El Monte Lodge is a great option for a 1 or 2 night extension to your Ecuador itinerary for those looking for an adventure that is off the beaten path but still quite comfortable. The lodge was founded and tastefully designed by environmentalists Tom Quesenberry and Mariella Tenorio. It has six individual thatched cabañas and a natural swimming pool filled from the fast-flowing river at their door. Outdoor activities include hiking, zip-line adventures, white-water rafting, and more. The forest in the region around the lodge has one of the highest number of bird species in the world. In the main house, you’ll feast upon vegetarian meals created from locally-grown organic vegetables, while enjoying spectacular views of the cloud forest.