Only two hours away from Quito, Ecuador’s cloud forest is the perfect location to reconnect with nature. Either for a brief time or a long time, find yourself enchanted by the cascading waterfalls hidden behind moss covered palm trees and bushes. An experience unlike any other, Ecuador is among the world’s top 5 most diverse countries in the world, many thanks to places such as Mindo Cloud Forest.
You will be lost for words at the stunning views Ecuador’s cloud forest has to offer. Not to mention, the ample number of activities it has to offer. Venture deep into the unknown for a refreshing adventure that you won’t ever want to leave! Take a walk through a machete cut path to hidden waterfalls or get your adrenaline pumping with some adventure high up in the clouds!
What Is Cloud Forest?
With the humidity moving from the Amazon to the Andes and rising, high up in the sky sits The Chocó-Andean Forest (cloud forest). With its high elevation, literally in the clouds, the steep terrain is home to hundreds of varied species and plants. While being covered in lush greenery that features orchids, bromeliads, and ferns anchored down by moss.
Where Is Cloud Forest?
Stretching from North of Quito all the way to the border with Peru. Located high in the Andes, it is the perfect place for enjoying nature, adventure sports, or relaxing. Just a short ride away from the country’s capital, Ecuador’s cloud forest is perfect for tourists looking for a break from the city!
When to go to Cloud Forest
Although this is the forest, and it typically rains most days. With spring-like weather year-round, tourists visit this part of Ecuador all year. While your visit depends on what you want to see, between the months of October and May, the birds are the most active. But, as Christmas rolls around, bird season hits its peak.
If you are not traveling for the purpose of bird watching, the slightly drier months are between June and September. Any time you visit, do not forget to pack your raincoat for the afternoon drizzle.
Where to Stay in Cloud Forest
– Mashpi Lodge
A luxury lodge, unlike any other, Mashpi Lodge is in the middle of this breathtaking forest on a private reserve. Without cutting down a single tree, Mashpi was built incorporating its natural surroundings. With the goal of forest protection, Mashpi Lodge was created for people like yourself to learn all about biodiversity in comfort!
An all-inclusive luxury experience that takes all the stress away from you. Allow your taste buds to go on an adventure through Ecuadorian cuisine or relax in the spa as you are surrounded by tranquility. Leaving you with nothing to think about, Mashpi Lodge allows you to enjoy the magic and serenity of being above the clouds.
– Terrabambú Lodge
Another great option, Terrabambú Lodge is a more laid-back experience in Mindo. Wake up to the sound of nature in your private bungalow in the middle of the clouds at Terrabambú or watch the sunset as you slip into your private jacuzzi.
With 6 different unique cabanas (cabins), Terrabambú Lodge has integrated itself with its surroundings perfectly. Start your day at Terrabambú with a fresh cup of local Ecuadorian coffee and after your adventures relax as you soak in the surroundings.
What Can You Do in Cloud Forest?
Heaven on earth for the adventurous traveler, this destination has days’ worth of activities. But you do not have to be an adventurous person to fall in love with it. The activities vary; however, the experience will be everlasting.
Grab your rain jacket and tie up your hiking boots and walk along the leaf covered paths of one of the world’s most biodiverse forests. With formal and informal paths, there are loads of options from a stroll to an intense hike to a roaring waterfall. It is not just about the path, but also the plants and animals you may encounter along your way.
With more than 500 different bird species, it is the prime location for any bird lover. While some choose to make this an activity, others choose to stay in lodges surrounded by different birds. Every minute of your time here, you will see exotic birds. But, particularly famous to the area are the exotic hummingbirds.
– Night Walk
A hike during the day is one thing. But have you ever been on a night walk deep through a forest? Take a guided tour while your path is lit by the moon and small lanterns as you listen to the different animals come alive in the treetops.
– Chocolate & Coffee Tours
An activity suitable for all types of travelers, the chocolate and coffee tours are the calmer activities found here, perfect for a rainy-day adventure. Savor a fresh cup of local organic coffee from a family-owned coffee plantation or treat your sweet tooth to 100% chocolate from finca El Quetzal.
– Adventure Sports
Are you ready to get that adrenaline pumping? Ecuador’s cloud forest has just what you need to quench your thirst for adrenaline. You can choose from ziplining under the vast forest canopy to extreme river tubing down The Mindo River. If you are an avid mountain biker or climber this destination should be on the top of your bucket list!
– Hidden Waterfalls and Swimming Holes
One huge advantage of rain in the region is the subsequent number of hidden waterfalls and swimming holes scattered along this terrain. Some are more popular than others in a sanctuary. But the best waterfall, is the one you will stumble upon on your day hikes!
– Take the Tarabita to the Nambillo Waterfall Sanctuary
A two for one adventure. First, you need to take the metal basket or Tarabita on a short ride across the river valley high up in the clouds. Ride high above The Nambillo Waterfall and admire the views from above the treetops.
After your adventure on the Tarabita has ended, your next one can begin. Hit the trails and walk past more than 10 gushing waterfalls! Do not forget your swimsuit for a dip in the waterfalls!
– Get Swarmed by Butterflies at Mariposas de Mindo
Relax as you observe butterflies in all stages of life at Mariposas de Mindo! Get there early to watch butterflies leave their cocoons. Or simply admire the hundreds of different enchanting butterflies flying all around or on you!
How To Enjoy Cloud Forest with Kuoda Travel
As the world becomes more technologically advanced, it is nice to reconnect with nature. Some may plan whole trips around nature, while others just want a quick taste. Whichever you choose, Kuoda would be happy to plan the perfect trip to your liking! Join us for a 3-day adventure immersed in the beauty of the biodiverse country of Ecuador.
Interested in this nice weekend getaway a short ride away from Quito? Ecuador has the perfect escape full of adrenaline rushes, lush views, and moments of relaxation. Contact us today to learn more about Ecuador’s cloud forest and all the activities it has to offer!