During Carnival in Ecuador, many local families decide to travel to the beach, climb volcanoes or visit the Amazon rainforest to celebrate their vacation. Because of the expected crowds there I decided to go to somewhere where it would be less packed. I booked an adventurous tour to Mindo, a small cloud forest village only 97 kilometers North-West of Quito.
Mindo is very easy accessible and getting there was a pleasant two hour trip with beautiful views. Because there are so many clouds floating around the forests near Mindo, you get the idea that you are in a different, magical world. After I arrived in Mindo, I stayed at Hostel Melyang where I was warmly welcomed. The rooms were clean, and the price/quality was great. At the attic there are hammocks and hummingbird feeders which attract many of the beautiful colored hummingbirds.
Carnival in Mindo
Both during the day and the night the village was full of carnival celebration. Kids and adults were playing with water and spraying carioca, a sort of shaving foam. There was small market with a lot of street food and products like locally made chocolate from the nearby factory. During the evening we enjoyed the music and danced together with the celebrating Ecuadorians which made it feel like a wonderful, authentic experience.
Adrenaline and beauty
Me and a fellow traveler walked to the Canopy adventure park, where we went zip-lining over the great heights of the forest. The fast speed, incredible height and the view while soaring over and through the forest gives you a healthy dose of adrenaline. There are 10 Zip lines at the park with a combined length of over 3 kilometers. The guides were professional and made sure everyone had a great time. They often allow you to descend on different ways like superman or even backwards while having your head down, which was scary, but the sense of freedom and the sights of the forest were more than worth it! I even spotted three Toucans, which I had never seen before.
After our Canopy adventure we did a ‘’Tarzan swing’’, a sort of free fall of 40 meters after which you will swing back and forth before safely landing on solid earth again. This was the most scary thing I’ve ever done but once again, the fear did not win and I’ve never felt more alive afterwards.
The next day we stood up early in the morning and went to visit many waterfalls. In order to get there, you have to take a cable car that brings you to the other side of the forest. The cable car went faster than expected but provided some beautiful pictures. We visited six of the seven waterfalls and spotted many different animals. The hikes were not very hard, and you have the opportunity to rest or cool off at every waterfall. After our visit to the waterfalls we ended our adventure and went back to Quito, I will absolutely come back and visit this versatile village.
To book or create your own adventurous trip to the Mindo cloud forest visit Gulliver expeditions for more information.0