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Mindo: El Monte Cloud Forest Ecolodge

3 Days
Prices From:
US$ 1,703

Venture into the Mindo Cloud Forest to stay in an ecolodge and head on birding expeditions. Not only will you explore the beautiful cloud forest and spot rare birds like the Cock of the Rock, Golden-Headed Quetzal, and Toucan, but you’ll also minimize your environmental impact with eco-friendly accommodations.

This 3-day Ecuadorian vacation takes you to an eco-lodge in the heart of the Mindo Cloud Forest. It features moderate, eco-friendly accommodations, small group tours, and is a great vacation for environmentally-conscious travellers and birders.

Your journey begins in Quito, the Ecuadorian capital, where you’ll start towards the Mindo Cloud Forest to the city’s northwest. Along the way, you’ll stop off at a butterfly garden to feed around 25 species of butterflies, head to the Garden of Orchids to see a demonstration of Ecaudor’s stunning orchid population, and spot hummingbirds feeding from the natural bounty of flowers. You’ll then reach El Monte Cloud Forest Ecolodge, a 3-star eco-friendly accommodation that has been designed to have a minimal impact on the natural world. Stay in a riverside cabana constructed with local materials and with eco-conscious water and power services.

While at El Monte Cloud Forest Ecolodge, you’ll explore the cloud forest in the company of Mindo guides and head on a series of birding excursions. Search for the red-headed Cock of the Rock, hike along the tops of the San Lorenzo Mountain Range, and glimpse the Golden-Headed Quetzal. You may also spot toucans in the forest. At the end of your stay, head back to Quito, stopping at Tony’s House along the way, where you’ll spot dozens of species of hummingbirds.

This trip makes a great add-on to a longer journey through Ecuador.


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3 Days
Prices From:
US$ 1,703

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Quito to Mindo

You will be picked up from your hotel in Quito and be transferred to Mindo and El Monte Ecolodge. En route stop, admire, and enjoy the interactive butterfly garden where, surrounded by hundreds of colorful butterflies, you will be able to observe the four stages of a butterfly's life. While you are in the garden, you will be able to feed one or more of the 25 different species of butterflies. Later visit to a Garden of Orchids, where you will see about 35 to 60 species of orchids in bloom. Mindo has about 370 species of orchids in the reserve. The orchid is undoubtedly one of the most impressive attraction to those visiting the place, the un-spoilable range of species on display. Some of them are can be seen by a magnifying glass. At the end of the tour, you have the ability to observe Hummingbirds and other bird species.

The El Monte Lodge is located just outside the town of Mindo, recognized as a world-class bird watching site by Bird Life International. Arrival to El Monte Sustainable Lodge is by "tarabita" or hand pulled cable car. This cable car entrance of 20 meters over the Rio Mindo gives us a sense of privacy from the outside world, while providing access to El Monte and the buffer zone to the Mindo-Nambillo Protected Reserve.

On arrival, your hosts will offer a short introduction to the lodge and its garden, plus a few tips in regards bird species will greet us. El Monte is not simply a place to stay; the Lodge and its owners are dedicated to preserving and protecting the natural beauty of Mindo - Nambillo Forest, one of the most biologically diverse and endangered Cloud Forests in the world.

In the afternoon, your local guide will take us on a 2-hour exploration besides Mindo River and through the nearby forest, where you will spot exotic birds, find local medicinal plants and learn more about their uses.

Guests at El Monte stay in private cabanas alongside the crystalline Rio Mindo. Each cabana has a comfortable bathroom complete with a full size tub and unlimited hot water, plus separate areas for socializing and sleeping.
The design of all the cabanas and the main house is original and also very functional taking into account the mild climate, lack of strong winds and local construction materials that blend nicely with the landscape and river.

Each cabana is equipped with a flush toilet and an independent waste treatment system that is comprised of an enclosed sand bed with bamboo growing inside to remove nitrogenous buildup. This system has worked extremely well for us, and we would be glad to share the plans on request.

Meal Plan Lunch and Dinner
Duration2 Nights

El Monte Cloud Forest Ecolodge

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Location View map
  • starstarstar

    El Monte Cloud Forest Ecolodge

    Stay in private riverside cabanas and see firsthand the moss covered trees, crystal clear streams, spectacular orchids, exotic birds - awaken to the symphony of forest noise, hear the sounds and try to imagine the source. Experience Cloud Forest with all your senses, an ecosystem …

    Stay in private riverside cabanas and see firsthand the moss covered trees, crystal clear streams, spectacular orchids, exotic birds - awaken to the symphony of forest noise, hear the sounds and try to imagine the source. Experience Cloud Forest with all your senses, an ecosystem not widely known by name but could be described as the Garden of Eden or Paradise Found.


    • Bar
    • Game Room

    More Details

Day 2


Today you make an early start to visit our "Cock of the Rock", a place where these marvelous birds congregate to feed. After a nourishing breakfast, you will walk along the heights of the stunning San Lorenzo Mountain Range with your guide leading the way, and weather permitting; you catch a glimpse of spectacular birds such as the Golden-Headed Quetzal, the Choco Toucan and the Crimson Rumped Toucanet, amongst many others.

Return to the lodge midafternoon. Free evening.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 3

Return to Quito

Today, before heading back to Quito, you will visit "Tony's House", an iconic spot where you can admire more than 24 species of hummingbirds. Tony is an expert on the birds and their songs and has placed a lot of hummingbird feeders around his house, as well as in the forest, to attract the amazing variety of brilliantly colored birds you will see here. More than 19 varieties can regularly be seen, including some of the rarest specimens.

Return to Quito where services end.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch

Other Information




  • 2 nights' 3 star cabin accommodation
  • Round trip transfers from Quito
  • English speaking guide
  • All meals as listed
  • All activities as listed
  • All entrances


  • Travel insurance
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature


Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please inquire.

4 Dec 2023
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