Mindo Ecuador: Adventure Town in the Cloud Forest

Mindo Ecuador

Before traveling to this beautiful country we had heard about so many amazing things to do in Mindo Ecuador. Located about two hours North of the capital city of Quito, the town plays host to endless activities that draw in nature lovers and adventure sport junkies alike. In addition to zipline and tubing, the Mindo Ecuador cloud forest is also one of the top bird watching destinations in South America! 

Ecuador Travel Inspiration

Getting to Mindo Ecuador

Unless you’ve arranged private transport you’ll be arriving by local bus. The trip is painless and takes around two hours from Quito.

What we didn’t realize is that the bus drops you on the main road a few miles from the town! Luckily a pick up truck impersonating a taxi was magically there waiting for us, and drove us the rest of the way for $1 USD.

At the end of your visit to Mindo Ecuador buy a bus ticket from the small ticket counter located in the center of the main road. There are several buses that leave daily, traveling direct from Mindo to Quito.

Getting to Mindo Ecuador

First Impressions of Mindo Ecuador 

Arriving in Mindo, we were surprised at its appearance after hearing so many wonderful things. The main street was filled with western food restaurants and tour agencies, and some heavy construction was underway which only added to our confusion.

Keep in mind this was back in 2016, so if you’re reading this now it is likely built up and completely different! Initial feelings aside, we hit the great outdoors and ended up having a BLAST in Mindo Ecuador.

Mindo Ecuador Town

Best Things to do in Mindo Ecuador

River Tubing

No way we could turn this down once we found out it was only $6 USD a person! Yet, this is not your typical day on the lazy river. First of all, the local guide showed up in jeans and sneakers… What?

Next thing we know we are spinning around in circles through the rapids, being dunked in and out, and thrown around like rag dolls. At lest now we understood why we had the helmets!

As we are hanging on to the tubes for dear life the guide was navigating us down icy cold river in his casual Sunday attire. I mean this guy was jumping through the rapids, bouncing off of boulders, and even running on the walls like Neo from the Matrix.

Just watching this guy alone was worth the $6! The twenty minute thrill ride felt like an hour, and was a hell of a lot of fun. Our guide also mentioned at the end that this is “low season,” and that these rapids were small. Had us fooled!

Mindo Raft

Mindo Ecuador Rafting

Hike in the Mindo Ecuador Cloud Forest

Hiking through the cloud forest is one of the top things to do in Mindo Ecuador, and the best place to experience it is on the Yellow House Trails. This large property holds hours of well maintained trails. It’s a hefty $8 USD entrance fee by Ecuadorean standards, but the wonderful owner said we were welcome to return the next day for free.

The paths are beautiful, and the lookout points will not disappoint in the Mindo Cloud Forest. Surprisingly, the Yellow House Trails has one of the only hikes you can do from the center of Mindo that’s not just on a dirt road.

Mindo Ecuador hike

Mindo Ecuador Cloud Forest

Route de Cascades

Start your journey by taking a taxi from town to the Route de Cascades. It’s several miles uphill, and you’ll need your energy for hiking to these amazing waterfalls! To enter the park take the zip tram across. Then you can hike two hours round trip to the big waterfall, or take the trail that goes through about a dozen amazing smaller ones.

Here you’ll explore secret coves, cross wooden bridges, and find a new waterfall around every corner! Also, don’t forget your swim suite. After all that hiking through the Mindo Ecuador cloud forest you’ll surely need to cool off! 

Route de Cascades Tram

Route de Cascades

Zipline Mindo Ecuador

While it’s often an extremely expensive activity Mindo Ecuador has high standards and low prices! We did ours with Mindo Canopy Adventure, and for just $20 USD we were flying high! We have always wanted to try it, and the zipline in Mindo Ecuador definitely exceeded our expectations.

Soaring over the tree tops, you’ll have a spectacular view of Mindo and the surrounding mountains. Some lines are done solo while others you’re strapped in with the guide and any friends. Whether it’s normal position, superman, or backwards, you’ll have the chance to try everything!

Mindo Ecuador Zipline

Mindo Ecuador zipline

Mindo Ecuador zipline

Food in Mindo Ecuador 

There weren’t too many options in town at the time of our visit, but it’s important to know that lunch is the biggest meal. The few restaurants serving Ecuadorian food offer a “plate of the day” including soup, juice, rice, meat, and salad.

This won’t cost you more than $3-4 USD so get your fill in the afternoon! If you can find it, there was also a great pizza spot called El Tigre on the main strip.

Mindo Ecuador

Should You Visit Mindo Ecuador?

Yes! Overall, we had an awesome time in Mindo Ecuador. Some travelers we met were disappointed in the lack of nightlife. However, if that’s what you’re looking for Mindo is probably not the spot for you! While visiting here take a few days to enjoy the scenery, the Mindo Ecuador cloud forest, and relax in nature.

South America Hostel

Have any questions about our blog, or want to share your own favorite things to do in Mindo Ecuador? Comment below and let us know!

Safe Travels,
Brigitte & Jake

Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar

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Where to Stay in Mindo Ecuador

Ultra Luxury (High End) – Terrabambu Lodge  Outside the city center Terrabambu lodge is the ultimate hotel to relax and take in the sites and sounds of Mindo. 

Fun Vacation (Mid Range) – Coffee Lodge Spa If you’re looking for somewhere to enjoy your vacation after a long day of activities then Coffee Lodge Spa is right for you. Have a massage or take in the beautiful nature from the hotel. 

Hostel Life (Budget) – Cinnamon House  Highly recommended Cinnamon House offers a fun and community stay in the center of Mindo, Ecuador. Dorms and private rooms are available. 

For more places to stay in Mindo you can explore the latest prices here!

*We receive a commission for purchases made through links in this post. This allows us to continue our travels and keep providing great content to our readers! Also, as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
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