One of the least known types of tropical forest, cloud forests, are found in remote valleys at higher elevations 1600-2500m. The name comes from the clouds which drench the forest in a fine mist, allowing some particularly delicate forms of plant life to survive.
Cloud forest trees are adapted to steep rocky soils and a harsh climate, and have the characteristic low gnarled growth, dense small-leaved canopies, and moss-covered branches supporting a host of plants such as orchids, ferns, bromeliads and many others. The dense vegetation at all levels of this forest gives it a mysterious and delicate fairytale appearance. It is the home of such rare species as the woolly tapir, the Andean spectacled bear, and the puma. This habitat is particularly important as a source of fresh water and to control erosion.
Yes; 110 volts, 2-pin plugs.
No - the water comes from a stream on the farm itself, and is free from pollution, but we prefer to boil water for our guests to err on the side of caution.
In the same way as most Latin Americans do: using a specially built tank, a scrubbing brush, and plenty of soap, all of which are provided! Locals will gladly do your washing for you if you need a rest from such chores.
The nearest banks/cash machines are in Otavalo. We do not accept cheques or credit cards, so do bring enough cash to cover your costs. Most people can cost their stay based on $25 a day per person, including all activities, food and accommodation.
Those planning self-guided walks and “hammock days” can budget for $10 to $15 per day.
Keep your cash zipped up in inside pockets, especially in urban areas of Ecuador.
The nearest doctor is in Cuellaje, 10 kilometres from your accommodation. If you have concerns about health, you are recommended to take out medical and accident insurance before travel.
Of course, but please show consideration for other guests.
In general, San Antonio is warm during the day and chilly at night.
The driest time of year is usually between May and December (inclusive).
January to April is usually the rainy season (wonderful cloud forest experiences, but rain no longer predictable due to climate change).
Whenever you arrive, you can rely on receiving a warm welcome!
This is a remarkably healthy area in which to stay. The altitude (about 2400m) may cause temporary feelings of breathlessness and headache, and it would be advisable to avoid vigorous activity during your first couple of days. However, most visitors report no problems with the altitude.
Malaria and dengue fever are absent, though there are a few mosquitoes, and you may like to bring a repellent.
Biting and stinging insects, and spiders and snakes, are not a problem in San Antonio.
No, communications in San Antonio are poor. The nearest telephone is about 4km away, and the nearest internet service is in Cuellaje. There is no mobile phone signal at present.
From March 2000 Ecuador has used the United States dollar. The only difference from the US is that Ecuadorean coins bear the faces of their own national heroes.
Ecuador is at GMT -5
Yes, most children would have a wonderful time here.
There are so many different things for them to see and do, and the local children, like their parents, are friendly and cheerful.
The international code for Ecuador is 593, followed by the city code (for example Quito is 022), and finally the phone number, usually 6 digits. For example: +593+062+648 627.
There are 2 main environmental issues in the area.
1.Threat of mining; there are huge mineral deposits in Intag, including copper, gold and uranium. For an environmentalist viewpoint visit www.intagnewspaper.org which is edited by a North-American, Marie-Elena, from the nearby village of Apuela.
2. Deforestation. "Slash and burn" agriculture has been practised for generations on a small scale, and the burnt land is sown with maize and then grass seed. Illegal felling on the edge of the reserve also takes place, largely driven by local peoples’ need to obtain more land to pasture their cattle.
One of the main reasons for promoting eco-tourism in the area is to provide the population with an ecologically sustainable source of income, and so slow down the destruction of the forest.