"The cloud forest days were ace: Scads of colourful birds, hiking to the waterfall with Pablo, a divine lunch in the glass dome, feet up in the hammock with what felt like hundreds of hummers buzzing overhead at the feeders, the surreal experience of watching the male Cock of the Rock’s strut their stuff at the lek in the wee hours of the morning, night walk in search of owls and sleeping so very well after the full days. Top notch add on, thanks! We are still in contact with a lovely couple we met there."
"I'm so glad we added the cloudforest side trip to our time in Ecuador. What an amazing place! So different than the rainforest trips we have done in the past. Great hiking and the birds were incredible. I loved waking up to their chorus each morning. Having a private guide for just our family really made it special. Thanks for all your good travel advice, especially recommending this part of our itinerary."
Home to giant ferns, prolific bird life, a profusion of epiphytes and cool misty air, the cloud forest is hummingbird central. Add a couple of days onto your Galapagos trip to stay at a lodge in the cloud forest or do a longer more challenging cloud forest hiking trip offered on our active adventures website.
The nice thing about the cloud forest’s of Ecuador is that they are just a 1.5 to 2 hour drive from Quito. Day trips are possible starting very early in the morning and returning to Quito in the dark. Best for minimum of 1-2 nights. Comfort level ranges from deluxe to mid range or rustic.
Cloud forest is higher elevation, cooler, mountainous, characterized by fast moving rocky rivers and many epiphytes like mosses and bromeliads and consistent misty conditions. Fewer large reptiles than the rainforest.
Rainforest is lower elevation, warmer and more humid, typically has slower moving water and lagoons, less population density but more native indigenous peoples. The rainforest takes longer to reach but it is typically easier to see mammals.
Things to do in the cloud forest
Quick facts about the cloud forest
ANDEAN OR SPECTACLED BEAR
Genus and Species: Tremarctos ornatus
Location: South America's only bear, the Andean bear lives in a variety of habitats in the Andes of Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Perú and Venezuela.
Interesting habits: This bear does not hibernate and some of it’s favorite foods are fruits and bromeliads. It’s not just a high carb cloud forest bear though as it does eat some nuts, eggs, carrion and small animals.
Physical Description: Whitish or cream "spectacles" ring this bear's eyes. The light color variably extends down to the throat and chest, giving each individual a unique set of markings. The Andean bear's thick coat is usually either black or brown, rarely tinged with reddish.
Status: Particularly vulnerable at this time. This bear enjoys corn and cattle and has been found returning to subsistence farms next to vast cloud forest territory to graze corn or predate on cattle where it is then in danger of being shot. We hope to see increased conservation efforts and education projects in the upcoming years.
We're happy to answer your questions about adding a cloud forest extension to your Galapagos trip anytime.
Contact us today and start planning your visit to the amazing cloud forests of South America.
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