The Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve is just a short drive outside Quito, so it’s the obvious destination for a forest adventure in Ecuador. Founded in 1991 by husband and wife team Richard and Gloria Parsons, it’s a biologically rich conservation area of 2,000 acres on the northwestern slopes of the Andes.
Birds, exotic flowers, tiny reptiles and butterflies flourish in this unique environment and every minute of a walk is filled with fascination. The hummingbird population is especially vibrant, but you can also see lesser and sparkling violetear, swallow-tailed nightjar, white-faced nunbird, and plate-billed mountain toucan. International scientists are based at the reserve’s research station, and ornithological studies are one of their main areas of work. To date, scientists have registered some 260 species of birds here.
These are some of the finest examples of cloud forest anywhere in the world and with the Galapagos and the Amazon make little Ecuador perhaps the most exciting safari country in Latin America.