Explore Ecuador With Cheryl Reed
& Above The Clouds Ecuador
Our specialty at Above the Clouds Ecuador is hosting groups. Whether you are a blogger with a following, a Yoga Instructor who wants to take your clients on a retreat or the person in charge of putting together your family reunion, we will take care of all the planning while finding the best itinerary for your needs.
Ecuador is the perfect country to explore with your group. No bigger than the size of Nevada, yet there is so much to see in this small Andean nation. From wildlife to people, from big cities to rural villages, from the jungles to the beaches, Ecuador has something for everyone.
One of the things that leaves a impression on visitors is the love and joy that the people of Ecuador exude. You will immediately feel Ecuadorians’ warmth towards you and each other which fosters an immediate connection.
Ecuador is a Spanish-speaking country with a population of more than 17 million inhabitants. The majority of the people are considered mestizos, a mix of Spanish and native Ecuadorian. There is still a large segment of Indigenous Ecuadorians, many of whom carry on the language and ways of their ancestors. As many as 20 different groups still exist, each with their own form of dress and indigenous language.
Known for its expansive biodiversity, Ecuador is home to 1600+ species of birds, 4200+ species of orchids, over 300 types of mammals including 15 species of monkeys, the bizarre Mountain Tapir, and the beloved Spectacled Bear. Many of these animals can only be seen on Ecuador’s mainland.
Ecuador includes four different geographic regions: the coast, the Sierra, the jungle and the Galapagos Islands. Because of Ecuador’s compact size, it is possible to explore each of its four geographic regions in one vacation!
The Sierra, The Spine of Ecuador
The Sierra is the region running down the center of Ecuador from north to south. It is home to the Andes Mountains, sometimes called the Avenue of the Volcanoes. It’s the best place to see beautiful mountains resting amid patch-work farm lands.
Our own Above the Clouds Guest House is situated in the foothills of the Andes in the newly designated UNESCO Choco-Andino Biosphere. The area is rich in biodiversity in part because moist air from the Pacific Ocean meets with the cold air from the highest Andean peaks, trapping clouds whose moisture fosters a multitude of unique flora and fauna. Here you can find close to 500 varieties of birds such as the famous Andean Cock of the Rock along with thousands of types of plant life including rare orchids and over 1500 types of ferns.
In Otavalo, there are two amazing Haciendas to choose from for your home base, Hacienda Chorlavi and Hacienda Cusin. Each is a renovated Hacienda that allows you to take a step back in time. Impeccably decorated, each is magical in it’s own right. Equally wonderful, your stay in the subtropics of Ecuador, will be at Above the Clouds Guest House, a brand new construction that allows for amazing views of the surrounding valleys and distant high peaks and where you can watch clouds being born.
The Amazon Basin, Ecuador’s Jungle
Ecuador’s jungle makes up the eastern one-third of the country which is home to unspoiled wilderness and an abundance of animal life. From river dolphins to 15 species of monkeys to 500 species of birds, this jungle is very much alive. You can also visit Indigenous villages where people continue to live off the land.
The Coast, Ecuador’s Endless Beaches
Ecuador has 1200 miles of coastline consisting of secluded beaches, fishing villages, National Parks, and pure beauty. Enjoy the wild and remote inland areas of Esmeraldas accessible only by canoe or Manabi’s beach cities along the coast where you can observe Humpback whales, scuba dive, snorkel or relax on the beach while watching the fishermen bring in the catch of the day.
The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador’s National Treasure
The Galapagos Islands lie some 1500 miles off the coast of Ecuador. The archipelago is a group of 19 islands and includes dozens of islets and rocks that cover over 17,000 square miles. Here you will see some of the world’s most unique and endemic wildlife species. You will experience close encounters with fearless wildlife such as penguins, sea lions, and giant tortoises while enjoying stunning beaches with the clearest blue water.