Bellavista Ecolodge enjoys a superb location within an expansive 600 hectare (1500 acres) reserve on the edge of the cloud forest. The habitat of this special reserve is distinguished by thickly forested mountains that descend sharply into gorges with rushing waterfalls and crystalline streams, and views that stretch far into the distance towards the looming volcanoes on the horizon.
Bellavista is charachterized by pre-mountain cloud forest, which covers an elevation range between about 1,400 to 2,600 meters above sea level, and has a comfortable average temperature range between 14°C and 22°C. These forests boasts the highest diversity of epiphytes (plants that grow on other plants) that you'll find anywhere, a hanging garden where trees are festooned with a profusion of bromeliads, orchids, mosses and more.
Because of the steep slopes, the light penetrates to the forest floor and encourages lush growth - unlike the lowland rainforest where most of the lushness is far up in the canopy, rather than the lower strata of the forest biosphere. Here, in the mountane forest you'll find yourself in an enchanted forest, surrounded by a profusion of life awaiting discovery.
Bellavista contains botanical treasures: bromeliads, orchids and fascinating families such as Gesneraceae, and Melastomataceae; there are always flowers in bloom in this subtropical environment. This is a fascinating world – where the adaptations to this special environment are too many to list.
At Bellavista 170 species of birds have been recorded, and the list continues to grow: Tanager - finch, Giant Antpitta, Swallow-tailed Nightjar, Plush-capped Finch, Beautiful Jay, and the White-face Nunbird are all found here, and everybody enthuses over the brightly colored Tanagers and the Platebilled Mountain-Toucan.
Only two hours from Quito, Bellavista is the perfect place for adventure and relaxation, and for discovery of the cloud forest, its birds and its diversity of plant life.
Settle into your room and enjoy the flurry of the hummingbirds or take a hike into the forest on the varied trails. The lodge offers 15 rooms with private bath, and in the dome the top two storey offer shared bath option.
Leaving Quito after an early breakfast at your hotel we stop at Pululahua (optional) for a view into the crater with its patchwork fields far below on the crater floor. We then descend a scenic mountain road with the option to stop for a hike to see the rushing waterfall and orchid display at the Pahuma reserve (extra cost).
As we reach Bellavista we climb to the top of the mountain, once again with fabulous views, where the cloud forest lodge is perched. Settle into your room and enjoy the flurry of the hummingbirds or take a hike into the forest on our varied trails. After lunch, you will be able to take a hike on your own into the forest, or participate in one of our guided hikes.
Your guided hike will acquaint you with the exuberant vegetation of the cloud forest, its bird life, and the fascinating adaptations to life in this special environment. We will spend a relaxed evening, helping you to discover the incredible variety of moths, many previously unknown to science.
After a refreshing night's sleep, an ample breakfast will be served. Afterwards, you can take a guided hike or explore further on your own. Answers will be provided to some of the questions that came to mind during the previous day’s hike. Even for those of us lucky enough to live in the forest environment, there is always something new to amaze us! After lunch, there will be an afternoon hike deep into the valleys of the reserve. This is highly recommended. In the evening we will be able to see night birds and more.
On day three, an early morning bird hike is recommended to discover more about the colourful inhabitants of the forest. After breakfast, we offer the chance for an adventurous hike to a waterfall hidden deep in the forest. Others may prefer a more leisurely hike along trails closer to the lodge, or to simply soak in the fascination of the ever-present hummingbirds. After lunch, at one o'clock, you choose your time of departure. Some may want to take a final hike in the forest, while other may prefer a peaceful siesta, or to observe the wildlife or just admire the ever-changing patterns of mist, cloud, and sunny mountain vistas... Finally, we travel back to Quito by bus.
For booking inquiries and further information please contact Sacred Earth