03rd February 2011

The little village of Mindo [10] lies hidden in cloud forest on the western slopes of the Andes, 2 hours by bus from Quito.  It is a paradise for lovers of birds, butterflies and orchids.  We could not tear ourselves away from the dozens of hummingbirds flitting around the lush gardens of our lodging, the Dragonfly Inn.  Over 500 species of birds have been spotted around Mindo – for great bird pictures from Ecuador, click here.


Trails lead through dense forest to secluded waterfalls.  In the early morning the birds are most active.  The blooms at the family run orchid gardens are local species, unlike anything we had seen before.  Some of the orchids so small they had to be seen through a magnifying glass.  We walked a few kilometres along the road to the butterfly farm; it was hard to leave. 


Mindo has its very own, small scale chocolate factory, so of course we did the tour and tasted the product. 


Cloud forest around Mindo

Banana flower



Quetzal - National bird of Ecuador


Tiny frog

Blue butterfly


Owl butterflies feeding on bananas

Choco toucan

Dragon fly

Black and yellow bird in the forest




Main street of Mindo