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Excursions in and around Mindo

The waterfalls of Mindo

By car, after a 20-minute drive through the forest, we reach the entrance of the park. Here you cross a valley with a width of 530 meters with a cable car. Once across the road, there are trails leading to seven different waterfalls. It is a beautiful walk with an opportunity to swim and with beautiful views. However, it can be quite busy at the weekend.

Canopy: float above the cloud forest

This is one of the most popular sports in Mindo. This adventure gives you the chance to zoom in on the top layer of the cloud forest trees. It gives you the thrill of flying, while enjoying the beautiful landscapes below you. During this activity you are always accompanied by specialized supervisors. There are 10 canopy lines from easy to difficult.

Tubing on the Rio Mindo

You can enjoy the sun and the tranquility of the forest while floating on the Rio Mindo. Those who like more adventure can do the rapids of the Río Cinto or the Río Blanco. A local guide provides you with a helmet and life jacket and keeps the raft under control. Tubing is the perfect way to cool down on a hot day.

Canyoning in Mindo

Equipped with ropes, harness, helmet, and gloves you descend in the middle of a waterfall or from a bridge in the river. You will be accompanied by an experienced guide who will take you step-by-step through this unforgettable experience.

Horse riding in Mindo

You do not have to be a professional to participate in this activity; the horses are tame and you will be accompanied by a local guide. Whether you choose a leisurely walk through the forest to view birds, butterflies and plants or set up a downhill race along the road to Nambillo – ending with a quick dip in the river, this is a fun activity for all ages.

Mindo’s orchid garden

In het dorp ligt deze tuin met meer dan 200 verschillende orchideeënsoorten. Een gespecialiseerde gids geeft je alle uitleg. Duur: 30 minuten.

Visit to butterfly farm

You can relax in these peaceful gardens, home to all kinds of colorful butterfly species. Here you will learn about the life of these wonderful creatures, you can feed them and take pictures as they perch on your outstretched palm.

Fishing, boat trips and swimming

This is a suitable place to go with children; you can go up the pond in a small rowing boat, you can fish for tilapia, there is a swimming pool with a slide and there are football fields, volleyball courts, a river with a sandy beach and an excellent restaurant. A good place to spend the day with the family!

Evening frog concert

At 6:30 pm a guide will take you into the forest. After a 10 minute walk you will come to this place where there are a lot of frogs. The guide explains the life of these wonderful creatures.

Walking along the Yellow House path

This vast private forest – 500 hectares in size – has well-maintained paths that lead you high into the forest and offer beautiful views of the valley. Along the path you will find butterflies, birds and beautiful flowers. And if you’re lucky you might see armadillos, porcupines, anteaters, and maybe even the Andean spectacled bear. The path is a five minute walk from the city but is a world apart.

Birdwatching: Silanche Tower – Milpe

We leave at 5:00 in the morning by car to Silanche, from where we follow a path through the forest and watch birds along the way to Silanche Tower. In this watchtower we have a beautiful view of the forest – here you can see trogons, motmots, woodpeckers, antbirds and much more. We then follow the road to Milpe where we have the opportunity to see the moss backed tangara, a very rare species.

Bird watching: Long Wattled Umbrella Bird – Rio Blanco

We depart Mindo at 5:00 am. Today we are looking for this extremely rare bird. In the same nature reserve, we have the opportunity to see toucans, moths, woodpeckers, falcons, tangaras and many other bird species. In the late morning we go to the panorama point on the Rio Blanco, a beautiful place to admire the Rio Blanco, but also to see birds. There is an excellent restaurant here, where we will stop for lunch. After dinner we descend to an area with a wide variety of birds of prey, hummingbirds, tangaras, woodpeckers, moths and much more.

Birdwatching: Mindo Lindo – Guacharo

We depart Mindo at 06:00 am towards Mindo Lindo Reserve, a great place to observe hummingbirds, tangaras, fruit eaters, and more interesting birds. Then we follow the Chontal route, which leads us to the Caves of Tayos. In the caves we can see oilbirds, a rare species that was once hunted for its oil. After leaving the caves, we follow a path that leads through an area home to Jacamars, Cuckoos and Manikins. Depending on the weather, we will return to Mindo between 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM.

Birdwatching: Bellavista-Sachatamia

You will depart Mindo at 5:00 am. First we will visit Bellavista, where we will have the opportunity to see the tanager finch, the plate-billed mountain toucan, magpies, crested quetzals, tangaras and many other colorful and beautiful bird species. We then continue along the forest paths of Sachatamia, a dream place for the bird lover, where we spend the afternoon. We will be back in Mindo around 4:00 PM.

Birdwatching: Yanacocha-Mindo

This tour departs from Quito (at 5:30 in the morning). We first trek to the upper slopes of Ruccu Pichincha volcano, home to many high mountain bird species: sword-billed hummingbirds, cotingas, antpittas, tangaras, black-breasted pufflegs (an endangered species), golden-breasted pufflegs, giant hummingbirds, peregrine falcons,, and more. We travel along the little used road from Nono via Tandayapa to Mindo. On the way we sometimes stop to look for birds that are unique to this area. Before arriving in Mindo, we stop at the Tony Reserve, known for its hummingbirds.

Birdwatching: Mindo-San Lorenzo

This tour lasts half a day: you leave at 06:00 and arrive back in Mindo at approximately 11:00. After leaving the city you will enter the cloud forest. You will have the opportunity to see a wide variety of bird species: toucans, hawks, woodpeckers, tangaras, hummingbirds, and much more. During this tour you will probably see 40 to 80 different species, depending on the weather.

Trek Lloa-Mindo (2 days)

This is a two day tour departing from Quito to Lloa, a small town a few kms from the south of Quito at the foot of the Pichincha volcano. Here we trek into the forest along the “huayrapungo”, which in Quechua means “door to the wind.” The Mindo-Nambillo reserve is traversed by many fast-flowing rivers but there are also open fields and swamps. , a reminder of the eruptions of the Pichinha Volcano that took place between 1999 and 2002. You can only do this hike with a local guide, the trails are unmarked, it is a beautiful hike, full of variety of flora and fauna and with breathtaking views. cross streams along cable cars, plod through muddy swamps, make your way with the machete along overgrown paths, prepare food in the forest and find a place to camp at night.
What to bring: four liters of water, three pairs of socks and two pairs of underwear per day, knife, sleeping pad, rubber boots, hiking boots, insect repellent, hat or cap, towel, toiletries, rain poncho, and a flashlight with extra batteries. Beware: anything you bring with you must be able to carry during the entire tour
Day 1: The guide picks you up at the hotel, you drive with the guide to the foot of the Pichincha. The guide will briefly discuss the journey and then begin the two-day trek towards the cloud forest of Mindo. On the way you stop for lunch and in the evening the tents are erected to spend the night.
Day 2: You get up early to continue the tour. Breakfast is served and the tour continues afterwards. As you approach Mindo you feel how the climate changes to tropical cloud forest and the vegetation also changes. You arrive in Mindo around noon and here you get a nice lunch to regain your strength. You can then relax at the hotel or explore the village which has enough cafes and terraces to make it a relaxing afternoon.

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Tom, guide in EcuadorI’m Tom from Belgium and I’ll make sure your trip to Ecuador or cruise in Galapagos goes as smoothly and pleasantly as possible. I have been living in Ecuador for a decade and have been working in tourism for 8 years now. Before that, I obtained my guides diploma in Ecuador. Traveling and discovering new places is my passion.
Together with the local travel agency Descubre-Ecuador, we offer tailor-made tours in Galapagos and on the Ecuadorian mainland. Over the years, Descubre-Ecuador has built a reliable partnership with the best hotels and the best nature guides in Ecuador. Our small-scale way of working ensures easy accessibility and a lot of flexibility when traveling.
Customer satisfaction is the essence for us. And even in those rare moments of unforeseen difficult circumstances, we make sure that we are there to make sure your trip runs smoothly.
Explore Ecuador and Galapagos!


Indian woman from SalasacasIn South America, Ecuador is one of the smaller countries, but the country is hugely diverse in terms of geography, climate and population. You can visit the Andes, the Amazon rainforest as well as the tropical coast without taking extremely long domestic flights or transfers. And then you have the Galapagos Islands, a once in a lifetime experience. The diversity of flora and fauna per square mile is enormous. Ecuador is South America in a nutshell. Moreover, the country is relatively safe and little visited. The national currency is the USD and you have a wide choice of direct flights to Quito and Guayaquil from Europe and the United States.


Tom - guide in EcuadorIk ben Tom uit België en zorg ervoor dat jullie reis naar Ecuador of cruise in Galapagos zo vlot en aangenaam mogelijk kan verlopen. Ik woon al een tiental jaren in Ecuador en werk nu 8 jaren in toerisme. Daarvoor heb ik in Ecuador mijn gidsen-diploma behaald. Reizen en nieuwe plaatsen ontdekken is mijn passie. Samen met het lokale reiskantoor Descubre-Ecuador, bieden we reizen op maat in Galapagos en op het Ecuadoriaanse vasteland aan. Descubre-Ecuador heeft door de jaren heen een betrouwbare samenwerking opgebouwd met de beste hotels en de beste natuurgidsen van Ecuador. Onze kleinschalige manier van werken zorgt voor een vlotte bereikbaarheid en veel flexibiliteit bij het reizen. De tevredenheid van de klant is voor ons de essentie. En ook op die zeldzame momenten van onvoorziene moeilijke omstandigheden zorgen we dat we er zijn om jullie reis toch perfect te laten verlopen. Ontdek Ecuador en Galapagos!