The Intag Cloud Forest Reserve is located in the stunning Intag area of Imbabura Province, fairly close to Otavalo. The cabins are at 1,850 meters above sea level (6000 feet), which, in the tropics, makes for eternal spring weather.
We are only a 1.5 hour drive from Otavalo on a spectacular Andean road, followed by a one hour easy walk. We specialize in receiving student groups, and have been doing so since 1989.
Besides hiking and birdwatching, we offer lectures on different topics related to cloud forest ecology, conservation, agroecology, sustainable development, plus stimulating talks from a local women’s artisanal organization.
Its cloud forest habitat, on the biodiverse western slopes of Ecuador’s Western Andes, makes for unforgettable bird watching, and is specially rich in orchid diversity.
The Intag area is still rich in primary cloud forests, and alive with rushing white-water streams and rivers, and small towns and villages. Our reserve straddles one of the Andes’ most biological diverse elevations: 1800 to 2800 meters (6,000 to 9,000 ft) see what E.O Wilson has to say about this area in a letter to Carlos Zorrilla, by clicking here. This is part of Ecuador’s magnificent Andean cloud forest belt which is widely known for it’s incredible biodiversity. In order to help protect this precious habitat and its wildlife, we made our whole reserve a legally protected private forest reserve in 1993 (Bosque Protector).
We have been open since 1989 as an environmental education center, and living at this Reserve, since 1979. One of our first groups was from the School for International Training (based in Vermont), who take university students from all over the US for a semester abroad to Ecuador and many other parts of the world. 29 years later, we are still receiving SIT groups.
We also have received university groups from Cornell, University of San Francisco at Davis, Drew University, Baldwin-Wallace College, Western State College of Colorado; Lewis and Clark University, and Western Kentucky University, among many others, who visit our reserve as part of their stay in Ecuador.
Likewise, in 2018, we received the first Gap Year students from Global Citizen Year.
Groups are not limited from the US, however. We have received many students from Japan, as well as Europe. Really, they all share the love for the natural world, and an interest in its conservation.
Our operation is as sustainable as you’ll find in the Andes. We grow our own coffee, as well as many fruits of vegetable organically, and in two of our cabins, have composting latrines. We also use the sustainable bamboo in some of our buildings.
For small individual groups the Intag Colibri Cabins – Airbnb three bedroom cabin and Airbnb Cabin with balcony is also located on the reserve and works together with the Intag Cloud Forest Reserve. The cabin has three bedrooms with two private bathrooms with hot showers and flush toilets. Make a reservation today or rent it through airbnb .
Yesterday I was running down the path to bathe in the waterfalls, and passing a pile of leaves they turned into butterflies and flew away. This is a magical place. Thank you for sharing it.