The Soul of Ecuador's Cloud Forest
From $575 pp
Venture into the soul of Ecuador's famous cloud forest and experience the magic that awaits in this biodiversity-rich, subtropical jungle paradise!
This is a short, authentic experience that immerses you in our local culture, nature, and gastronomy. Hike in a private reserve, photograph hummingbirds and amazing landscapes, explore our village’s colonial streets, and fall in love with our artisan cuisine. We will explore the village of Nono, learn about the living history of Ecuador, and meet with a local group of women who weave. Your trip will contribute to the development of the communities we visit in an organized and responsible way.
Come experience the special cloud forest in a sustainable way!
- Soak in superb views of the Andes while surrounded by great nature
- Hike in a private cloud forest reserve at 3,400 meters
- Observe many bird species, including up to five types of hummingbirds
- Enjoy a gastronomic experience with a private chef
- Visit a coffee farm and taste coffee grown at a high altitude
- Support our group of local embroiderers visiting their workshop
- Spend relaxing nights at the beautiful Villa Doris Country Lodge - one of Ecuador's best-kept secrets
Our adventure takes us to the Yanacocha Reserve at 3,400 meters above sea level to explore a forest bathed by clouds. We will also visit a family-owned coffee farm where you'll experience Ecuador's renowned coffee culture and enjoy a good cup of coffee. Then, we'll head to either an archeological museum or the Solar Museum at the Equator. Along the way, we’ll be eating local, fresh, and tasteful cuisine thanks to our personal chef!
One very special part of this trip is when we meet a small group of women from our local community who, while weaving their dreams for a better future, embroider beautiful pieces of art.
On this trip – seeing our nature, eating our food, learning about our culture, and meeting our communities – you become a part of our history!
What is special about Ecuador's cloud forest?
Ecuador's cloud forest is a truly remarkable ecosystem that is impressive for several reasons, including its unique biodiversity, stunning landscapes, and ecological significance.
- Biodiversity: This is a safe paradise for birds and mammals. The cloud forest is home to an incredible array of plant and animal species, many of which are endemic (found nowhere else in the world). The cloud forest’s unique climate supports epiphytes (plants that grow on other plants) and orchids. The forest is also home to a number of rare and endangered animals, such as the spectacled bear, the Andean cock-of-the-rock bird, and the mountain tapir. We will likely see up to five types of hummingbirds on this trip! We will also visit a small family project, the Zuro Loma birding reserve, for a closer encounter with hummers.
- Landscape: The cloud forest is characterized by dramatic mountain landscapes, deep valleys, and rushing rivers. The forest is often shrouded in mist and fog, creating an otherworldly atmosphere that is both eerie and beautiful.
- Ecological significance: The cloud forest plays an important role in regulating the climate and supporting the ecosystems of the surrounding areas. The forest acts as a sponge, absorbing moisture and releasing it slowly over time, which helps to regulate water levels in rivers and streams. The cloud forest also plays a critical role in storing carbon, helping to mitigate the impacts of climate change.
Ecuador enjoys spring-like weather all year round. Most days we enjoy sunny mornings and cooler afternoons with temperatures around 55°F-64°F (12°C-18°C).
- June to November: The dry season is generally the best time to visit Ecuador's cloud forest, with June to August being the dryest time in this particular area. Days will be mostly sunny and warm with less chance of rain, making it ideal to explore the forest and enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, birdwatching, and wildlife spotting. The dry season is also the best time to see many of the cloud forest’s endemic bird species, including the colorful Andean cock-of-the-rock and the elusive plate-billed mountain toucan. The cloud forest can experience rain even in the dry season, so still prepare for the possibility of wet weather if you travel during this season.
- December to May: The wet season is when you can see the cloud forest in its most lush and green state, and when its stunning waterfalls will be at their fullest. April is typically particularly rainy. Note: The wet season can bring heavy rainfall and mudslides, which may make some trails and roads inaccessible.
Day 1 Quito [Ecuador] (arrival day)
Transfer from Quito Airport or hotel to arrive at Villa Doris Lodge and have a welcome lunch.
Set off on our first hike and visit to the village of Nono, including the visit to our embroidery project, where women from our village weave their dreams for a better future. Have dinner and spend the night in a beautiful room with garden views.
Accommodation: Villa Doris Country Lodge
Meals: Lunch and dinner
Day 2 High Altitude Cloud Forest
After breakfast, your guide will lead a hike through the Yanacocha Reserve located about 10,500 feet (3,200-3,400 meters) above sea level. In the early 1990s, this high-altitude cloud forest land was purchased by the Jocotoco Foundation, one of Ecuador's most recognized conservation organizations, and established as a protected reserve for 964 hectares of lush evergreen forest.
While home to many avian species, the reserve is primarily known for its hummingbirds. Among these is the highly endangered Black-breasted Puffleg, which was nearly driven to extinction due to habitat loss. We'll visit Zuro Loma, a small reserve, for a closer encounter with birds in this magical area.
