| Home | 3 Guianas | Argentina | Bolivia | Brazil | Chile | Colombia | Ecuador | Paraguay | Peru | Uruguay | Venezuela | Videos | Contact |

Mindo, Ecuador - Birdwatching, Butterflies & Adventure, 2hrs From Quito

Ecuador travel blog by Mark Berman - July 2011   » View Photoset (82 Photos)

Mark Berman, South America backpacker for 10yrs!
Mindo is Ecuadors center of birdwatching. Other activities include tubing on the river, zipline canopy through the forest, hiking in the bush
Ecuador Photo - A group of butterflies hang out on a plant at the Mariposario in Mindo.
A group of butterflies hang out on a plant at the Mariposario in Mindo.
and a visit to the house of butterflies. The valley and forest of Mindo stretches from high to low altitudes and many species of birds live between the cloud forest and sub-tropical rain-forest.

2hrs Bus from Quito

I caught a bus from Quito to get here, which took 2hrs. Mindo is an easygoing laidback village. I ended up spending 4 days here.

Around Mindo

There are several restaurants and many tour companies on the main street near the church and accommodation in town is plentiful and covers all budgets. There are a couple of very small grocery shops, a fruit and vegetable shop and a couple of internet cafes
Ecuador Photo - Small butterfly on a leaf at the Mariposario in Mindo.
Small butterfly on a leaf at the Mariposario in Mindo.
also on the main street.

Things To Do

Things to do while in Mindo include visiting the waterfalls, the flower gardens of exotic flowers called Jardin de Orquiseas Armonia, the aquarium and museum, extreme tarzan swing, hummingbirds garden, animal rescue center, chocolate tour and canyoning down 3 waterfalls (12m, 15m, and 25m).

Birdwatching from the Hostel

I spent my first night in Mindo in a hostel 5 mins from the center. There was a cloudy jungle out the back of the property. I got up in the morning at 5am to do some bird-watching from right there on the top level balcony. It gave me a good chance to practice my photography of birds for future bird sightings during my stay in Mindo.

The Butterfly House

Later in the day I visited the butterfly house called the Mariposario, it
Ecuador Photo - A bird and fruit in a tree in Mindo.
A bird and fruit in a tree in Mindo.
is 3km from town along an unsealed and sometimes muddy road. I started walking and at some point stuck out my thumb to a passing vehicle and got a lift the rest of the way. The cost to see the butterflies is $5USD for adults and $3USD for kids. A little more expensive than I would have thought, but still ok. The butterfly house was pretty cool, hundreds of them flying around the place, you had to be careful where you walked as they were on the ground also. There are close to 30 different species of butterflies here in all sorts of colors, shapes and sizes, some of the color pairs the butterflies have are red and brown, black and white, blue and black, yellow and brown. There is an
Ecuador Photo - Blue hummingbird at the gardens in Mindo.
Blue hummingbird at the gardens in Mindo.
area where all the chrysalises are pinned up with many of them hatching.

Tubing on the River

Across the road from the butterflies I watched a family begin their ride tubing down the river back towards Mindo. 7 large black tubes all joined together by rope in a circle shape, it certainly looked like fun! I hitched a ride back into town afterwards.

Quick Hostel Change

I moved to a different hostel that also had nice gardens and was only $5 per night for a private room with bathroom and tv.

Hummingbird Gardens

The next day I visited the hummingbird gardens, it is in one of the side streets and only costs $1. It is fun and entertaining, it's also very challenging to photograph. Put your camera on full speed because these guys move and dart around like mad, they are very fast and can also hover in mid-air. The hummingbirds drink sugar water from trays set
Ecuador Photo - Morning dew on green bulbs of cloud garden in Mindo.
Morning dew on green bulbs of cloud garden in Mindo.
up in the gardens and other birds are attracted with bananas. The owner said that Tucans have dropped in for a bite. I actually revisited the hummingbird garden on another, more sunny day so that my camera would be faster. You must visit at least once!

Birdwatching Tour

I wanted to do a proper birdwatching tour with a guide. I found out that if I did it with a group it would be cheaper because the cost of the tour is basically split by the number of people. I asked some people on the street if they were interested in doing a tour and as it happened they were, so we booked a tour for early the next morning with Bird Of Paradise Tours. The price was good and the tour would be 4-5 hrs. We arranged to meet outside their office at 5am, a jeep took about 7 of us in total to the point where we got out and walked. Our
Ecuador Photo - Brown hummingbird in gardens in Mindo.
Brown hummingbird in gardens in Mindo.
guide had a special telescope and good ears, he could hear various birds and have them in the viewfinder of his telescope very quickly for us to see. The best things I saw on this tour was a pair of large birds with red necks high in a tree and an awesome black Tucan with yellow and green eyes and beak. During the rest of my time in Mindo I relaxed and took photos of birds from my hostel gardens and around the village.

Awesome Place

Mindo is a magical little place with an easygoing relaxing feel, where the air is clean and birds many. One of the nice places to visit in Ecuador. Buses leave daily. I now headed 2hrs 15mins to Quito to spend a few days exploring the city.

