Discover an exciting adventure in Ecuador – soar high above the lush Mindo cloud forest on a thrilling zip lining adventure! But wait, there’s more! Experience the rush of canyoning, the excitement of mountain biking, the adventure of trekking and hiking, and even the fun of tubing on the Rio Mindo. Explore the stunning landscapes of Ecuador and unleash your inner adventure with these incredible activities!

Are you ready to add some excitement to your Ecuadorian adventure with teens? How about soaring through the lush canopies of the Mindo cloud forest on a thrilling zip line? But zip lining isn’t the only way to get your heart pumping! Take a plunge into canyoning, or challenge yourself with mountain biking and trekking through the forest. And for a more laid-back adventure, float along the Rio Mindo on a tubing trip. Indulge your teen’s inner adrenaline junkie with all these exciting activities Ecuador has to offer!


Getting to Mindo

Fresh spring water from a fountain in the cloud forest in Mindo, Ecuador
Bright pink colorful flower in Mindo's cloud forest.

To get from Quito’s city center to the lush paradise of Mindo, you won’t find direct buses, but fear not! Head to the la Ofelia bus station on the outskirts of town to catch one of the five daily buses. The journey takes around two hours, and for roughly $4 USD, you’ll be treated to stunning views along the way. If you’re not keen on bus travel, taxis are available for around $50-65 USD, shaving off some time and taking about an hour and a half. Just a tip for bus travelers – if you’re afraid of heights, make sure to snag a seat on the left side of the bus, lest you spend the journey on edge!


When is the Best Time to Visit Mindo?

Mindo sign with storm clouds in the sky and Christmas decorations around the sign.

Mindo boasts stable, pleasant temperatures for most of the year thanks to its enviable location near the equator. Summer days invite balmy breezes and heat up to a comfortable 68°F, while winter nights dip only slightly to a cozy 48°F. However, fall is the absolute sweet spot to visit, with September and October known for their clear, comfortable weather. Come November, the rainy season can start drenching everything in sight – from fleeting showers to long stretches of grey skies. Our own visit in early December saw its fair share of dreariness, but also a few stunning days showcasing Mindo’s natural beauty.


Where to stay in Mindo

Stay at Mindo Green House, a quaint hotel located just half a mile from the center of town. Imagine waking up each morning to a stunning view of the Mindo cloud forest from your own private balcony. The hotel is not only pet-friendly, but it also features a delicious restaurant, making this the perfect getaway spot for you and your furry friend. And the best part? You can enjoy all of this for just $38 USD per night! And, to top it all off, you’ll be greeted by the cutest welcome committee you’ve ever seen. Book your stay now and experience the perfect blend of relaxation and adventure.

Puppy laying at the front door of the Mindo Green House Hotel with lush jungle in the background.

Other popular places to stay in Mindo include Bio Hotel Mindo Cloud Forest, Terrabambu Lodge, and Sachatamia Lodge.

 

 


Things to do in Mindo

Mariposario Mindo

Small butterfly on a leaf in the Mindo butterfly garden.

Welcome to the world-renowned Hosteria Mariposas de Mindo, home to a dazzling array of colorful butterflies. This is more than just a tourist attraction– it’s a captivating learning experience! Witness the magic of the butterfly life cycle as you observe all four stages in person.

Group of butterflies on a plate of mashed bananas at the Mindo butterfly garden.Did you know that mashed bananas are a favorite snack of these beautiful creatures? You can even attract them to land on your hands by rubbing some banana on yourself. But don’t worry if you forget your banana– the butterflies might still choose to land on you randomly anyway.

One of the most exciting things about the butterfly farm is being there for the moment when butterflies emerge from their cocoons. It’s a truly magical experience you’ll cherish for a lifetime. Tickets are only $7.50, so don’t miss this one-of-a-kind Mindo attraction. You can reach the Mariposario by foot, bicycle, or taxi for just a few dollars. Join us for a fun, educational, and unforgettable day among these incredible creatures!

Visit a Chocolate Factory

Local chocolate factory worker separating cacao beans in Mindo.

Discover the secrets of world-renowned chocolate makers in Mindo by taking a tour of El Quetzal factory. For just $10 per person, you’ll dive into the fascinating world of chocolate production, learning about the origins of the cacao bean and the artisanal techniques used to create delicious chocolates with varying degrees of sweetness. And that’s not all! You can even indulge in some mouth-watering chocolate samples while exploring the factory. For an extra treat, opt for the $18 tour that includes an informational session about different types of chocolate drinks. Trust us, this sweet experience is not to be missed during your visit to Mindo!

