Day 1: Quito/Cloud Forest/Quito
On a day-trip from Quito, you will be picked up at your hotel at 6:00 - 6:30 am (flexible), and travel past the Ecuador Monument, and continue on down a mountain road with superb views, and then turn off on a dirt road with more fabulous views for the climb to Bellavista. Once at Bellavista around 8:30 am, the hummingbirds take your full attention! Large numbers hover constantly around the feeders, and it is easy to identify six to eight species at very close range. They sometimes will even perch on your finger. After breakfast, you’ll go for a guided naturalist hike into the forest, which will last about 2-3 hours. Your guided hike will acquaint you with the exuberant vegetation of the Cloud Forest, its bird life, and the fascinating adaptations of the wildlife that inhabits this special environment. Every hike reveals something new, even for those who are fortunate enough to live in the forest every day! After your hike, lunch is served in the circular restaurant at about 1:00 pm. During your meal enjoy breathtaking views and a flurry of hummingbirds all around you. After lunch, you have the option to relax and watch the hummingbirds and other colorful species near the dome or to take another hike into the forest on your own. But don’t worry, the trails are well-marked and safe. Your vehicle will expect you back at the dome to leave between 4:00 - 4:30 pm in order to return your hotel in Quito at dusk. (B,L)
SERIOUS BIRDERS: We also offer the option to travel via the Nono Road, famous for birding. Departure is usually very early morning (we suggest 5:00 - 5.30 am). You arrive at Bellavista for a late lunch. You will travel with a specialist bird guide in a 4-wheel drive or high-clearance vehicle. Please inquire regarding costs.