Mindo, a Great Way to Spend the Weekend!

One of the less known places close to Quito to relax and explore while having an adventure is Mindo.  The small, sleepy town can be reached from the La Ofelia trolle station in the north of Quito.  Busses run a few times a day and the journey takes about less than an hour.  What the town offers is relaxation and activities such as ziplining in the rich natural hills that make up Ecuador’s terrain once outside of its cities.  An example of an itinerary for visiting the town is as follows.

Day one

Travel from Quito to Mindo.  The bus drops you in the center of town.  choices of hostels are many but the Birdwatchers Hostel near the river offers clean rooms, a casual setting, breakfast, and a hot tub.

The owner is a well-respected guide and can arrange tours or just help with plans and ideas around the area.  He also can direct you towards the afternoons activity, Mindo Butterfly farm!

While not being a typically adventurous endeavor, the farm has over 1200 species of Butterflies and sets the tone for a chilled out stay in the town.  getting there is easy as signs are well posted in town and it’s a short walk out-of-town  Entrance fee is 3.00$

Options for food include El Nomada which is located a few blocks up toward the river.  Its serves pizza and Italian cuisine and has a very well stocked bar, which is rare anywhere in Ecuador!  the local specialty is trout and many of the places in the winding streets around the river are rare spots owned by Ecuadorians and expats who enjoy treating customers to really good food.

One specialty of the town is chocolate.  Mindo is about 30 miles from Puerto Quito, a town where cacao is grows well. The only ingredients   used to make our 77% chocolate bars are chocolate liquor, organic evaporated cane juice and cocoa butter.

Nightlife

Part of the attraction of Mindo is the lack of clubs and raging parties.  Mindos nightlife is restricted to a few streets where there are some really cool bars and restaurants. The scene is mellow and its more of a place for a few drinks and food after which retiring to your hostel and a hot tub is the name of the game.

Day 2

One of the coolest activities that Mindo is known for is its canopy tours.  These are a series of ziplines set outside of town that cross valleys and rivers ranging from very quick to a tranquil trip in between the trees.  After breakfast take a walk into town and check with the two offices on the main street.  The cost for an afternoon of ten ziplines walking in the great natural landscape is ten dollars.  The companies are certified and everything is safe.

While this itinerary might appear short for a trip in Ecuador it is the perfect way to spend a weekend away from Quito and in the middle of incredible diversity of nature that the region is known for.  Other activities include tubbing, rafting, birdwatching, and tours of local orchid farms.  For those planning an extended trip in the country, its a great break from bus travel and finding your way around the other popular attractions like Otavalo and Cotopaxi.

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Comments
One Response to “Mindo, a Great Way to Spend the Weekend!”
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