Nighttime Nature Walk

Shiny black-blue snake with a red belly on the moss of Ecuador's Mindo cloud forest.

As the sun dips below the horizon, the Mindo cloud forest transforms into a symphony of sound. Countless nocturnal creatures call this enchanted place home, eagerly awaiting the chance to serenade you with their haunting melodies.

The perfect prelude to your evening adventure is the Frog Concert. Held nightly at Mindo Lago, this initiative has been instrumental in bringing the enchanting ribbits of native species, especially frogs, back to the forest. Settle in and let their one-of-a-kind orchestra of croaking wash over you.

Grab a flashlight and prepare to come face-to-face with some of the eeriest and most fascinating creatures in the animal kingdom. Spot massive tarantulas and a host of other insects that will send shivers down your spine. And don’t miss the chance to marvel at the mesmerizing glow of luminescent micro bacteria that somehow shine even brighter in the darkness. The Mindo cloud forest awaits, ready to take you on a truly unforgettable journey.

Along with the magical Frog Concert, the Night Walk allows you to explore the hidden world of elusive creatures like the Kinkajou. These nocturnal mammals are a rare sight, hiding from human eyes due to their nocturnal habits. However, the operators of the Mindo Night Walk know exactly where to locate them. Keep your ears open for the sound of Kinkajou’s shrill shrieks, and you’ll know you’ve encountered a truly unique animal in its natural habitat. For just $15 per person, come explore the night wilderness and discover the hidden gems of this incredible environment.

 

 

 

Adventure activities

Group of people tubing down the Rio Mindo in Ecuador's most famous cloud forest.

Step into the wild and witness Ecuador’s incredible biodiversity like never before! Glide through the endless green canopy of the Mindo cloud forest on an exhilarating zipline adventure.

But the adventure doesn’t stop there! Take your adrenaline to the extreme with canyoning, mountain biking, trekking, hiking, and tubing down the Rio Mindo. Experience Ecuador’s spectacular natural landscapes while embracing your inner adventurer. Get ready to make memories that will last a lifetime and explore the magic of Ecuador’s wild nature!

Take the Tarabita to the Waterfall Sanctuary

Large, cascading waterfall in the cloud forest of Mindo, Ecuador.

Prepare to soar high above the lush Mindo Cloud Forest in Ecuador and feel the adrenaline rush through your veins as you cross the Tarabita River Valley in a unique basket-type vehicle that glides for half a kilometer. The views of the Nambillo Waterfall, over 500 feet below, are truly unforgettable if you dare to take a peek! This thrilling ride is perfect for families craving an adventure and seeking to create long-lasting memories together. Once you’ve landed on solid ground, take the opportunity to visit the incredible Mindo waterfall sanctuary and explore the awe-inspiring scenery for a while. This experience is one that will stay with you forever, so don’t pass it up if you’re visiting Mindo!

Experience the breathtaking wonder of the Mindo waterfall sanctuary, home to at least fifteen different waterfalls – each with its own unique beauty waiting to be discovered. A map of the sanctuary unveils the names and locations of seven of these natural wonders, including the awe-inspiring Cascada Reina, standing tall at an impressive 50 meters (164 feet). While it may be the largest waterfall, it’s also the most challenging to reach, with a 1 ½ – 2-hour round trip trek from where the Tarabita lets you off. But don’t let that discourage you! The hike through the Mindo Cloud Forest is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for those willing and able to take it on.

As you soak in the picturesque views, be prepared to share a few dollars with uniformed workers for access to some waterfalls. Though, with all the enchantment that surrounds you, the cost is a small price to pay to witness the natural beauty of Cascada Reina and the other breathtaking waterfalls within the Mindo sanctuary. A historical and educational adventure awaits!

Take the Minjoy Park Chairlift through the Mindo Cloud Forest

Minjoy Park Chairlift showing three different lifts with groups of people above the canopy in the Mindo Cloud forest.

Step into a world of natural beauty and tranquility at Minjoy Park’s Mindo cloud forest. Soar amidst the treetops on a picturesque ski-chalet chairlift and embrace a breathtaking perspective of the forest’s verdant canopy. A perfect escape for those seeking a peaceful and relaxed adventure, this chairlift allows you to bask in the beauty of Mindo at a leisurely pace.

Customize your experience by strolling near cascading waterfalls or pairing your chairlift ride with a thrilling Tarabita ride. Don’t just imagine it, take a step back from life’s hectic pace and immerse yourself in the serenity of the Mindo cloud forest. With affordable tickets at only $8 per person, this is a journey you won’t want to forget.

