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Ecuador's Cloud Forests & their Wildlife

Listed under Rainforests and Jungles in Quito, Ecuador.

  • Photo of Ecuador's Cloud Forests & their Wildlife
  • Photo of Ecuador's Cloud Forests & their Wildlife
Photo of Ecuador's Cloud Forests & their Wildlife
Photo by flickr user Nicholas_T
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Mainland Ecuador has three general regions - the Amazon, the mountains and the Pacific Coast. Heading up from the coast and over the Andes toward the Amazon Basin, you pass through a range of ecosystems, including sub alpine Paramo system. The cloud forests occur on both sides of the Andes and contain incredible biodiversity, especially of birds.

They are lush verdant forests, with much of the precipitation coming in the form of mist, and although close to the equator, have a mild temperature year round. And apart from the birds, there are fantastic displays of orchids.

Best time: during the dry season (June to December)

Written by  Cam Walker.

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Wildlife of the Cloud Forests

Most famous for its unique cathedral like cloud forest flora, Costa Rica’s Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is also home to a range of unusual animals. Jaguars, Tapirs, Ocelots and the upside-down Olingos thrive amid the undergrowth of ferns and fresh water supply, while the reclusive Resplendent Quetzal and the Bare-necked Umbrella Bird watch on from high in the canopy.

90% of the reserve is virgin forest, and there are 2,500 different species of plant in the park, including 420 different orchids.

As well as trails on the ground there is also a 2km sky trek along suspension bridges high up in the canopy. The best time to visit the Cloud Forest is in the dry season between December and April, though visitors should still be prepared for humidity and rain.

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