Enjoy exciting activities among pristine scenery in the Mindo Cloud Forest, a haven for birdwatchers and adventure enthusiasts alike.
The undulating hills which roll off the Andes in this part of Ecuador are home to the Mindo Cloud Forest, a 40,000-acre subtropical reserve which has an altitude variance of 11,000 metres within the same eco-region. This variation in elevation of the native flora means that the area provides visitors with an abundance of completely different wildlife-watching opportunities and a range of activities to try, including rafting, canoeing, biking, trekking and bird-watching.
Mindo sees the coming together of two major eco-regions: the Chocoan lowlands and the tropical Andes. Add this to the hundreds of streams which irrigate the land and it’s easy to see why Mindo has become so naturally diverse. For example, there are more than 500 bird species dwelling in the Mindo Cloud Forest, among them 40 types of Hummingbird. You can easily spot these charming creatures on a day trip here from Quito, 2.5 hours away, particularly when visiting centres such as El Descanso Hummingbird Garden; keep an eye out for the Andean Emerald, Brown Violetear and Green-crowned Hummingbirds here.
Another reason why Mindo is ideal for those looking to escape Quito for a day is the opportunity for amazing adventures, here in the cloud forest. There’s a fantastic zip-lining network, Mindo Canopy, crisscrossing through the mist and over lush valleys for stunning views while feeling that amazing adrenaline rush. You can also trek to waterfalls in the forest, or tour a cocoa plantation to see how they make delicious chocolate; the best part being the tasting session, of course!
The Oilbird 'Cave' of Chontal
More of a deep, dark ravine than an actual cave, the site is a favoured location for hundreds of nesting Oilbird families. This unusual species is at its happiest hiding away on the ledges of dark valleys and protected caverns.
Chocolate heaven in El Quetzal
From bean to bar; learn the secrets, the history and the techniques behind the world's best-loved treat! The lush Mindo Cloud Forest offers the perfect environment to see, smell, and most importantly taste the transformative journey of a humble cocoa bean into everyone's favourite confectionary.
Mindo Canopy zip-line adventure
Experience the exhilaration, freedom, and spectacular treetop views on the Mindo Canopy Tour. With 10 re-enforced wires ranging from 20m to 400m in length, this adrenaline-packed adventure provides an entirely different perspective of the cloud forest, one which is not possible from ground level. For those brave enough to take the leap, the reward is truly something special.