The Wonderful World of Mindo, Ecuador

Mariposas

As my first traveling post I will honor my beautiful country with my most recent trip: Mindo, Ecuador. Mindo is located in the province of Pichincha and it is about an hour and a half from the capital city (my hometown) Quito. It is located in a tropical region, but still surrounded by mountains all around. It is really popular for tourism because there is so much to do. You have a wide array of sports like rafting, tubing, zip line, canopy, canyoning, trekking and so much more! That said don’t worry if you’re not into sports. You can also enjoy beautiful butterflies, birdwatching and extravagant orchids.

MariposarioEn el mariposario

Since I can remember I’ve been twice to Mindo. Once with my dad and my college friend Kat. Then I went a couple of months ago with my boyfriend Pato and my friend Pedro. I had a great time on both  trips. I enjoyed different things on each trip and saw Mindo differently. I hope that I can summarize my adventures through these few pics (I didn’t include all of them because I took a ton!) Anyway the first picture, which you can see above, are just a few types of butterflies you can find in Mindo. My favorite one is the one in blue :) It caught my eye at first sight but believe me when I  tell you, it was the hardest butterfly to capture on my camera it flew so fast! Then the only one I actually remember its name is the one on the bottom left. It’s called “Ojo de Búho” or Owl’s eye :) The other picture shows were I stayed on my second trip to Mindo and were you can find all those beautiful butterflies and then there I am holding an Owl’s eye butterfly!

Orquideas

This next picture is a demonstration of the diversity of orchids that you can find in Mindo. There were many more but my camera actually ran out of battery :( But what was most amazing to me is that I found all these orchids in one garden. Yes they are all in the same garden!

Colibri

Now this picture does no justice to the wide variety of humming birds, but in my defense they fly so fast and barely stay still! But I did some research and Mindo contains around 24 different species of humming birds, out of the 120 that you can find in Ecuador alone. For a small town like Mindo, that is a lot.

El Quetzal

Now these were some sightseeing picture. We will move on to the food :p Mindo is not really recognized as a strong gourmet sight, but I have to say there is a place called El Quetzal, which has the best brownies I have ever tasted in my life. And of course me being a sweet tooth, I just had to go and eat some brownies. The trick is that Ecuador exports cacao beans and since we have the raw material first hand, we can do wonders with chocolate! This place actually grows their own cacao beans, prepare them and create chocolate paste, which they use as the main ingredient for their brownies. Plus they have a chocolate tour where they show you how they do it!

Before Zip Line

This picture gives me a lot of memories! From left to right, my boyfriend Pato, me and my friend Pedro. We took this picture right before we went on a zip line adventure! This was the second time I did it but it still wasn’t that easy (I am slightly afraid of heights :S). Anyway, the experience is totally worth it, even if you get to do it once in a lifetime. The landscapes you get to see while in the air, are breathtaking and knowing that you can go, fairly fast hanging from a line, is pretty daring to me. We also got to do some tubing and some canyoning. I’ve done tubing before (not in Mindo) and my memories were, well not so nice lol. But I decided to give it another try and hope for the best. Well… let me say that I’ve done tubing in Mindo now and will probably never do it again haha. There are three main rivers in Mindo and the one people do tubing in, has a lot of rocks, is shallow and doesn’t particularly have a slow current. Anyway, we were only a group of three, so they couldn’t only take us alone. Instead they combined our group with another group of 5 girls. Can you imagine 8 river tubes tied up together going down that river? Mistake number one lol Of course you have a guide with you the whole time but when you get stuck between two huge rocks and people can’t even move at all… it stops being fun. All I can remember is getting a ton of bruises, swallowing a lot of river water and having a million little rocks inside my shoes (should have worn no shoes or pool shoes). That said all the laughter and adventure provided me with a great memory of it.

We also did some canyoning. Now I’ve never done this before so I wasn’t sure what to expect. It is basically going down three waterfalls with a rope :O Yep I didn’t know how to feel about this but why not give it a try. I will say this tested my fear to an extreme but I survived with a couple of cuts. But now I can say that I’ve finally done it :)

Pa y Yo

Mi amor

Juntos

Here are some last pictures of my trip. I enjoyed both trips equally and thank the people who accompanied me on this adventure. Top picture I’m with my dad, the middle picture I’m with my boyfriend and the last picture is a recollection of pictures with my boyfriend and my friend Pedro.

Paisaje

Hope you enjoyed this post and will visit Mindo one day :)


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