Ecuador Tours with Above the Clouds!

Let Cheryl lead you to the best of Ecuador

The Sacred Waters of Ecuador Retreat!


Are you ready to experience the magic of Ecuador, one of the most bio-diverse countries in the world?

Come join your hosts Cheryl Reed and Jay Stailey for a 10-day tour experiencing Ecuador’s treasured bodies of water including oceans, crater lakes and waterfalls.

We’ll start in the Pacific Ocean waters at Puerto Lopez where you will visit the Isla de La Plata to see Blue Footed Boobies and view the magnificent Hump Back Whales that have migrated there for the summer.  You’ll enjoy a mud bath followed by a soak in the sulfur waters at Agua Blanca, a near-by community.  There is nothing better than a walk on the beach at sunset after watching the local fishermen bring in the day’s catch.  The last stop on the coast will be at Pachoce Reserve in Manta where you can observe Howler Monkeys in their habitat and watch women weave Panama hats.  

After heading to Quito, the capital of Ecuador, we will drive through the lungs of the world to the subtropics on the western slopes of the Andes with a stop at the equator and the beautiful volcanic crater of Pululahua. We’ll visit Mindo and take a cable car over the cloud forest and learn how chocolate is processed.  At Above the Clouds Guest House you can visit your own private waterfall, walk in the labyrinth and watch the mating dance of the famous Cock of the Rock bird.  We’ll visit the the Sacred Swimming Pools of Tulipe left behind by the Yumbo Indians who lived in the area over 900 years ago.   

Next we are off to Otavalo, in the high Andes. We will soak in the views of Lake Cuicocha, a turquoise blue crater lake viewed as sacred by the Indigenous and feel the spray from the Peguche Waterfall used by the locals for a special ceremony at the summer solstice each year.  Don Jose will give us a weaving demonstration and we will have a special treat of making music with Ali and his family at his workshop.  A visit to the Condor park gives us a chance to watch birds of prey fly high in the Andes Mountains.  Of course there will be shopping at the Otavalo Market, known for their handmade woven goods and Cotocachi, famous for their leather goods.

You will then fly home taking a little piece of Ecuador in your heart.


Day 1:  Arrival in Guayaquil. Overnight. 

Day 2:  Drive to Puerto Lopez. (3.25 hours).  Visit Agua Blanca Community.  Sunset on the beach.

Day 3:  Isla de La Plata Boat tour.   

Day 4:  Leave for a two hour drive up the coast towards Manta.  Pacoche Reserve.

Day 5:  Fly to Quito. Head to Above the Clouds Guest house in the subtopics of Ecuador.  Stop at the equator and Pululahu Crater.

Day 6  Wake up above the clouds!  Waterfall hike.  Tulipe Museum.  Cock of the Rock. 

Day 7:  Mindo Cloud Forest.  Cable car ride and waterfall hike.  Chocolate Tour.

Day 8:  Leave for Otavalo.  Condor Park to see birds of prey.

Day 9:  Otavalo Market.  Weaving demonstration. Visit Ali at his music workshop.

Day 10:  Lake Cuicocha.  Cotocachi leather town.  Fly back home at night. 


What an amazing experience you have led me through! Everything  about my days here have been filled with joy and beauty. You are a special host, guiding us with love and care so that we see the absolute beauty of Ecuador and understand that which we did not know.


Retreat Attendee

“What a wonderful retreat in all ways– leaving the worries and concerns of city life behind–meeting new friends with no concern of making an impression and fully in love with the beauty, music and people of Ecuador. Muchas Gracias Charito por un bueno tiempo y maravillosa casa.”


Retreat Attendee

Cheryl Reed

Cheryl is owner of Above the Clouds Ecuador and Above the Clouds Guest House in the subtropics of Ecuador.  She first visited Ecuador in 1997 as a volunteer spending two weeks working with disabled children in Quito. She was humbled by the poverty, awed by the beauty  and warmed by the hearts of the Ecuadorian people.  It made such an impression on her that in 2002,  Cheryl purchased a farm in Ecuador initially spending six months a year there and has now transitioned to full-time.

Cheryl started hosting retreats to share the beauty of Ecuador with others and to give people time to unplug from the world.  She holds the retreats at various hotels around Ecuador and also at her guest house. Cheryl’s main goal is for people to immerse themselves in the culture, the sounds, the tastes and the abundant nature to truly experience all that Ecuador has to offer.  

Jay Stailey

As Jay Stailey prepared for his departure from a quarter century of work as a school administrator in Houston area public schools, he inadvertently stumbled upon the labyrinth at St. Thomas University. As his walks became regular events in his busy life, he discovered the power of the labyrinth as a tool to focus his thoughts, clear his mind, and tune his inner being. His curiosity and interest broadened as he became a Veriditas trained and certified labyrinth facilitator and eventually led him to become Houston’s first labyrinth coach. He has emerged as a fixture in the Houston labyrinth community, facilitating monthly labyrinth walks at the Historic Freedmen’s Town Labyrinth, guiding Houstonian’s on discovery walks and bicycle tours, and facilitating the construction of temporary and permanent labyrinths with Houston Area churches and schools abroad on the Fourviere in historic Lyon, France and on the equator in the cloud forests of Ecuador.