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Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge

Quito & the Northern Andes

Rating: Modest    

Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge overview

Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge is in a private reserve in the Tandayapa Valley, two hours drive from Quito. This is an excellent location if you are interested in natural history and eco-adventure. 

Accommodation is in several different buildings, offering a wide choice of sizes and styles of room. A four-storey geodesic dome with panoramic views contains the dining hall and 5 double rooms. Most have private bathrooms but some have shared facilities. Some are located a little way from the main lodge area offering more secluded accommodation, ideal for hneymooners or families.  

Food at the lodge is hearty and wholesome and vegetarian dishes are always available. Trout and chicken are regularly served, as well as beef, pork and seafood. Specific dietary requirements can be catered for.

The lodge is in montane or cloud forest, frequently bathed in cloud and is a humid, but not a hot, place. There are gnarled moss-clad trees with branches laden with orchids, bromeliads and other epiphytes. Within the reserve there are over 330 recorded species of birds, which reflects the fact that Bellavista and the surrounding region of northwestern Ecuador is a true biodiversity hotspot. Mammals present include the endangered Spectacled Bear (rarely seen, but protected by the Reserve), and Andean Coati. 

Birding and natural history are the principal activities and specialist birding guides can be arranged. A cock-of-the-rock lek is located nearby in Tandayapa and a special early-morning visit can be arranged here at an additional cost. There is a self-guided trail for those wanting to explore on their own, and hiking is also a good way to spot the wildlife. Horseriding is offered, from short rides around the lodge to full day rides. 


Open: All year.

Location: The accommodation is located in Bellavista Cloud Forest, a 700 hectare private reserve near Mindo. It is less than a 2 hour drive from Quito.

Rooms: There is a variety of accommodation including the 4-storey geodesic dome, the bamboo house, the half-timbered trailhead house and the secluded San Luis house. These different accommodations offer single, double/twin, triple and family rooms with balconies and private bathrooms with hot water. The dome has 5 rooms, each with a private balcony as well as a dorm room with 10 beds. The trailhead house has spacious verandas with hammocks and chairs. It has 2 double rooms in the ground floor and can accommodate a family if 6 on the upper floor. Nearby is the bamboo house. It has 3 rooms and can accommodate a small group or family. The San Luis house is a couple of miles from the centre of the lodge and ideal for those wanting more privacy.

Activities: Guided nature hikes, self-guided walks and bird watching walks. There are over 10kms of walking trails at Bellavista, leading to villages, waterfalls and look out points. These walks and treks are of varying duration and level of difficulty. The lodge can also arrange a range of half and full day excursions concentrating on birdlife, natural history and activity and adventure.

Facilities: There is a dining room where generous meals are served.

Dining: Meals are taken at individual tables in the restaurant.

Children: Can be accommodated, but many of the trails and activties are not suitable for younger children.

Communication:There is limited mobile phone signal in the area around Bellavista and no internet access.

Map for Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge

Lodge IconLodge Yacht IconVessel Tented Camp IconCamp Hotel IconHotel National Park IconNational Park Historic site IconHistoric site Place of Interest IconPlace of Interest UNESCO world heritage site IconUNESCO heritage site

Guy Marks
Paul Cook
Anita Crowson
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Bellavista helps with forest regeneration and protects 700 hectares of land. It also educates local people as regards conservation. Smart voyager certified through Rainforest Alliance.

customer rating

84% from
36 reviews











client reviews

Maggie New

"Sensational. One night we were out in the sticks (the Casa San Luis) which isn\\\'t a problem for my son and I but we were too far away from the dining room etc. Walking was not a problem for us, but 3 kms to have diner is too far especially in torrential rain. Richard the owner fixed is up the next night and all was well. Richard was enthusiastic about everything and the place was so very wonderful and our eyes feasted on the views the bird life and to see the Olinguito was beyond ones wildest dreams. It certainly was a truly lovely and exhilarating experience."

Mr Neil Ritchie
"A great place to see the cloud forest and the huge number of humming birds, plus a maze of paths to explore. Less luxurious that the other lodges, and a little lacking in customer service. The bar / library was in theory the obvious place to go for a pre-dinner drink, but with no heaters on and none of the guides in evidence we didn't stop long and no one else did either. "
Mr. Ross Nevin
"If you want to see Hummingbirds, this is the place to go to! Having stayed here for 2 nights we really got to see a huge variety of different species of birds and amazing hikes in the primary cloudforest where you will see a huge variety of plants. The food was delicious and the rooms were basic but fine. We also got to see a rare new species of mammal called an Olinguito which was very special indeed. "
Mrs Sam Taylor
"The trail head house was amazing, though there was an issue with no hot water and very low water pressure for us this did not detract from the beauty of the place - over all it was a very well thought out set up. They are definitely under selling themselves and the resources they have. "George" is the best guide and his knowledge of birds is second to none. We hired him for a full day trip with another couple for a days birding. We got a total of 79 species in the one day."
Mr. David Dykes
"Extra trips are available but at extra cost."

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