Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve offers its Research Station and 700 hectare (some 2000 acre) private reserve for study groups and individual research projects. The Station is simple but comfortably equipped to receive groups of up to 35 students, in mostly bunk-bedded rooms, and offers basic cooking facilities. However, Bellavista usually arranges with groups to provide food service so that students and professors can dedicate their time to their studies. The station itself is accessible for vehicles. What is special about Bellavista's Reserve is that it offers forest in various stages of succession, right through to primary forest, and is surrounded by more areas of forest. While our resident species of birds have been identified, little is known about the nesting behaviour of most species, and we can consider it a certainty that in many other areas of the natural world starting (just for example) with frogs, and continuing with moths and indeed many families of plants, there are new species to be discovered. So universities and individual researchers can be in the forefront of scientific discovery, in an area that is better conserved than it was fifteen years ago, rather than on the brink of deforestation. Bellavista Reserve's land is part of Ecuador's "Socio Bosque" (Fellow of the Forest) project, a government-funded initiative that promotes forest preservation over the long term.
Students and professors have full access to the reserve' s trails and main lodge facilities, including Bellavista's library.
As an organization, Bellavista considers itself first and foremost a conservation entity, dedicating itself to sustainable ecotourism activities with a view to preservation of the land, if possible for ever. As part of these broader conservation and preservation goals, we consider education a top priority, and wish to expand our work with Ecuadorian and international universities. Universities already use our facilities for in-depth and on-going study programmes; some stay at Bellavista as part of a study tour within Ecuador. And Bellavista is truly an open book for individual research projects. We encourage cooperative ventures with local Ecuadorian universities so that any given project can continue beyond the scope of an occasional visit. We will always work directly with universities and individual professors and students to make the programmes possible according to the interested party's goals, and provide permission via a simple written letter for the proposed project. (Official permits are usually required for more in-depth projects from the Ecuadorian authorities). Being close to Quito, connection to university facilities in Quito is easy, as is access to continue to other areas of possible interest within the country. We are expanding our university connections, with the intention that Bellavista become an important actor in neotropical scientific research, discovering of new species and maybe discovering new medicines for human health.
Our Research Station also doubles as a budget HOSTEL where visitors can stay overnight, with access to our trail system.