Untamed Path

Untamed Path
Galapagos Islands Travel & Tours


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Cloud forest

combination tours

Amazon Rainforest
Andes Mountains
Cloud Forest
Machu Picchu & Peru
Active Adventures


What our guests say about the Cloud Forest

"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."

S. Mazara
Reading, UK



Ecuador cloud forest

"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."

J. Gates
Washington, DC



Cloud Forest Tours

A little known, spectacular and threatened ecosystem in the clouds

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.

Ecuador cloud forest toursClose by, yet worlds away

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.

Differences between the cloud forest and rainforest

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
  • Hike on nature trails
  • Observe plants, birds and wildlife
  • Whitewater rafting and kayaking; mild or wild
  • Relax in a hammock
  • Ride a comfortable air bicycle above the canopy
  • Climb an observation tower for bird viewing
  • Hummingbird viewing & photography
  • Visit Cock-of-the Rock bird mating leks
  • Visit refreshing waterfalls
  • Night walks in search of nocturnal animals and birds
  • Visit orchid and butterfly farms
  • Canopy zipline to see forest from a unique angle
  • Mountain biking and multi-sport adventures
  • Cloud forests have a unique watershed function. Moisture from the clouds provides a constant mist which means the measured rainfall can be doubled in dry seasons and increases the wet season rainfall by around 10%.
  • There are 132 hummingbird species in Ecuador alone! Great photos of cloud forest hummingbirds
  • In Peru more than one-third of the 270 endemic birds, mammals, and frogs are found in cloud forests
  • Cloud forests are in danger of deforestation from human settlements, agriculture, pasture and logging
  • Cloud forests are home to the only bear species in South America, the Spectacled Bear


Highlight on one of the larger mammals that lives in the Andean Cloud Forest

Cloud Forest Spectacled BearANDEAN OR SPECTACLED BEAR
Order: Carnivora
Family: Ursidae
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.

More information about the Spectacled Bear

Video of the Spectacled Bear in the cloud forest

We're happy to answer your questions about adding a cloud forest extension to your Galapagos trip anytime.

Cloud forest Contact us today and start planning your visit to the amazing cloud forests of South America.

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