Ecuador’s Eco-Lodge in the Clouds

Built in the Ecuadorian cloud forest outside of Quito around previously existing trees, the Mindo Eco-Lodge is about as authentic as you can get, allowing guests to rest in open-air areas, protected from the rain by an arcade running all around.

On the roof, you’ll find a terrace with a panoramic view of la selva (the jungle, baby!), while an onsite restaurant serves up local and Italian, dedicated to residents so it’s never going to be very crowded or noisy.

But the best part about the location is the bird watching along the trails of their Reserve.  With the assistance of a local guide specialized in bird watching in the Cloud Forest of Mindo, he will follow you along the trails showing the main characteristics of the Cloud forest so you can leave knowing all about the Velvet-Purple Coronet, the Antthrush, the Long-wattled Umbrella bird, and a bit more about the jungle than when you came.

Wherever possible, they use local services and encourage guests to buy local products as well. Providing employment of local population and guides, they’re respect the typical regional architectural style and thus, they’ve reflected it in their building; natural woods, thatch, and the occasional vibrant fabric reminiscent of the local tribes. Though we wouldn’t say this is ‘roughing it’, it certainly isn’t your five star marble experience, but that’s why we like it.

In terms of green techniques, energy and water efficient methods are place, along with waste prevention. “We garden with traditional and native species to maintain the local environment and also offer guiding services with attention to sustainability and offer information on sustainability in promotion material,” their manager explains.

To that end, they have environmental, nature, and local cultural education activities for visitors and environmental seminars for Ecuadorian schools.

How to get there, you ask?

By bus: Take a bus from the Terminal Terrestre bus station in Quito, any bus bound for Pacto, Puerto Quito, San Miguel de los Bancos or Mindo is ok. When the bus reaches Nanegalito tell the driver that you want to stop at Km72 (Primero de Mayo).

They will be waiting for you there. Of course, you’ll have to call before leaving Quito.

By car: Leave Quito on the new highway to Esmeraldas via Calacali. Travel to km 72. At Km72 turn right and follow the road for 3 km and You’ll reach the sign of the entrance of the Reserve.

Transfer service: This might be the easiest way for weary gringos. You can book their Transfer Service and they’ll come pick you up in Quito wherever you prefer.

Tours in the Cloudforest of Mindo, from US $200 – US $500 (3-6 days)

Guided tours to the beauty and mystery of the Cloudforest of Mindo. Depending on length of trip, we have a day dedicated to birdwatching, a day to visit the Ceremonial Site of Tulipe (los Yumbos) and the Garden of Butterflies in Mindo.

Birdwatching in the valley of Mindo, Ecuador, from US $550 – US $850 (6 days)

We’ll walk the Reserve trails and walk along the Mindo River, a great place to birdwatch. Species include Velvet-Purple Coronet, Giant Antpitta, Rufous-breasted Antthrush and Long-wattled Umbrellabird, amoungst others. We visit the Ecoroute El Paseo del Quinde, the Cloudforest of Reserva Ecologica Pachijal, the Lek of the Cock-of-the-Rock and bird sanctuaries in Milpe and Rio Silanche.

Birdwatching in the Cloudforest of Mindo, from US $125 – US $300 (2-4 days)

Birding packages accompanied by a local guide and a specialised, licensed guide for those who want to come to Mindo to watch birds, as main activity, due to the fact that Mindo is one of the best known places all over the world for birdwatching. Depending on tour length, take excursions to the lek of the Cock-of-the-rock, the Ecoroute Paseo del Quinde and the Birds Sanctuary of Milpe.

A Collage of Andean and Tropical Ecuador, from $1600 (12 days)

Why not try our Adventure & Community tourism package, combining the diversity of nature and scenery exploring the trails of the Cloud forest with the culture of the Ceremonial Site of Tulipe and traditional shops selling handicrafts in Las Tola. Bird watch in Mindo and relax on the beach at the Ocean of Rio Verde. Regenerate in the falls at Playa de Oro, dance to marimba music and sail the Santiago river. Finish off the tour at Otavalo’s market, the largest indigenous market in South America.

From US $50 – US $100 per person per night.

Prices depend on number of people in the group and there are discounts for children.


One response to this post.

  1. Awesome post! Another beautiful eco resort is La Cocotera Ecolodge in Barra de Santiago, El Salvador. It is a beachfront hotel near an estuary and the El Imposible National forest.


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