     

View all photos in the Mindo Photoset


Itineraries / Routes: 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008



Distances & times (if available) from Mindo (Ecuador) to:


Map location: Mindo, Ecuador. I enjoyed Mindo a lot! It's the bird watching capital and you can see butterflies and do adventure sports on the river! Mindo has a nice climate, it's a small place just a few hours from Quito.
 A : Mitad del Mundo - Ecuador 36 kms 36 kms straight distance | 1hr 20mins 1hr 20mins by car (70 kms) | 1hr 36mins 1hr 36mins by bus (70 kms) (70 kms)
 B : Quito Zoo in Guayllabamba - Ecuador 46 kms 46 kms straight distance | 2hrs 10mins 2hrs 10mins by car (110 kms) | 2hrs 36mins 2hrs 36mins by bus (110 kms) (110 kms)
 C : Quito - Ecuador 46 kms 46 kms straight distance | 2hrs 29mins 2hrs 29mins by car (127 kms) | 2hrs 58mins 2hrs 58mins by bus (127 kms) (127 kms)
 D : Machachi - Ecuador 56 kms 56 kms straight distance | 2hrs 50mins 2hrs 50mins by car (146 kms) | 3hrs 24mins 3hrs 24mins by bus (146 kms) (146 kms)
 E : Cayambe - Ecuador 69 kms 69 kms straight distance | 2hrs 52mins 2hrs 52mins by car (147 kms) | 3hrs 26mins 3hrs 26mins by bus (147 kms) (147 kms)
 F : Otavalo - Ecuador 64 kms 64 kms straight distance | 3hrs 11mins 3hrs 11mins by car (169 kms) | 3hrs 49mins 3hrs 49mins by bus (169 kms) (169 kms)
 G : Saquisili - Ecuador 87 kms 87 kms straight distance | 3hrs 33mins 3hrs 33mins by car (192 kms) | 4hrs 15mins 4hrs 15mins by bus (192 kms) (192 kms)
 H : Latacunga - Ecuador 99 kms 99 kms straight distance | 3hrs 26mins 3hrs 26mins by car (195 kms) | 4hrs 7mins 4hrs 7mins by bus (195 kms) (195 kms)
 I : Quito to Tulcan - Ecuador 82 kms 82 kms straight distance | 3hrs 43mins 3hrs 43mins by car (196 kms) | 4hrs 27mins 4hrs 27mins by bus (196 kms) (196 kms)
 J : Pujili - Ecuador 101 kms 101 kms straight distance | 3hrs 27mins 3hrs 27mins by car (203 kms) | 4hrs 8mins 4hrs 8mins by bus (203 kms) (203 kms)
 K : Ambato - Ecuador 135 kms 135 kms straight distance | 4hrs 14mins 4hrs 14mins by car (243 kms) | 5hrs 4mins 5hrs 4mins by bus (243 kms) (243 kms)
 L : Quilotoa Lagoon - Ecuador 91 kms 91 kms straight distance | 4hrs 38mins 4hrs 38mins by car (267 kms) | 5hrs 33mins 5hrs 33mins by bus (267 kms) (267 kms)
 M : Tena - Ecuador 149 kms 149 kms straight distance | 4hrs 55mins 4hrs 55mins by car (280 kms) | 5hrs 54mins 5hrs 54mins by bus (280 kms) (280 kms)
 N : Tulcan - Ecuador 150 kms 150 kms straight distance | 6hrs 3mins 6hrs 3mins by car (327 kms) | 7hrs 15mins 7hrs 15mins by bus (327 kms) (327 kms)
Driving times are accurate but approximate and are listed in the order of driving distance! Drive times are always affected by weather conditions, the terrain, time of day, altitude, dinner and bathroom stops, animals on the road, protests, a fast or slow bus driver, police checkpoints, border and river crossings, dropping off and picking up passengers etc. These drive times are obtained from Google Maps and are meant as a guide. Note however, times quoted in the main text of this page are exactly as the author experienced it.


My Hostel & Hotel Reviews for Mindo, Ecuador:

Hostal Tia Mely Melyang, Mindo, Ecuador - Large Photo
Hostal Tia Mely Melyang, Mindo, Ecuador (July 2011 - 3 nights) - A lovely and cheap place to stay, room for 2 cost $10, the people are very nice and there are nice gardens out the back for birdwatching, the family were kind enough to let us use their kitchen in their house. The room was big and had cable tv and bathroom, fantastic!
Hostal Rocio, Mindo, Ecuador - Large Photo
Hostal Rocio, Mindo, Ecuador (July 2011 - 1 night) - We stayed in a room at the back of the property next to the cloud forest, in the morning we did some birdwatching from the top balcony. The hostal offers fruit salads for breakfast and is run by a woman who knows a lot about Mindo. A nice place to stay.

ADD A COMMENT



Pinterest - Pin it!

Mindo, Ecuador - Birdwatching, Butterflies & Adventure, 2hrs From Quito. I enjoyed Mindo a lot! It's the bird watching capital and you can see butterflies and do adventure sports on the river! Mindo has a nice climate, it's a small place just a few hours from Quito.

FREE APP South America Journey

Splash Screen - South America Journey Free App for Android and IOS
Popular Photos Screen - South America Journey Free App for Android and IOS
Favorite Photos Screen - South America Journey Free App for Android and IOS
Fullscreen Photo - South America Journey Free App for Android and IOS
Photos from a Place Screen - South America Journey Free App for Android and IOS

My next travel experience & photos in your inbox!