ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Mindo Ecuador - A Tropical Rain forest Adventure

Updated on December 13, 2011
Ziplining in the Tropical Rainforest
Ziplining in the Tropical Rainforest | Source

Nestled in a tropical rainforest valley in one of the most biodiverse regions of the world, Mindo Ecuador is truly a birder’s paradise. Situated within the convergence of the Tumbez, Chocó and Darién endemic regions, the Mindo-Nambillo protected forest boasts over 300 bird species making it one of the most avian diverse areas on earth. Topping the list of many birdwatchers’ must-see target destinations, Mindo hosts hundreds of adventurists on a daily basis.

However, aside from its siren’s call to the birding enthusiast, Mindo also offers many challenging and interesting activities for the entire family. With tropical rainforest exploits and gardens full of exotic flowers and insects, there is a never-ending plethora of pursuits for every age and ability.

Access

Mindo is a small town of about 3,000 inhabitants and is easily accessed from the capital city of Quito Ecuador. Located less than two hours from the International Airport, it is short journey by car, bus or taxi. Most roads are well maintained and comfortable for travel.

From the Airport it is necessary to travel north past “Mitad del Mundo”, the park marking the equator. Continue on this road through Calacali, the highest point on this journey. Just past Calacali there will be a toll both with a $.80 charge. From this point it is all downhill, traversing mountain roads with constant sharp turns. (Be wary of those who are prone to motion sickness.) The town of Nanegalito is about 30 minutes from Mindo and is a great place to stop, relax, and have a snack. At kilometer 78.5 there will be a left turn leading to Mindo, which is another 6 km from the turnoff.

Mindo Ecuador
Mindo Ecuador | Source

Lodging

There is an abundant supply of lodges, hosterias and hostels in the Mindo valley. Accommodations are available for every taste and budget. Prices can vary from $15 to $100 per night, depending on the facility. At the lower end of the spectrum are the hostels, which offer a good value for the price. Room costs are generally listed per person and include breakfast. Lodges, normally the more expensive option, provide more services and a little extra comfort. 

Food

There are several restaurants available catering to various tastes in cuisine. In addition to the local fare, there are establishments offering pizza, seafood and steak. Prices are quite reasonable and a hungry traveler can be satisfied on a tight budget. Eateries open for breakfast and remain available until about 9:00 PM. This is a quaint, laid-back village and time is not a priority so it is best to relax and enjoy the slow-paced lifestyle of the locals. 

Activities

There are almost unlimited opportunities to fulfill the adventurous spirit in Mindo. Visitors of all ages can choose from activities to meet their abilities and daring. From casual walks through the tropical rainforest to rappelling down torrential waterfalls, there is no excuse for being bored in this exotic paradise.

  • Butterflies, Orchids and Tropical Rainforest

Butterflies and Angels
Butterflies and Angels | Source

For the less heroic globetrotter, leisurely jaunts through butterfly forests and orchid gardens can provide a relaxing diversion. Ecuador boasts approximately 2,500 species of butterflies and over 4,000 species of orchids within its tropical rainforest. During a visit to one of the many facilities, the visitor can watch the culmination of metamorphosis as these beautiful insects spread their wings for a victorious first flight. These colorful creatures will alight upon an observer’s finger providing a more personal view of its complex design.

There are 36 waterfalls within walking distance of the main town furnishing various opportunities for the avid hiker. The trails are well maintained and moderate in passage. Many locations have points where the visitor can jump off of rocks into the frigid mountain streams or slide down boulders to the waters below. Hikes may last for a few hours to an entire day, depending on the energy of the traveler.

  • Take to the Saddles

Whether one enjoys horseback riding or bicycle riding, there are opportunities for everyone. Horses can be rented by the hour and can provide an early morning jaunt or an all-day adventure. Riding through the tropical rainforest can be an unforgettable experience, encountering the exotic flora and fauna along the mountain trails. Birds, butterflies and forest creatures such as the Watusa may appear from their jungle homes to greet the excited traveler, producing colorful memories for years to come.

Tubing on the Mindo River
Tubing on the Mindo River | Source
  • High Adventure

For those with a thrill-seeking spirit there are activities that incorporate a more action-packed premise. Tubing down the white-water rapids of the Mindo River has been popular for many years. Riding on top of gigantic truck inner tubes, daredevils are treated to an exciting ride of frigid waters and threatening boulders. Guides travel along to assist in pulling the vessels from logjams and guiding them through the torrential waters.

Ziplining has become commercially lucrative over the past few years and entices hundreds to challenge the airs over the tropical rainforest. Traveling across gorges more than 100 m (300 ft) deep and covering distances of up to 500 meters (.3 miles) in length, the adventure is blessed by a birds-eye view of the forest canopy. There are additional harness positions available other than the standard sitting posture. The “Superman” permits the participant to assume the super-hero stance while flying over the trees. The “Butterfly” places the subject in an upside down cross attitude, providing a unique perspective on the jungle below.

Another activity that has grown in popularity over the past few years is “Canyoning” or rappelling down waterfalls. Drops of 15 to 80 m (50 to 260 ft) are available for the adventurous climbers. The part that makes this even more exciting is that the participants are descending in the middle of the falls while torrential waters are beating against them, obscuring their vision and enhancing the excitement of the event.

Summary

In addition to Mindo Ecuador being one of the most biodiverse areas in the world, it is a location where the entire family can enjoy a holiday tailored to the needs of the individual member. Whether a person just wants to kick back and relax or tackle all that the tropical rainforest has to offer, this is the place to create memories. 

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • ColibriPhoto profile imageAUTHOR

      ColibriPhoto 

      7 years ago from Quito, Ecuador

      Thanks CD. It was exhilarating. 13 cables traversing a total distance of 3,500 meters. What a rush!!!!

    • cd tabor profile image

      cd tabor 

      7 years ago

      WOW! I did that too in my country.Isn't it energizing? ok...keep up the good work!

    • ColibriPhoto profile imageAUTHOR

      ColibriPhoto 

      7 years ago from Quito, Ecuador

      Thanks CD, I should have looked that one up. I did the ziplining but passed on the rappelling while I was there. I will correct it. Thanks again

    • cd tabor profile image

      cd tabor 

      7 years ago

      Nice work Colibri...just wanted to clarify on the repelling word that you used in the article.I think what you meant by it is this:

      RAPPELL OR ABSEIL

      vb (intr)

      1. (Individual Sports & Recreations / Mountaineering) Mountaineering to descend a steep slope or vertical drop by a rope secured from above and coiled around one's body or through karabiners attached to one's body in order to control the speed of descent

      2. (Engineering / Aeronautics) to descend by rope from a helicopter

      n

      (Individual Sports & Recreations / Mountaineering) an instance or the technique of abseiling Also called rappel

      [from German abseilen to descend by a rope, from ab- down + Seil rope]

      Again...thank you for a wonderful article.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)