Bird Watch

Orange-billed toucan in the Mindo Cloud Forest.

Step into the world of bird watching and embark on an amazing journey filled with excitement and wonder. Mindo is a true paradise for bird enthusiasts, and you don’t even have to be an expert to enjoy the experience. Listen to the sweet sounds of the forest while observing some of the most majestic feathered creatures in their natural habitat.

Small green and brown bird perched on a branch in the Mindo cloud forest.Even if you’re on a budget, there are still plenty of ways to immerse yourself in this amazing activity. But if you’re looking for the ultimate bird-watching adventure, nothing beats a guided tour with a local expert. Get ready to discover the secrets of the cloud forest and witness the beauty of some of the rarest and most captivating birds on earth.

Try Locally Food

El Camaleon, a restaurant run by an American expat in Mindo, Ecuador.

Discover the enchanting town of Mindo, where a surprising number of American expats have made their home! During my visit, I had the pleasure of dining at El Camaleón, a beloved restaurant run by one such expat. What sets them apart? Not only do they cater to vegetarians and vegans, but they’re also known for their friendly service and generosity towards the local street dogs. And let’s not forget the mouthwatering cuisine – it’s a must-try for anyone visiting Mindo!

 


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Everything you need to know about the Mindo Cloud Forest in Ecuador

Everything you need to know about the Mindo Cloud Forest in Ecuador

Puppy laying at the front door of the Mindo Green House Hotel with lush jungle in the background.

Other popular places to stay in Mindo include Bio Hotel Mindo Cloud Forest, Terrabambu Lodge, and Sachatamia Lodge.

 

 


Things to do in Mindo

Mariposario Mindo

Small butterfly on a leaf in the Mindo butterfly garden.

Welcome to the world-renowned Hosteria Mariposas de Mindo, home to a dazzling array of colorful butterflies. This is more than just a tourist attraction– it’s a captivating learning experience! Witness the magic of the butterfly life cycle as you observe all four stages in person.

Group of butterflies on a plate of mashed bananas at the Mindo butterfly garden.Did you know that mashed bananas are a favorite snack of these beautiful creatures? You can even attract them to land on your hands by rubbing some banana on yourself. But don’t worry if you forget your banana– the butterflies might still choose to land on you randomly anyway.

One of the most exciting things about the butterfly farm is being there for the moment when butterflies emerge from their cocoons. It’s a truly magical experience you’ll cherish for a lifetime. Tickets are only $7.50, so don’t miss this one-of-a-kind Mindo attraction. You can reach the Mariposario by foot, bicycle, or taxi for just a few dollars. Join us for a fun, educational, and unforgettable day among these incredible creatures!

Visit a Chocolate Factory

Local chocolate factory worker separating cacao beans in Mindo.

Discover the secrets of world-renowned chocolate makers in Mindo by taking a tour of El Quetzal factory. For just $10 per person, you’ll dive into the fascinating world of chocolate production, learning about the origins of the cacao bean and the artisanal techniques used to create delicious chocolates with varying degrees of sweetness. And that’s not all! You can even indulge in some mouth-watering chocolate samples while exploring the factory. For an extra treat, opt for the $18 tour that includes an informational session about different types of chocolate drinks. Trust us, this sweet experience is not to be missed during your visit to Mindo!

Nighttime Nature Walk

Shiny black-blue snake with a red belly on the moss of Ecuador's Mindo cloud forest.

As the sun dips below the horizon, the Mindo cloud forest transforms into a symphony of sound. Countless nocturnal creatures call this enchanted place home, eagerly awaiting the chance to serenade you with their haunting melodies.

The perfect prelude to your evening adventure is the Frog Concert. Held nightly at Mindo Lago, this initiative has been instrumental in bringing the enchanting ribbits of native species, especially frogs, back to the forest. Settle in and let their one-of-a-kind orchestra of croaking wash over you.

Grab a flashlight and prepare to come face-to-face with some of the eeriest and most fascinating creatures in the animal kingdom. Spot massive tarantulas and a host of other insects that will send shivers down your spine. And don’t miss the chance to marvel at the mesmerizing glow of luminescent micro bacteria that somehow shine even brighter in the darkness. The Mindo cloud forest awaits, ready to take you on a truly unforgettable journey.

Along with the magical Frog Concert, the Night Walk allows you to explore the hidden world of elusive creatures like the Kinkajou. These nocturnal mammals are a rare sight, hiding from human eyes due to their nocturnal habits. However, the operators of the Mindo Night Walk know exactly where to locate them. Keep your ears open for the sound of Kinkajou’s shrill shrieks, and you’ll know you’ve encountered a truly unique animal in its natural habitat. For just $15 per person, come explore the night wilderness and discover the hidden gems of this incredible environment.

