With its astounding natural beauty and biodiversity, Mindo is a delightfully short trip from Quito with much to see and do. Nestled into the lush cloudforest, Mindo grew up as a small outpost of scientific researchers interested in Mindo’s incredible biodiversity, especially the roughly 350 bird species native to the area. Mindo remains a small community, but it now features a variety of excellent accommodationsand restaurants, making it an incredibly pleasant and relaxing place to spend a few days birdwatching, hikingalong meandering streams, and enjoying outstanding hospitality.
Mindo features more species
Home to over 350 species of birds, Mindo is one of the most gratifying places in Ecuador for birdwatching. Just outside of Mindo proper, the Bosque Protector Mindo-Nambillo and the Amigos de la Naturaleza de Mindo boast incredible varieties of hummingbirds and other species. Among the birds native to Mindo are the rare and exotic cock-of-the-rock, the toucan-barbet, and the golden-headed quetzal. Partially because the scientific community has a considerable presence in Mindo, birdwatching tours here are outstanding. It is highly recommended to hire a knowledgeable guide for maximal birdwatching opportunities.
Canopying view in Mindo
Aside from birdwatching, Mindo offers excellent opportunities for rafting, tubing, canopying (zip-lining) and hiking.
Tubing involves floating down a lazy river in an inner tube. It generally costs about $5 for 25 minutes. Bring a bathing suit!
Canopying lasts a little longer than an hour, and costs $15 for foreigners and $10 for Ecuadorian nationals. Zip through the cloud forest canopy on a zip line, and take in spectacular views in all directions. There are 10 lines, and a short hike is required between each segment.
At a considerably lower altitude than Quito, Mindo’s climate is milder than the climate in Quito and other Andean cities. Generally temperatures range from 15ºC – 24ºC (60ºF – 75ºF) all year, with no real rainy or dry seasons, although it tends to be driest from May through September.
Buses leave for Mindo from La Ofelia Bus Terminal in Quito, once or twice per day. The bus company is Flor del Valle, and it’s best to buy tickets from their office at La Ofelia as far in advance as possible, as Mindo is a very popular weekend destination and buses fill up quickly. There is no bus station in Mindo; buses stop in the center of the village. Buses between Quito and Mindo take about 2.5 hours.
See our listing of recommended accommodations in Mindo for the best options for your requirements and budget.