Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve
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Cock-of-the –Rock & Antpitta Discovery

5based on 2 reviews
Ecuador 1 Days
Starting From USD 222 / per person
Starting From USD 340 / per person

Birding Bonanza

5based on 3 reviews
Ecuador 4 Days
Starting From USD 645 / per person

Northwestern Ecuador Birds Galore

5based on 1 review
Ecuador 5 Days
Starting From USD 1,028 / per person

Back Roads Bird Roads

5based on 2 reviews
Ecuador 10 Days
Starting From USD 1,950 / per person
Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan
This turquoise toucan is range-restricted to our elevation in northwestern Ecuador and its loud calls are heard frequently in the forest. To find a flock of these iconic birds is truly thrilling.
Olinguito
The delightful Olinguito, which is the first new mammal to be discovered to science in the Americas in the last 35 years (as of 2013) , visits the Lodge most evenings, allowing really close views and great photographs!
Violet-tailed Sylph Hummingbird
The male, with its long, violet tail, stuns all visitors. The female, with just a short tail, but a pretty rusty-orange breast, is a delight.
Masked Trogon
This bird literally sits peacefully on a branch, or on a fence post, right near visitors. Its plaintive little call is lovely and this bird is easy to photograph!
Toucan Barbet
The duet call of this ridiculously colourful bird is one of the iconic calls of Bellavista Cloud Forest.
Ocellated Tapaculo
Tapaculos are normally known to be skulking, loud-voiced and dull in colour. Meet the exception to the dull-coloured rule, this overall orange bird with striking white spots on its wings is a true beauty!
Tanager-Finch
The first discovery of a nest of this iconic bird was made in Bellavista Reserve in 1997.
Booted Racket tail Hummingbird
Tiny with a tail that ends with two “rackets”, the male of this species stuns the observer with fluffy white puffs of feathers at the top of its legs, and the female, with no long tail, seems diminutive in comparison!
Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager
The bright yellow of this confiding bird captures the awe of all observers!
Strong-billed Woodcreeper
The long down-curved bill of this unusually large Woodcreeper pries insects from under tree bark, and has become surprisingly confiding at Bellavista.

Conservation is Bellavista´s driving force. Bellavista is a pioneer of cloud forest preservation and conservation in the Tandayapa Valley, and among the first to conserve such forest in the northwest of Ecuador´s Pichincha province.  As the Eco Lodge grew (and grows), so too the number of hectares preserved from deforestation, or recuperated from cattle grazing (to date, 700 hectares , close to 2000 acres, protected) .

Hand in hand with purchasing forest to secure its long-term conservation, and protection of wildlife habitat, are the efforts to offer guided visits with a broad philosophy of  interactive education.  And people resident in the region have, through Bellavista´s efforts,  learnt new ways of living with the forest. Bellavista´s influence has convinced many individuals to change from a forest-resource-extractive way of life, to efforts and jobs that on the contrary allow the forest to survive, creation of reserves, wildlife observation activities, etc.

All studies conducted at a reserve like Bellavista give further importance to its conservation ideals. Bellavista has a small research station and welcomes research scientists to discover more about the little-known cloud forest ecosystem, and its little –studied wildlife and plants. New species are being discovered (70 new species of Noctuidae moths in 2015!)

Student groups of a variety of ages are welcome to stay and receive study programmes, with the help of Bellavista, but usually run by the guest institution.

