The village of Mindo is popular with Ecuadorians as well as international travelers because of its proximity to Quito, its tropical weather and abundant biodiversity. There are plenty of outdoor activities to do in Mindo and the area is loaded with trails, waterfalls and wildlife. Visitors to Casa Verde Raw Hiking Yoga Retreats are encouraged to explore nearby sights and appreciate the surroundings!
Click here for a list of the top things to do in Mindo.
In Mindo, you can participate in activities like inner tubing, hiking, bird watching, horseback riding, wandering through orchid gardens and butterfly farms. The are is sprinkled with eco resorts, hostels, small artisan chocolate factories, cafes, and restaurants.
Only one degree south of the equator and situated at 4,500 ft (1,372 m) above sea level, we delight in a consistent “eternal spring” climate; sunny pleasant days averaging 80 degrees (26.6C), often rain showers mid-late afternoons, and cool in the evenings (bring your hoodie). In other words, PERFECT for humans, flora, and fauna alike! No wonder this place is alive with abundant beauty
Where is Mindo, Ecuador?
Situated in a valley 98 km (61 miles) northwest of Quito, Mindo is nestled in the lush vegetation of the Mindo-Nambillo cloud forest, technically still part of Ecuador’s lower Andes.
Due to its proximity to Quito, Mindo an ideal day-trip or weekend destination and easy to get to for your transformational, weeklong detox yoga retreat.
How to get to Mindo, Ecuador
If you’re flying into Quito (UIO), the airport is one hour east of the Capital City. Mindo is about 2-3 hours from there.
Note that flights may arrive late night so you may not be able to come directly to Mindo from the airport. We can recommend a hotel to stay at near the airport, or you can choose your own in Quito.
If you’re booking a retreat with us, depending on your flight, the following morning we will arrange taxi pickup to our property (an amazing 3-hour drive thru the Andes) arriving at Casa Verde Raw Yoga Hiking Retreat mid-day.
Since many flights leave Ecuador early morning, you may need to spend the night near the airport on your return as well. Please keep this in mind while planning your trip.
How to get to Mindo by car: You can get to Mindo from Quito in under 2 hours by car by following Ruta 28 heading North from Quito.
How to get to Mindo by bus: You can get to Mindo from Quito by bus in under 3 hours. In Quito, head to either Quitumbe Bus Terminal (South of Quito) or Carcelen Bus Terminal (North of Quito).
Top things to do in Mindo, Ecuador
Our raw – hiking – yoga retreats are carefully designed to include all the best activities to do in Mindo, Ecuador. During your yoga retreat, you’ll hike through the lush cloud forest, bathe in pristine waterfalls, practice yoga and simply revel in the peace and tranquility of nature.
That said, there are many other activities to do in and around Mindo. Here are some of our favorites:
Coffee & Chocolate Tours
El Quetzal coffee tours in Mindo are an excellent way to learn about the coffee-making process. During the tour you will be harvesting beans and observing how these end up in a coffee mug.
Similarly, you can learn about the chocolate-making process which starts by harvesting, fermenting, drying and roasting cacao beans. The chocolate tour lasts about an hour, costs $10 and includes samples!
Ziplining in Mindo
Before or after your stay at Casa Verde, you might want to get a healthy dose of adrenaline by ziplining across the cloud forest canopy.
Head toward El Edén: Treehouse. Along the way, you’ll come across Mindo Ziplines Tour and Mindo Canopy Adventures which offer a number of ziplining circuits.
As you enter Mindo, you might notice inner tubes being loaded onto trucks. Inner tubing is a popular activity for local tourists that come into Mindo from Quito for a bit of outdoor fun.
You can rent inner tubes in a few locations around town. Grab on and head up river for a 20-minute float fown Mindo River, or go for a longer, 2-hour, float by taking a vehicle up along Río Blanco. You can hire a local guide if you prefer.
Though inner tubing is generally very safe, water levels may increase during rainy season. Make sure to inquire about safety before putting in.
Though passive birdwatching is something you can do from the tranquility of Casa Verde (and pretty much any terrace with a view), you can take a more active route and go on a birdwatching tour, like the Bird of Paradise Tours or the Reserva Ecologica Pachijal Eco & Bird Lodge tours.
There is such an abundance of bird life in Mindo, you’ll surely see hummingbirds, mot-mot, raptors, tucans and bird-eaters. On a tour, you’re more likely to spot rare species like the Andean Cock of the Rock.
Observe butterflies close up and learn about their lifecycle at the two butterfly farms in Mindo, called mariposarios in Spanish.
The more popular Mariposas de Mindo, is the town’s main butterfly center. Here, you can interact directly with these delicate insects.
El Jardín de Mariposas is located about 20 minutes driving from Mindo center and is also worth visiting.
Note: If you want butterflies to land on you, do not apply any insect repellent that day!
Orchids of Mindo
The Ecuadorian cloud forest is one of the world’s most biodiverse regions and considered somewhat of a “promised land” for orchid lovers. You’ll be pleased to find over 50 species of orchids and bromeliads.
There are a few orchid farms in and around Mindo; most hostals and restaurant have their own garden.
One of the best places to observe orchids is Mindo Lindo, located at the top of the hill, just past the main road entrance to Mindo. Here, you can hike along trails and observe hummingbirds.
Armonia Orchid Garden offers a 20-30 minute tour with dozens of different orchid and bromeliad species.
Remember: do not touch, move or extract any of these plants!
When you’re not eating a nutritious vegan raw diet at Casa Verde, you can find several good restaurants in Mindo due to the high influx of tourists.
We can recommend a few spots to taste local mouth-watering Ecuadorian-style trout with rice and salad, vegetarian dishes and even craft beers and chocolate-based beverages.