Plate-billed mountain toucan in the Cloud Forest, Ecuador
Holidays in The Cloud Forest, Ecuador
Are you a nature lover, a bird watcher, or just looking for a sensory experience out of this world? Then you’ll love Ecuador’s spectacular Cloud Forest. Situated near the little settlement of Mindo, a two-and-a-half hour drive along scenic highways from Quito, this stunning kaleidoscope of flora and fauna is thousands of feet above sea level. A dream come true for everyone who loves the natural world in all its splendour.
Moist air from Pacific Ocean clouds hugging the slopes of the Andes has created such amazing biodiversity here that new species are still being discovered deep within the Mindo cloud forest. From dozy sloths to howler monkeys, the majestic jaguar and the spectacled bear, some of the planet’s most intriguing animals call this cool, green, lush paradise their home.
Twitchers will be agog as they take in the sheer number of exotic birdlife concentrated in the forest, with well over 400 species making this a top destination for bird-watchers. Cotingas, hummingbirds, tanagers, toucans and trogons can all be found here – to say nothing of the many beautiful species of butterfly. You’ll also encounter cute little tree frogs, enormous millipedes, a beetle with eyes that glow, and some huge tarantulas…
There are top-notch lodges here with viewing platforms, so why not stay at one of them and immerse yourself totally in these magical surroundings? Some have little bamboo suites for that playful tree-house touch; others have floor-to-ceiling windows so the forest becomes part of your living space. And for a spot of relaxation, why not try a pampering spa treatment or some gourmet Ecuadorian dishes in the lodge restaurant?
By day, jeeps will take you deep into the primary forest, where you can go on guided nature trails and even discover how to use tree fern sap as hair gel! Or you can hike out to dramatic waterfalls, splash through mysterious rivers, swing on vines like Tarzan, or take an exhilarating cable car ride across the forested valley. The choice is yours.
But we reckon you’ll absolutely love the amazing Sky Bike. These aerial two-seaters let you pedal your way noiselessly through the forest canopy, dangling daringly from a cable that’s up to 200 ft high. Imagine the unique glimpses you’ll get of wildlife right up close. With your bird’s eye view of this enchanting forest, it’ll be an experience like no other.
Take a jeep ride deep into the primary forest
Look out for jaguars, sloths and howler monkeys
Marvel at over 400 different bird species
Take a cable car ride across the forested valley
Pedal among the tree tops on the unique Sky Bike