Mindo - What to do

Mindo is often associated with the unique cloud forest, the flora fauna and the adventurous activities. It is even called a paradise for bird lovers and the popular bird watching as well. Soleq.travel set off to Mindo for a weekend and wants to have a look at their own!

How did we get there? Where did we stay? Did we see some unique birds? Did we try the adrenaline activities?

The Road to Mindo

This weekend the Soleq.travel family decided to spent the weekend in Mindo. Luckily enough, they offered me to join them. For me, this was the first time in a Rainforest/Cloudforest. We were driving with a private car and started from Quito City. Along the way we crossed Mitad del Mundo and had time so explore the monument and other small attractions. The ride to Mindo took around 2 hours and offered a beautiful scenic route. During the ride they taught me a lot about that part of the country, the economics as well as about the flora and fauna.

The trips organized by SOLEQ.travel are normally planned with an English speaking guide and private transport. This guarantees a comfortable journey. In addition, the guide has a lot to tell about Ecuador. Therefore it is easier to get to know a lot of the country in a short time!

The arrival in mindo

MIndo - Arrival in the city

Once we arrived in Mindo I immediately felt comfortable. The small city is a mix between a tourist place and a lively local town within a cloud forest. Thus, there are many local restaurant as well as a small market. Additionally, you can find many lodges build in different architectural styles. Followed by our short city tour, we reached or accommodation – Sisukana Lodge. A lodge close to the city center but still very green and close to the nature. There are birds flying around freely and joining you in the lobby.

What to do

Here I am going to suggest you a couple of things to do while you are in Mindo. If you are interested in those excursions, it is a good idea to bring some time with you.

Morning hike (bird watching)

Birdwatching - What do to in Mindo

One of the best activities we did was a hike for birdwatching. Only a few of us participated, though, because we started at 5:00 in the morning. We decided to head for a quiet and famous place for birdwatching. In the morning the chances are highest to see birds, because they are especially active early in the morning and before dawn. Actually we were doing the Birdwatchers Paradise Tour on our own. Diego and Xavier could tell me a lot about all the local birds. Luckily enough we were able to spot many different birds along the way like hummingbirds, tanagers, Motmots and flycatchers.

Mariposas de Mindo

Marisposa de Mindo

Are you interested in butterflies? Then you definitely cannot miss the Butterfly Garden of Mindo! An interactive garden gives you the chance to walk through the home of those insects. You can see them being born, evolve and fly around in a relatively small space.  If you have some banana ready for them, they will even sit on your hand or shoulder. Combined with a short introduction tour, you will get the full experience here. I just loved to sit and look at those beautiful butterflies and could hardly get enough of the spectacle. For more specific information, we recommend to have a look at their homepage.

Yumbos Chocolate

Cacao Museum in Mindo

El Chocolate de Yumbo is a fair trade cocoa and chocolate manufacturer in the center of Mindo. It is highly recommendable for a cocoa and chocolate tour. A guide is telling you everything about the history of cocoa and chocolate in Ecuador, one of the prime producers of the Cocoa arriba, which is one of the best cocoas in the world.  As a part of the tour you will be taken through every process of the production. Of course you also get the chance to taste various samples of pure and mixed cocoa and chocolate. The tours are offered in English, French, Italian and Spanish and in the end of the tour you can buy the chocolate as a souvenir. For more specific information, we recommend to have a look at their homepage.

The Yellow House Cloud Forest Trails

This place is definitely one of the most interesting places to see in Mindo. It is a private hacienda offering the use of their trails on their 200 hectares (494 acres) property of secondary and primary forest. The entry fees are used for the maintenance of the forest. You receive a map of the area and a short explanation. We decided to hike up all the way to the viewpoint, which took us with small breaks about 2 hours. In the beginning of the trail we walked through pastures with cows and horses. After about 20 minutes, we arrived at the secondary forest with lush green vegetation and the first opportunity to see birds and even monkeys. Of course you can only be lucky and see animals, if you are quiet and respect the animals and their natural habitat.

There are all kinds of epiphytes.

The hike through the secondary and primary forest is an adventure and because the trail goes up all the time, when you finally reach the viewpoint, you have an incredible view over the whole forest and a part of the village of Mindo! On the way back it was raining heavily, which made the way down a slippery, even more adventurous experience, but after all, we were in the cloud/ rainforest, so what did we expect? Nevertheless it was a great experience and we will certainly come back with rain ponchos the next time! For more specific information, we recommend to have a look at their homepage.

Tubing, Zip-Line and other adventurous activities

Group of tourists on a tubing adventure on the White River

Mindo is definitely the place to go in Ecuador for outdoor adventures, extreme sport activities and a lively nightlife as well. There are activities like rafting (tubing) or canoeing and you can go on a ride up to the mountain with a cable car called Teleférico de Mindo. Further you can enjoy a ride with a zip-line. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to experience it this time, but we will be back!
But if you are interested then read or story about an adventurous weekend in Mindo.

PLACES TO EAT

Mindo Coffee Shop & Coffee Tour is also a place that we can suggest to you. From local coffee to different chocolate options. Besides the delicious food you will also get the chance to learn about the history and the production process.

Crepes-Art is a recommendable alternative for people who loves sweet but also have a heart for savory taste. Various options are offered; therefore, it should be something to find for everyone.   

So, are you ready to visit Mindo? Mindo is definitely a highlight in Ecuador!
Have a look at the Birdwatchers Paradise Tour.

Feel free to contact us for any questions or alternative tours.

If you have any ideas what to do in Mindo – you can share it with us down in the comment section below or on our tripadvisor.

By Dominik