  • Amazing birding tours arranged by Bellavista
    Cock-of-the –Rock & Antpitta Discovery
    Hari Viswanathan27 Mar 2018
    5
    Tours
    Wildlife
    Guides
    Conservation
    Location
    Value
    My 9 year old son and I had an amazing time staying at Bellavista. We visited Yanacocha to see the Swordbill hummingbird and several mountain tanager species, Aves de Paz where we saw several Antpittas, the Andean Cock of the Rock, and Scaled Fruiteater, and the Umbrella bird lek at Recinto de Junior. Bellavista itself gave us great looks of Mountain Toucan, Toucan Barbet, Booted Rackel-tail, Tanager Finch and the Violet-tail Sylph and mammals like Tayra and Kinkajou. We got great pictures of all these species and give this cloud forest paradise my highest recommendation!
  • ECUADOR DELIVERS AGAIN
    Cock-of-the –Rock & Antpitta Discovery
    Wilf & Julia Powell22 Oct 2017
    5
    Tours
    Wildlife
    Guides
    Conservation
    Location
    Value
    My wife and I recently spent a wonderful 3 weeks on a wildlife focused trip to Ecuador, excellently organised by Richard Parsons of Bellavista Lodge, who arranged accommodation, transport and a knowledgeable guide, Gustavo Canas-Valle. We had spent several days at Bellavista 5 years previously and had vowed to return. This time, after a week visiting Bellavista and several other sites in N.W. Ecuador, we headed to the less-visited South where we stayed at a range of excellent, comfortable lodges, many set up by the Jocotoco Foundation which is dedicated to preserving Ecuadors amazing fauna and flora.. Even though the trip was not solely focused on birds, we came back with a list of 472 species, including local specialties such as El Oro Parakeet and Jocotoco Antpitta. The trip was appropriately rounded off by close views of a pair of perching Andean Condors while visiting Antisana Reserve near Quito before heading to the airport. We saw a fabulous range of other stunning wildlife, including an abundant variety of butterflies. Gustavo was an accomplished botanist and we learnt a lot about the Andean flora. He also had a wealth of knowledge of local history and architecture which greatly added to our experience as we visited Quito and other towns en route. What a memorable trip!
  • Wonderful Bella Vista
    Birding Bonanza
    Arron Roberts24 Apr 2018
    5
    Tours
    Wildlife
    Guides
    Conservation
    Location
    Value
    We had an amazing time at Bellavista in late April. Our guides Richard, Jaun Carlos and Dario were extremely knowledgeable and helpful, showing us the incredible flora and fauna of the cloud forest. Plate billed mountain Toucan, Masked Trogan, Toucan Barbet and an array of colourful Tanagers were seen without even leaving the grounds of the lodge, as well as rare mammals such as the Kinkaju, Olinguito and Tayra. Richard also organised day excursions to other reserves including Alambi, Yanacotcha and Angel Paz, where we were lucky enough to see 3 Andean Condor, Rainbow-bearded Thornbill and a variety of Antpitta. Cock of the rock and Occilated Tappaculo were also highlights as part of our 150+ new bird species list from the area. The hospitality and food was fantastic and welcome after full days of wildlife watching. We would recommend Bella Vista and the North West of Ecuador for anyone with an interest not only in bird watching or wildlife, but also for the unique natural beauty. Thank you to Richard and the team for a once in a lifetime trip! Arron & Kieron Roberts
  • Our Wonderful Wedding!
    Birding Bonanza
    Nicola & Barney24 Apr 2018
    5
    Tours
    Wildlife
    Guides
    Conservation
    Location
    Value
    Yes, we are the first people to actually get married at Bellavista and what a lovely day we had. We have to say a huge thank you to Richard without whom it would not have been possible. Richard organised all of the actual wedding day details and the legalities (of which there are too many) in Equador for us. We had a day of memories and a evening of great fun with a local band again organised by Richard with all the guests joining in. The rest of our stay at Bellavista was truly amazing, comfortable lodge, great food, amazing friendly staff and the birds and wildlife unbelievable. Thank you to all at Bellavista xx Nic & Barney
  • Awesome birding and first class organisation
    Birding Bonanza
    Paul Varney18 Nov 2017
    5
    Tours
    Wildlife
    Guides
    Conservation
    Location
    Value
    Fantastic. Richard Parsons organised birding in and around Bellavista Oct/Nov 2017 including visits to other sites including Antisana and an extension to the Amazon. he organised a personal guide - Nathalia Escobar - she was brilliant, a driver, Luis - excellent and travel and accommodation throughout. It was well organised and thorough and an excellent, first class trip. Would thorougly recommend. Bellavista Lodge we stayed at for 3 nights - excellent accomodation - it can be a bit cold at night so be aware - but food, accommodation and staff all excellent. Birding not too shabby either.
  • Magical Cloud Forest
    Northwestern Ecuador Birds Galore
    Paul Lister3 Feb 2016
    5
    Tours
    Wildlife
    Guides
    Conservation
    Location
    Value
    Bellavista manages to preserve the feeling that the presence of a comfortable bed and good food has not intruded into the wild cloud forest environment in which you are immersed. The birding and wildlife is exceptional; get up before dawn and you will be rewarded with many birds close to the buildings. We arrived from a very hot trip around Galapagos and the cool, wet atmosphere of this cloud forest was the perfect tonic!
  • Two weeks visiting both slopes of the Andes
    Back Roads Bird Roads
    Ken & Lys Hall16 Jun 2015
    5
    Tours
    Wildlife
    Guides
    Conservation
    Location
    Value
    In June 2015, my wife and I spent just over two weeks on a birding tour organised by Bellavista Lodge. The first few days were at the Lodge itself, then they took us to other reserves further down the western slope, as the range species is completely different even a few hundred metres lower (or higher). During this time we saw olinguitos at Bellavista, cock-of-the-rock and various antpittas at the Angel Paz reserve, and dozens of hummingbirds everywhere. In the second week we were accompanied (again by a driver and a guide throughout) to three well-known reserves on the eastern side of the Andes, as far down as Wildsumaco Lodge, some highlights being spectacled bear, Andean condor and rufous-bellied seedsnipe among many other species. I should add that the original itinerary here had to be rearranged at very short notice due to some massive landslips, but they handled the enforced detours perfectly, and used the opportunity to find us some extra birds at some sites rather more off the beaten track. The bird total was about 400 species in all, although we are not listers as such, preferring rather to spend time getting good views of fewer species rather than amassing a huge total of glimpses. It was our first trip to Ecuador, and we liked it so much that we returned in January 2016 for an equally enjoyable tour, again arranged by Bellavista Lodge, of the southern part of the country.
  • A Few Days Is NOT Enough
    Back Roads Bird Roads
    Ralph Sherwin22 Sep 2017
    5
    Tours
    Wildlife
    Guides
    Conservation
    Location
    Value
    Doro and I returned to Bellavista for the second time in two years. As before, we stayed for most of a week, and (as before) we left feeling that we needed more time in this amazing world. Your love of the place, and the people will expand as the days fly by, but more importantly the quiet you want to experience will begin to replace the stress of your hectic life, a bit more every day. It takes a little time. Over our two stays we have spent time with Luis, Nelson, Christina, and Richard as guides. With them we learned much more than how to spot and identify some of the wealth of birds in this part of the cloud forest, we learned more about forest ecology, plants, mammals, amphibians, and the history of the region. We experienced the cloud forest at sunrise, at night, and all times of the day, and in all types of weather. We encountered these experiences with the guides, with other travelers, and quietly by ourselves. The place and the people are dedicated to pointing you to a truly quiet and happy place in yourself. ...but it takes a little time. By all means, bring a checklist of the birds and experiences that you want to tick off, one by one, but don't fail to miss the big message of this place; the world will reward your quiet times with a sense of adventure and wonder that will best be found when you give it time to speak to you. Read all the reviews, and know you'll find everything everyone else has found there, but don't forget to wait for your own adventure. Give it a little time. Ralph and Doro (will be back)
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    5 Based on 8 reviews
    Tours
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