Before my travel legs give in, just once in my life when someone asks me where I’m going on vacation, I think I’d like to say, “I’m going to take a walk in a cloud forest”. It has a certain ring to it, doesn’t it? An enchanting place where you can literally have your head in the clouds…
Image via Casa Divina Lodge
So today I learned that “cloud forests” are actually a real thing (they have their own wikipedia page too). Generally a tropical or subtropical patchwork of evergreen, cloud forests are characterized by a persistent cloud cover, an abundance of mosses covering the ground and hundreds of streams that irrigate the landscape.
(c) Ted Clark
My first virtual encounter with one happened today while I was aimlessly scrolling through the travel section on Pinterest and stopped at a photograph of a scene that looked like it came straight out of a favourite childhood movie, FernGully: The Last Rainforest. Anyone seen it? Well if not, here’s the real thing…
This is the Mindo Cloud Forest in Ecuador, a mountainous watershed situated in the western slopes of the Andes, where two of the mostbiologically diverse ecoregions in the world meet: the Chocoan lowlands and the Tropical Andes. Much of the land is privately protected but it has several private reserves and lodges for travellers known for their waterfall trails and unique cloud forest biodiversity.
(c) Ben Somberg
(c) SA Trekker
Here are a few lodges to bookmark on your bucket list…
The Bella Vista Reserve
Mindo Lago ↓
Urcu de Mindo Lodging ↓
But Ecuador isn’t the only one with a cloud forest. Wikipedia lists more than 20 countries around the world with their own cloud forests from China to Ethiopia to New Zealand and the United States.
↑ Here’s one of the hanging bridges of the Sky walk at the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve in Costa Rica.