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Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge

Quito & the Northern Andes

Rating: Simple    

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 are 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 Tented Camp IconCamp Hotel IconHotel National Park IconNational Park Historic site IconHistoric site Place of Interest IconPlace of Interest UNESCO world heritage site IconUNESCO world heritage site

Guy Marks
Paul Cook
Sinead Bailey
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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

81% from
22 reviews











client reviews

Mrs. Carole Herries (14/05/2016)

"Such a relaxed and friendly place to stay, rustic in appearance but extremely comfortable and would recommend to anyone who wishes to spend time with birds and wildlife. Each evening small mammals, olinguito, tayra and kinkajou visited which was very special. A photographers dream location! "

Mr Antony Caston (19/12/2015)
"Although not luxury, it was really great to see how they managed to provide everything you needed, with great food, and paths to follow. Staff were excellent throughout."
Karen Griffiths (08/02/2015)
"A wonderful location in the cloudforest. We had a comfortable suite with windows looking directly out into the trees, the food was good and the birds were plentiful. The wellies and waterproof ponchos provided proved useful."
Mr. Kevin Robinson (31/01/2015)
"A bit chaotic- room was ok but worth visiting to see the humming birds."
Sally Longford (28/09/2014)
"Our guide David was outstanding. His knowledge, ability to spot birds and wildlife and his enthusiasm were infectious. The walks, even the "easy" ones were pretty challenging, bearing in mind we hadn't had much time to acclimatise, they do generally involve steep slopes and it was hot! The exception to this was the 6.30am slot which is a gentle wander round. However, it's important to note that there is absolutely no pressure to do anything more than you want. The forest was beautiful, with lovely plants (orchids), insects and butterflies to spot, all explained in detail by David. Hours can be spent just watching the fantastic array of humming birds around the lodge and you can take yourself off on the marked paths whenever you like. After dark they attract nocturnal animals such as the Kinkajou and Olinguito and we were privileged to watch them chewing on bananas both evenings. The accommodation was comfortable, some people complained a bit that there was little sound insulation but we were above the kitchen and at night it was very quiet. Food was really good, wholesome and tasty, with lunch and dinner consisting of soup, followed by a main for example of pasta, trout or chicken, then fruit or cake for dessert. Breakfast was also really good (no buffet here!)"

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