A walk on the wild(ish) side in Ecuador

If you follow my blog you’ll know I’m not a big fan of Quito. But I did like Ecuador. And I loved a little town a couple of hours from Quito called Mindo.

The eco botanical gardens of Mindo (ecobotanico jardin Mindo) are a nature lover’s paradise. Having lived many months in lockdown in an apartment, the freedom of being in the outdoors felt incredible!

I wanted to share with you a few photos from a recent walk, or jungle expedition adventure, as I sold it to my kids.

Mindo gardens

Mindo is a village in the Andes Mountains of northern Ecuador. It’s known for the its beautiful birds, butterflies and cloud capped, orchid filled forests.

Sure, if you’ve lived in the tropics you may find it all rather tame. But if you’re a newbie like me, or if you have young kids, it all feels very exciting.

Mindo Ecuador

Parrots squawk and hummingbirds buzz overhead, while underneath it’s all scrunch, scrunch, scrunch as you carefully watch your step. We had a few squelches too. All three of my boys ended up in the mud at some stage.

Mindo near Quito

While it’s not a huge reserve, we had it all to ourselves. There was nobody trying to sell us tourist crap, no litter and no hassle. Just us and the creak creak of insects.

My husband wore shorts and got bitten to death.

eco botanical gardens Mindo

The kids embraced their animal spirit and had a good explore in the wild. Then we spotted a little hideaway treehouse and stopped for a breather.

Mindo with kids

Mindo nature with family

Ecuador with kids

Finally, after my poor husband’s bitten legs could take it no longer, we headed back for a bit of bird watching downtime on the observatory deck.

I loved Mindo, and especially the eco botanical gardens. If you’re planning a trip to Ecuador, please, please, please put Mindo on your bucket list!

bird watching in Ecuador

hummingbirds in Ecuador

holiday in Ecuador

birds of Ecuador

Family holiday in Ecuador

Need to know: 

    • Cover your body as much as possible and wear repellent. The bugs here bite!
    • There are no signs, but it’s easy to find your way around. All paths are connected. Go down to explore and head back up to return.
    • The gardens organise early morning and late evening wildlife tours, however when we visited during the late morning we were also able to take a walk around on our own. There was no fee, but we left a donation in the box.
    • The gardens are not organised botanical gardens like in other cities. It’s more of a garden that you can walk around at your leisure. There are no cafes or shops! For food or a drink, head into town where they are plenty of good places.
    • There’s a beautiful river too – perfect for a paddle. If you’ve got kids, pack crocs for them.

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