Bellavista was set up in the 1990s by Richard and Gloria, a Colombian - British couple who had ben living for some years in Ecuador. Gloria, mother of two by her first marriage, once ran a boutique in Quito city and was the main contributor to the first Colombian tourism guidebook to Ecuador. Richard was first a Galapagos naturalist guide in the 1980s, working later after doing a Masters degree in USA, for College Semester Abroad programmes for US undergraduates, both here in Ecuador, and in Madagascar.
We had the dream to protect an area of the spectacularly beautiful cloud forest in the Tandayapa Valley (Mindo region), and bought the first piece of land in 1991 with the goal simply to conserve it. After 2 years in Madagascar, we returned to Ecuador and decided to build a lodge, as being the best way to ensure both protection of the land and have an income. During the following years, we and other like-minded people have bought more hectares, and have together created a meaningful reserve of 700 hectares (some 2000 acres). We are recognized as pioneers in sustainable ecotourism in the region, and continue to host the lodge and reserve. Our firm intention is that the reserve be protected in the very long term, beyond our individual lifetimes.