Iliniza Cloud Forest

In the heart of Ecuador’s Andean region, the Iliniza Cloud Forest blankets the landscape with a lush tapestry of biodiversity, shrouded in mist and mystery.

Hiking to the cloud forest from Black Sheep Inn takes about 2 hours.  On the way, the road climbs into the paramó – high altitude grasslands above the tree line.

Up in the paramó, you have the option to visit a locally run cheese factory that was started 30 years ago by a Swiss Aid Project.  Over the Western edge of the paramo, the cloud forest begins. You can delve into the clouds and hike in the high altitude rain forest.  A local guide can be hired for this hike, who will be able to show you paths through the jungle, and give some explanation of medicinal plants, bird life, waterfalls, and other points of interest.

You can hike a loop that takes in the cloud forest, traveling along dirt roads that wind their way up to the small town of Chinalo-Alto, along the upper edge of the cloud forest, and eventually back down to Chugchilán and the Black Sheep Inn.  This hike takes about 5 hours total.  You can also enjoy this route on horseback.

We have a reasonably complete Bird List for our local cloud forest.

The cloud forest is part of the Iliniza Ecological Reserve, a vast area of land that receives very little ecological protection.  more about the reserve.

Related Activities

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Friendly animals bring joy and companionship, enriching our lives with their warmth and unconditional love.

Frisbee Golf

Frisbee golf offers a fun and active way to enjoy the outdoors while honing hand-eye coordination and strategic thinking skills.

Relaxing Massage

A relaxing massage provides relief from stress and tension, promoting relaxation, improved circulation, and overall well-being.

Yoga

The practice of yoga promotes physical strength, mental clarity, and emotional well-being, fostering a harmonious balance between mind, body, and spirit.

Sauna and Hot Tub

Some people say that the Finnish sauna is for cleaning the body, and the Native American sweat dome for ritualistic purification. 

Local Markets

Andean tradition thrives in this area and local markets provide many opportunities to observe how people have been trading for thousands of years

Mountain Bikes

Biking at altitude 3200 meters (10,500 feet), in thin air, with the landscape’s dramatic contours, is a challenge for most riders.  Yet we recommend a few downhill bike rides.
Horseback Riding Quilotoa

Horseback Riding

You can walk or gallop across the high paramó, descend steeply into the canyon, or take a relaxing ride out onto the plateau.

Guantualo Market and Isinlivi

Alive with vibrant colors and bustling activity, immerses visitors in the rich tapestry of Ecuadorian culture, offering a sensory feast of sights, sounds, and flavors.

Iliniza Cloud Forest

In the heart of Ecuador’s Andean region, the Iliniza Cloud Forest blankets the landscape with a lush tapestry of biodiversity, shrouded in mist and mystery.

Ridge Hike

Black Sheep Inn is located part way up a mountain ridge.  Hiking up to the top of the ridge above the inn takes about 25 minutes. 

Canyon Plateau

The Canyon Plateau stands as a majestic expanse of sculpted rock and winding rivers, a testament to the relentless forces of erosion over millennia.
Views of Toachi river canyon

Rio Toachi Canyon

A rugged testament to nature’s artistry, carves its serpentine path through Ecuador’s verdant landscape, offering adventurers a thrilling journey into its depths.
Quilotoa Lagoon Ecuador Trekking

Quilotoa Lagoon

Carved out by a powerful volcanic eruption over 800 years ago, this azure jewel cradled within the crater’s embrace captivates all who behold its beauty.