Ecuador's cloud forest has an atmosphere all its own: misty and humid with gnarled trees, colourful blooms, waterfalls and hundreds of species of birds.
If you want to see Hummingbirds, this is the place to go to! We got to see a wide range of different species of birds and had amazing hikes in the primary cloudforest where you see a huge variety of plants.
The cloud forest exists between the rainforest and the high-altitude grassland. Well-named, these forests, ranging from 900 to 2,250m above sea level, are frequently draped in cloud and are lush, humid places with an atmosphere all their own. In Ecuador, animals such as the spectacled bear dwell here but the cloud forest is especially rich in birdlife.
- Misty and mysterious: You feel as though you’re penetrating a long-lost world when you enter the cloud forest. Cloud and mist cloak the hills, moss covers the tree trunks and the air is heavy with humidity. Ferns, bromeliads and orchids add their elegant shapes and exotic colours, streams flow down from the heights and waterfalls cascade into pools. This is as close to an enchanted forest as you’ll ever find.
- Birdwatching paradise: Hundreds of avian species are found in the cloud forest making it one of the most popular bird watching destinations in South America. Toucans, tanagers, flycatchers, woodpeckers and warblers are among the species commonly seen and with luck you may encounter the cock-of-the-rock. You are sure to see hummingbirds as many varieties live here and many lodges have feeders to attract them. You can follow trails with a specialist guide or independently to seek them out. It’s easy to spend several days this way, following a range of trails where different species are observed.
- Not just birds: Birds don’t have the place entirely to themselves. Agoutis, armadillos, sloths, monkeys, spectacled bear, puma and ocelot are all present although many prove elusive and are rarely seen. Reptiles are represented by lizards and geckos while frogs and toads rule the forest at night when their calls are frequently heard.
- Adventure: The forest provides the ideal location for soft adventure activities and fun for all the family. Take to two wheels to follow forest trails or explore on horseback, getting a different perspective on your surroundings. Take pedal power to new heights on a sky bike, experience high velocity on a zipline or the more sedate pace of cable car ride, all great ways to see the cloud forest from above.