Mindo is a small town located in a valley 2 hours northwest of Quito. A lot of tourists visit here for a day trip to enjoy the nature and adventures. The village is located in the Chocó region, an extended area, reaching from Panamá to Peru, famous for its great biodiversity and endemicity within, probably due to the Andes isolating flora & fauna. It is also the perfect place for birdwatching. Mindo’s cloudforest will amaze you with its following 6 activities…

1. Mindo Cloud Forest: Cascada Nambillo Hike / Tarabita

There are two ways to reach and explore Cascada Nambillo: Hike and by using the ‘Tarabita’. From the city centre, it takes about an hour to hike to the start point of Tarabita. The route is not that steep or difficult. The route itself includes a lot of shadows so if you want to explore Mindo, I highly recommend to hike up to the mountain. From the Tarabita point, Cascada Nambillo is only 2km far away. In another 30 minutes, you can reach the point of the waterfall. The entrance fee is $3 per person for an adult. The hike route is quite challenging, but I would say it is worthy to walk.

2. Tubing Rio Mindo

Do you enjoy water sports? Then I highly recommend to go and enjoy tubing in the Rio Mindo. With two local guides around 4-5 people in a group enjoys energetic water flow of Rio Mindo. Level 1 takes 20 minutes and it costs $6 per person but the group should be formed with at least 4 people. And there is even longer adventure which will last 2 hours and it costs $25 per person with at least group of 4 people.

3. Butterfly Garden (Mariposario)

In fact, Mindo is famous for the butterfly garden. It is located 30 minutes far away from the Mindo centre by walk. Around the garden, it was already close enough to see some unique and beautiful butterflies. I have never seen such a beautiful butterfly before. If you are interested in butterflies and how they become butterflies, Mariposario is the right place to visit!

4. Quetzal Chocolate Tour

The last attraction in Mindo would be Quetzal Chocolate Tour. Visitors can see the entire process of making chocolate. The tour begins at the cocoa tree and takes you through the whole process from bean to finished chocolate. The tour ends with a tasting of different chocolate bars and Quetzal’s world famous brownie.

5. Canopy

Other then these activities, some visitors also enjoy canopying…

6. Canyoning

…and canyoning!

There are two main bus companies which offer bus trips between Mindo and Quito: Cooperativa de Transportes and Flor de Valle. The timetable is quite regular so it is comparatively easy to get the transport. However, I highly recommend to buy a return ticket from Mindo to Quito a day before especially during the high season.

Written by: Jin