When to visit the cloud forest?
The cloud forest is a year round destination, like most of Ecuador. The rainy season in the western cloud forest areas is typically between January until May, with a lot of the precipitation in the form of mist and rain. However, the rain is usually pretty predictable during this time and starts at around 2pm and continues for a few hours, allowing plenty of time to schedule any activities.
What are the temperatures in the cloud forest?
Actual temperatures depending on the altitude of the forest you are visiting, the higher you go, the cooler they are, but typically they are very pleasant during the day and cool at night. The highest temperatures in Mindo, which is the cloud forest area that most of our guests visit, the highest daytime temperatures are around 27 °C (80F) and lows at night of around 13 °C (55F), pretty much all year round. In the dry season (June through December) when rain is very scare and sporadic, moisture levels are still maintained in the forest by mists that condense on the slopes of the Andes.
What is the difference between Ecuador’s cloud forest and the Rainforest?
The cloud forests areas cooler and generally more lush than the Amazon region, the unique climate of the cloud forest allows lots of epiphytes (plants living on other plants) to grow, which means orchids, ferns, bromeliads and mosses growing on branches of trees in the cloud forest. Cloud forests are typically characterised by having clear, fast moving rocky rivers running through them, compared to the larger, silt laden and slow moving rivers of the Amazon region. Trees are typically much larger in the Amazon, vs the cloud forest. Whilst the Rainforest area is typically flat, the cloud forest areas lie on the slopes of the Andes which means they can be steep in parts, which offers some great hiking and viewpoints!
What to pack for the cloud forest?
This is a suggested list of what is helpful to bring for the cloud forest.
- Binoculars or a scope if you have them
- Torch (flashlight) to help in night hikes and also to find your cabins more easily
- Light day pack
- Sun cream and insect repellent
- T-shirts and long sleeved shirts
- Swimming costume if you fancy a dip in the river or at the waterfalls (water is cold but refreshing on a hot day!)
- Light waterproof jacket or Poncho
- Sweater/Fleece or jacket for the evenings when it can get cooler
- Hiking boots or sturdy shoes
- Sandals for ‘after hours’
- Sun hat
- Umbrella (handy to have if caught in a rain shower)
- Personal toiletries (though the lodges do have soap and shampoo)