Cloud Forest of Ecuador
In my opinion, the cloud forest is the most special place on Earth, and the towns that are in the heart of the cloud forest in Ecuador should be on everyone's travel 'to-do' list.
What is a cloud forest? The answer is pretty simple: a high altitude rain forest. Ecuador's cloud forests are some of the best in the world, because it's the perfect combination of Andes Mountains and Amazon.
Baños on a map of Ecuador, located exactly where
the Amazon Basin hits the Andes Mountains
There is less density of trees, oppressive heat, and skin-gnawing mosquitoes in the cloud forest, which makes it the perfect place to kick back in a hammock and watch the hummingbirds go by. It also provides great opportunities for adventure sports like waterfall rappelling, bridge jumping, zip-lining, hiking, mountain biking, swimming, etc.
Goofing around in the cloud forest
Posing while waterfall repelling
When I'm up in the cloud forest, the tropical scenery disappears into the clouds around me. The people are friendly, the towns are all safe, and sitting in the back of a pick up truck is an acceptable form of transportation.
Some pretty scenery in the cloud forest near Baños
The cloud forest has consistently been my favorite weekend getaway in Ecuador, whether it be to Mindo or Baños. I'm always in awe when I visit these places that more people don't know they exist. Maybe it's for the best, because for the time being they are still sleepy little towns with gorgeous scenery.
View of some hummingbirds in Mindo