forest. The elevation ranges between 1400 and 2600 meters above sea level, with an average mean temperature of 14-22 degrees celsius. Bellavista's forest contains a high level of epiphyte (plants that grow on other plants) diversity, so trees are festooned with hanging gardens of guest plants. Because of the steep slopes, light penetrating the forest floor allows a veritable jungle to grow.
Within this enchanting green kingdom a profusion of life awaits your discovery, including botanical treasures such as bromeliads and orchids, as well as the fascinating families of Gesneraceae and Melastomataceae. Since Bellavista is located on the equator, flowers are in bloom year round.
Bellavista Reserve is affiliated with the Fundacion Siempre Bosque Forever Forest Foundation, a conservation organization being set up for the preservation of cloud forests in the Western Andes of Ecuador (as well as other regions), for educational, scientific, and recreational purposes. The Reserve's goal is to educate the public about the significance of biodiversity in tropical cloud forests and the ever increasing importance of protecting these unique ecosystems.
Birds Galore and the Elusive Spectacled Bear!
Within this magical place of mist and mystery, Bellavista and the Tandayapa Valley boasts 320 recorded species of birds...and the list continues to grow! The Tanager-finch, Giant Antpitta, Swallow-tailed Nightjar, Plush-capped Finch, Beautiful Jay, and White-faced Nunbird are all found here.
Birders and nature lovers alike thrill to the sight of brightly colored tanagers and the Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan, and everybody loves to simply sit in our four-story dome and admire the multitude of hummingbirds hovering around our feeders.
Bellavista's resident mammals include the endangered Spectacled Bear, (rarely seen but protected by the reserve), as well as the puma, Andean coati and tayra, to name a few.
Adventure in the Clouds:
Whether you want to bushwack with machetes through the Valley of Mist, hike upstream to the Hidden Falls, catch sight of the of epiphytes, or just relax in a hammock in the whirring company of fearless hummingbirds, Bellavista is a great place to commune with nature -- and yourself.
Our guides are knowledgeable in tropical ecology and are familiar with the forest's elusive inhabitants and trails. Let us know what adventure you are craving and our guides will custom-tailor your days' adventures. (Rubber boots are provided.)
We are now offering horseback riding up to Bellavista from Tandayapa Village (6km), or an hour´s ride along the quiet roads through the Reserve or up along the "Frustated Oil Pipeline trail". Small extra cost.
For those who want a longer horse riding experience, we offer horse rides originating in Pululahua Crater near the Equator Monument and ending up in Bellavista (or viceversa).
The staff at Bellavista can speak English, Spanish, French, and German.