Mindo | Equadors flourishing, beautiful Treasure | Highlights, Pros & Cons
Mindo Valley in Ecuador is most recognized for two things: it’s diversity of birds (over 500 species) and it its clouds (google “cloud forest pictures” you won’t be disappointed), but Mindo has so much more than birds and epic condensation and it is a nice alternative to the crowded Plaza Foch.
Visitors to this high-altitude tourist destination can raft, tube, trek, mountain bike, canyon, or horseback ride, just to name a few. Read on to learn all the reasons why one might travel to this volcanic valley, and a few reasons why one might not.
What to Expect in a Tropical Rainforest
At 4,100 feet altitude, traveling to Mindo Valley is not for the faint of heart. Cliffs, rocks, and subtropical cloud forest climate (rainy and cloudy, 60-75 degrees throughout the day). Pack you r adventure clothes, and create space in your bags for all the chocolate you will want to take back with you. This valley has a little of everything an outdoor enthusiast could want.
Informational, Wanderlust-Prompting Video of Mindo Valley
Tour a chocolate factory, see a local hostel, try some wood fired pizza, and experience some extreme sports in Mindo Valley with two tourists. This video gives you a good idea of what they town offers, what it looks like, and what kind of adventures await you. in this small valley.
Birding is a main draw to Mindo Valley, and birders have a variety of tour options to choose from should they desire a guide. Beyond birds, however, there is much much more to Mindo. Below, a list of highlights that should not be missed.
- Ride high above the valley to the waterfalls in the “Tarabita”, a basket like trolley.
- Tube-raft on the rocky river through the cloud forest
- Admire the butterflies in Mindo Butterfly Farm
- Zipline and Canopy
- Tour a chocolate factory!
- Chairlift over the forest
- Mountain bike through the forest on incredible trails
- Visit the orchid garden
- … and so many other things!
As you can see, this high-altitude village in the clouds offers something for just about anyone. If you like to take things fast and extreme, there are activities for you. If you like to move slow, with intention, and keep the adrenaline to a minimum, there are activities for you.
Once you get here, taste all the flavors, see all the sight, and smell all the smells (really really really fresh air, a foreign smell to the modern person) you will be rejuvenated, refreshed, and filled with a new understanding and appreciation for the world.
The downside of Mindo Valley
This may be the second most popular tourist destination in Ecuador, and it is only two hours outside of Quito, but there are some drawbacks depending on the kind of tourist you are.
First, this is a destination largely built on adventuring. If you are afraid of heights or the things of the jungle, Mindo Valley may not be for you. Not all attractions in the area require courage, but most do. Keep that in mind.
Second, this is not your picture-book tropical destination. It rains all year around and the temperatures don’t get that hight. If you are looking for heat and sunlight, this is not your spot.
Mindo Valley, more than just a birders paradise, this is a destination for all budgets.
You won’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy the fullest of Mindo Valley. There are hostels and hotels, and attractions for all price points. If you are looking for something out of the ordinary, a trip you will remember, a trip that exposes you to a part of the world unlike anything else you have seen before, Mindo Valley is your place.
Come for the birds, the waterfalls, the chocolate or the clouds, whatever. You will not be disappointed. In fact, you may want to stay forever. Visit Mindo Valley and be inspired!