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The cloudforest is high on slopes of the Andes above the rainforest and foothill forest, ranging from about 900 to 2,500 metres above sea level.


The cloudforest is high on the slopes of the Andes above the rainforest and foothill forest, ranging from about 900 to 2,500 metres above sea level. It has an almost mystical feel: often cloaked in mist, plants thrive in this moisture-rich environment, trees display gnarled and knotted trunks and branches, and have dense crowns that drip with water. This world is cooler and lusher than that of the lowland rainforest. At the higher altitude of the cloudforest the terrain is steeper offering many vantage points, and there are fast flowing rivers.

Reasons to visit the Cloudforest

The cloudforest has a high level of biodiversity, with a profusion of plant, bird and animal life. Mosses, ferns, bromeliads, orchids and algae abound. Keep your eyes open for tanagers, antpittas, trogons, cock of the rock and numerous other birds. Mammals are less easy to spot but are present and include coati, sloth, ocelot and spectacled bear. You’re more likely to see a range of reptiles, amphibians and insects. You explore on foot with an expert guide, who helps you discover this fascinating world.

The cloudforest adds an extra dimension to the flora and fauna you will see during your holiday as it is distinctly different from that of The Galapagos and indeed of the rainforest. Parts of this are very accessible, being within just an hour or two of Quito. You could spend several days in the Ecuadorian cloudforest or just go for a day trip.


  • Immerse yourself in an enchanting environment
  • Close to Quito so easily fits with your itinerary
  • Prolific birdlife including toucans, parrots, hummingbirds and quetzals
  • Marvel at exotic orchids and other colourful flowers
  • Swim in rock pools beneath waterfalls
  • Relax at your lodge between excursions
  • Explore by bike and on horseback
  • Take a canopy gondola ride at Mashpi Reserve
  • Spot a spectacled bear at Bellavista

When to Visit

The cloudforest has a humid climate with temperatures varying little from month to month, and is a year-round destination. There are rainy and dry seasons. During the rainy season (January – mid-May), most of the rain falls in the early afternoon. In the dry season the mist is still present keeping water levels high, and flowers bloom all year.

Places to Stay

The Cloudforest region has a good selection of places to stay: