Mindo, Ecuador’s premier bird watching region, is only a 90 minute drive from the chilly highland capital with volcano views as the road descends over 1,300m and the vegetation is transformed from cold-resistant grassland to lush, humid cloud forest. This accessibility, and the chance of not only observing wildlife and a mass of exuberant plants but also taking part in a choice of exhilarating outdoor adventures, makes it an attractive destination for all lovers of nature and the outdoors: families, singles, couples and friends of all ages. There are a number of eco-friendly lodges welcoming visitors.
For this holiday extension we have chosen for your base the simple and sociable El Monte Lodge, close to the village but with a real wilderness feel. We have hand-picked some excursions for you, but in your free time you might take various guided adventures including guided nature walks, visit butterfly farms and even an artisan chocolate “factory”. More adventurous options (charged extra) include downhill mountain biking, river rafting, tubing and zip-lines.
Overnight at the hotel Casona de la Ronda in Quito.
Day 2: Transfer to Mindo and el Monte Lodge. Afternoon at leisure: you might explore the nature trails or take an optional excursion.
Day 3: Take a guided walk at dawn to visit the cock-of-the-rock lek, an area of trees where scores of these colourful, exotic birds congregate to feed. Afternoon at leisure.
Day 4: Morning at leisure. After lunch visit a house where 24 species of hummingbird are known to frequent the feeders in the back of a private house. The proprietor is an expert on the birds and their songs. Return to Quito.
Full board days 2-3, breakfast and lunch day 4.