Neighbouring Colombia and Peru, Ecuador is a relatively small country that nevertheless offers an enticing array of scenic landscapes, diverse wildlife species and interesting cities. Dense Amazon rainforest, towering Andean mountain peaks, palm-fringed Pacific Coast beaches and fascinating historical sites are all part and parcel of Ecuador’s prolific charms. The former Inca town of Cuenca is the nation’s third-largest city and a Unesco World Heritage Site. This alluring city, with its cobbled streets, beautiful architecture and photogenic plazas, boasts a huge variety of museums and art galleries. The vibrant capital city of Quito is also worth a visit. Arguably the most dazzling jewel in Ecuador’s crown is the Galapagos Archipelago in the Pacific, about 1000 kilometres west of the mainland. Their magnificent, pristine landscapes and prolific wildlife, which inspired Charles Darwin, have made this cluster of islands a world-famous travel destination.
Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve
Days 1 - 5
Resting on the northwestern hills of the Andean Mountain Range in Ecuador, Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve is a small but spectacular conservation area. This unique Andean getaway boasts an incredible biodiversity and stretches for over 700 hectares of subtropical jungle-covered landscape characterised by wooded mountain slopes descending into deep gorges carved out by cascading waterfalls and crystal clear streams. Bellavista is a magnificent place for visitors to discover the lush cloud forest and its exotic diversity of bird and plant life. The reserve is a nature lover’s dream and a bird watcher's paradise offering visitors a world-class bird watching experience boasting over 320 recorded species. Don’t miss the adventurous trek through the orchid-filled rainforest to the magical hidden falls.
Days 5 - 6
Set in the middle of Ecuador, between a triangle of nature reserves in the country’s Amazonian region, Napo Province offers its visitors an incredible natural paradise. In Papallacta, relax in famous, wonderful natural hot springs, or go searching for orchids and hummingbirds. In Tena, explore the spectacular Jumandi Caves and swim the pool beneath, go chocolate tasting at the Kallari Chocolate Farm, and work it off with watersports on the Jatunyacu River. Take a shower in magnificent waterfalls in Misahualli, or learn about (and follow the trail behind) the legend of the Treasure of the Llanganates at the Llanganates National Park. At the Sumaco Napo-Galeras National Park, see some 280 birds species, and look for glimpses of jaguars and brown-toed sloths. Meet locals in the communities of Oyacachi and Paquiestancia, and watch Andean condors fly overhead, in the Cayambe-Coca National Park.