Staying at Bellavista Lodge in Mindo
After spending a few days in Quito in Ecuador, I was dying for some peace and quiet, so I booked a two-night stay at Bellavista, a private reserve in the middle of Mindo cloud Forest. I was really looking forward to getting back to nature and some well-deserved R&R after a lot of sightseeing.
I was picked up at 6 AM on the dot from my Quito hotel and, together with another Dutch couple, driven to the lodge through really pretty countryside.
At Bellavista we were welcomed with breakfast and some very much needed, hot coffee. After breakfast we went on our first guided nature walk around the lodge’s trails, with many more to follow. It’s a bird lover’s paradise as there are hundreds of different bird species living here, but you can also spot hundreds of pretty flowers. My favourite spot was right in front of reception where hummingbirds were having a party on the sugar water feeders hanging from the trees.
The afternoon and evening was spent sleeping, eating, drinking and reading. Now a little word of warning if you’re on your honeymoon or a romantic getaway; Don’t even think of getting all hot and heavy at Bellavista, the rooms have no soundproofing whatsoever. You can literally hear your neighbour breathe. Having said that, I slept like a log, even with my neighbour’s snoring and all.
The next day started off with walks at 6 am, and one at 9am. I went for the latter one as I felt that a bird looks the same at 6 as at 9 in the morning. Now if you’re like me, and like to watch a few birds for a wee while, but then get extremely bored with it, then there are other slightly more exciting options at Bellavista as well. You can book various excursions, but they are on the pricey side. I opted to go ziplining and ended up paying USD110, while the actual ziplining only costs USD15-20. You’re better off booking a taxi yourself.
I was a little miffed about that, and I am hoping that my money will be used to protect pretty birds rather than ending up in someone’s pocket. In any case, I had a pretty exhilarating afternoon.
The last day I went on one more morning walk, and finished my stay with lunch after which I was taken back to my hotel in Quito. I had a lovely few days at Bellavista and bar the cost of the ziplining and the paper-thin walls in the rooms, I would totally recommend a few days here.