 

 

 

Adventure activities

Group of people tubing down the Rio Mindo in Ecuador's most famous cloud forest.

Step into the wild and witness Ecuador’s incredible biodiversity like never before! Glide through the endless green canopy of the Mindo cloud forest on an exhilarating zipline adventure.

But the adventure doesn’t stop there! Take your adrenaline to the extreme with canyoning, mountain biking, trekking, hiking, and tubing down the Rio Mindo. Experience Ecuador’s spectacular natural landscapes while embracing your inner adventurer. Get ready to make memories that will last a lifetime and explore the magic of Ecuador’s wild nature!

Take the Tarabita to the Waterfall Sanctuary

Large, cascading waterfall in the cloud forest of Mindo, Ecuador.

Prepare to soar high above the lush Mindo Cloud Forest in Ecuador and feel the adrenaline rush through your veins as you cross the Tarabita River Valley in a unique basket-type vehicle that glides for half a kilometer. The views of the Nambillo Waterfall, over 500 feet below, are truly unforgettable if you dare to take a peek! This thrilling ride is perfect for families craving an adventure and seeking to create long-lasting memories together. Once you’ve landed on solid ground, take the opportunity to visit the incredible Mindo waterfall sanctuary and explore the awe-inspiring scenery for a while. This experience is one that will stay with you forever, so don’t pass it up if you’re visiting Mindo!

Experience the breathtaking wonder of the Mindo waterfall sanctuary, home to at least fifteen different waterfalls – each with its own unique beauty waiting to be discovered. A map of the sanctuary unveils the names and locations of seven of these natural wonders, including the awe-inspiring Cascada Reina, standing tall at an impressive 50 meters (164 feet). While it may be the largest waterfall, it’s also the most challenging to reach, with a 1 ½ – 2-hour round trip trek from where the Tarabita lets you off. But don’t let that discourage you! The hike through the Mindo Cloud Forest is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for those willing and able to take it on.

As you soak in the picturesque views, be prepared to share a few dollars with uniformed workers for access to some waterfalls. Though, with all the enchantment that surrounds you, the cost is a small price to pay to witness the natural beauty of Cascada Reina and the other breathtaking waterfalls within the Mindo sanctuary. A historical and educational adventure awaits!

Take the Minjoy Park Chairlift through the Mindo Cloud Forest

Minjoy Park Chairlift showing three different lifts with groups of people above the canopy in the Mindo Cloud forest.

Step into a world of natural beauty and tranquility at Minjoy Park’s Mindo cloud forest. Soar amidst the treetops on a picturesque ski-chalet chairlift and embrace a breathtaking perspective of the forest’s verdant canopy. A perfect escape for those seeking a peaceful and relaxed adventure, this chairlift allows you to bask in the beauty of Mindo at a leisurely pace.

Customize your experience by strolling near cascading waterfalls or pairing your chairlift ride with a thrilling Tarabita ride. Don’t just imagine it, take a step back from life’s hectic pace and immerse yourself in the serenity of the Mindo cloud forest. With affordable tickets at only $8 per person, this is a journey you won’t want to forget.

Bird Watch

Orange-billed toucan in the Mindo Cloud Forest.

Step into the world of bird watching and embark on an amazing journey filled with excitement and wonder. Mindo is a true paradise for bird enthusiasts, and you don’t even have to be an expert to enjoy the experience. Listen to the sweet sounds of the forest while observing some of the most majestic feathered creatures in their natural habitat.

Small green and brown bird perched on a branch in the Mindo cloud forest.Even if you’re on a budget, there are still plenty of ways to immerse yourself in this amazing activity. But if you’re looking for the ultimate bird-watching adventure, nothing beats a guided tour with a local expert. Get ready to discover the secrets of the cloud forest and witness the beauty of some of the rarest and most captivating birds on earth.

Try Locally Food

El Camaleon, a restaurant run by an American expat in Mindo, Ecuador.

Discover the enchanting town of Mindo, where a surprising number of American expats have made their home! During my visit, I had the pleasure of dining at El Camaleón, a beloved restaurant run by one such expat. What sets them apart? Not only do they cater to vegetarians and vegans, but they’re also known for their friendly service and generosity towards the local street dogs. And let’s not forget the mouthwatering cuisine – it’s a must-try for anyone visiting Mindo!

 


Pin it

Everything you need to know about the Mindo Cloud Forest in Ecuador

Everything you need to know about the Mindo Cloud Forest in Ecuador