Upon our return to Nono, you'll have time to rest or take photographs of the garden. Then we'll have a gastronomic experience that will delight adventurous foodies and fans of nostalgic, hand-made, artisan cuisine as we taste authentic flavors and typical dishes.
Accommodation: Villa Doris Country Lodge
Meals: Box lunch and dinner
Day 3 Low Altitude Cloud Forest
After a typical breakfast served at the Villa, we'll get ready to explore the cloud forest at a lower altitude. We will visit a coffee farm and have the opportunity to taste delicious Ecuadorian coffee. Then we'll continue deeper into the forest to observe the great bird life of Ecuador.
In the afternoon, we'll either visit the archeological museum of Tulipe (Wednesdays to Sundays) or visit the Equator Solar Museum of Intiñan on return to Nono.
Accommodation: Villa Doris Country Lodge
Meals: Typical lunch at a local restaurant and dinner
Day 4 Quito (departure day)
This trip can be customized upon request. Contact us about adjustments to fit your expectations in terms of trip duration, budget restrictions, and specific interests.
Prices exclude flights to/from the destination.
Prices are for double room occupancy unless indicated otherwise.
Prices vary by group size. Contact us for groups of 10 or more.
Deposit per person
25% of the trip price
Group of 2 Travelers - price per person
Group of 3-4 Travelers - price per person
Group of 5-9 Travelers - price per person
- Bird watching with a native birding guide: $130/day/group
We were the first tour company that saw Nono as an incredible tourist destination. We invested in this village to be able to offer guests the most comfortable and coziest lodge in our area. We understood that alone we could not achieve anything, so we trained our staff to reach a 5* rating on social media for the quality of our services. We opened our own restaurant where you will experience a gastronomic feast for your senses. With love and patience, we helped the women of our community with an embroidery project so they can weave their dreams for a better future in our beloved Nono.
This trip respects nature leaving no trace after our visit. We have reduced plastic usage by sending box lunches in appropriate boxes and all waste goes back to Villa Doris.
There are no domestic flights involved in this trip. There is no 'green transportation' available yet in our destination, so we encourage clients to walk from Villa Doris back and forth to our restaurant in town.
Animals (hummingbirds, squirrels, and opossums) are respected in our sanctuary garden and they are fed every single day to ensure they have a safe place to come, stay, and reproduce.
We buy locally as much as possible and use biodegradable soaps, shampoos, recycled paper towels, etc. from a source in Quito.
This trip creates jobs for people who, in our village, have no other working possibilities. Through our tours, we help the development of small enterprises that belong to town people.
- We have included a visit to Zuro Loma which is a small reserve where a local family is devoting all their efforts to providing a beautiful experience for our clients while enjoying the colorful birds of their garden.
- We meet the women of our embroidery project so that travelers can see how the work is done and what the income from weaving means for their families. All the money collected from the embroidery products we sell goes directly to the women of the Sisa Quinde project.
- For clients interested in a birdwatching experience, we only hire native birders. For clients who use our destination and Villa Doris for acclimatization before volcano climbing, we also use guides native to Nono. That way we support the economy of their families.
We do not interfere in the families' lives and traditions, we respect the environment and cultural heritage.
Our food is sourced locally as much as possible. We serve vegetarian and non-vegetarian options.
This trip takes travelers off the beaten path and avoids tourist "hot spots".
Health & Safety
What does the Physical Rating of "Easy" mean for this trip?
Travelers will walk or hike at their own pace and the length of activities depends on the travelers.
What are the accommodations like?
You will stay in Villa Doris in Parroquia de Nono, an eco-friendly bed and breakfast lodge nestled amongst the cloud forest. This is a locally owned lodge with great garden views. Villa Doris serves local and organic food, uses eco-friendly cleaning products and energy-saving lights, and also uses water flow reducers. Staying here for all 3 nights supports slow travel which helps to immerse travelers in the cloud forest.
At our Villa, we offer the best of Ecuadorian hospitality. You are not just a room number, you are part of us. We devote our time to making you feel special and talking to you about our customs, traditions, and medicinal plants.
How far is Parroquia de Nono from Quito?
Parroquia de Nono is located in the province of Pichincha in Ecuador, and it is approximately 16 miles northwest of the city of Quito. The driving time between Quito and Nono is typically around 45 minutes to an hour, depending on traffic and road conditions.
When is the best time to do this tour?
Any month is perfect considering Ecuador is privileged with spring-like weather all year round. See Seasonal Notes for more details.
Can I add this tour to an experience in Galapagos?
Yes! We can run this tour either prior to or post a tour to the Galapagos Islands.
Is this trip recommended for solo travelers, women, LGBTQ+, and POC travelers?
We are running this tour in the area with the highest biodiversity on Earth, which is also a Biosphere. Tourism is limited in our area so we will not find crowds of tourists where we go. People are respectful to visitors and our village is very tiny and people are friendly and kind. At Villa Doris, our country lodge, our guests are part of our family, all treated with respect and kindness.