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A Walk from Mindo

July 13, 2016

So you’ve just arrived in Mindo!  If you’re like most of our visitors, you probably came on a bus, possibly from Quito, and you’re looking forward to stretching your legs and exploring this new area.

Maybe you’ll spend some time in Mindo’s lovely town square….


…or sample an Ecuadorian almuerzo in a local restaurant.


Today’s almuerzo: tilapia


Rio Mindo

Now, are you ready to travel to Reserva Las Tangaras?  You have two options.  If you’re carrying a lot of luggage, you might want to take a taxi.  It’ll cost you $6 and take about fifteen minutes.  But if you’re feeling energetic, you can walk all the way to the Reserve from Mindo.  The road winds its way through the jungle and crosses the Río Mindo just outside of town.

Your walk is mostly uphill.  Do you wish you’d taken a taxi now?  If you had, you might have missed some good birds that you can see as you walk:  parrots, tanagers, flycatchers, and wood wrens—even the occasional swallow-tailed kite.  Plus, you’ll see some nice views of Mindo and the surrounding area.


When you see this sign, you’ve made it to the reserve’s entrance!  Get ready for a two kilometer hike through the jungle.  Fear not:  this part is all downhill.  It should take you about forty-five minutes.


All downhill from here!

DSCN0943Las Tangaras’s entrance trail is adjacent to private land, so you might see people herding cattle or cutting grass.  Give them a “Buenos días,” if it’s morning, or a “Buenas tardes,” if it’s afternoon.  We like to be good neighbors.

As you walk, watch your step!  The trail can get slippery and muddy, especially when it has just rained.  (There’s plenty of rain in the cloud forest.)  It’s important to place your feet carefully and go slowly.  A leisurely pace gives you a chance to admire the view and any animals and birds you might see.


Look out for trails of ants!  If you stand still, they might crawl up your legs.  You might end up sharing the trail with them for a hundred meters or more!  Who can blame them for taking the easiest route through the forest?


This sign means you’re almost here.   Maybe you’re looking forward to a coffee or a mug of hot tea—or maybe you’re just ready to sit down for a while!


Keep a sharp eye when you’re crossing the bridge over the Río Nambillo.  If you’re lucky, you might see a white-capped dipper or a torrent duck.


Welcome to the lodge at Reserva Las Tangaras!  This two-story building doubles as a research station and your new home in the cloud forest.  Please take a moment to sign our guest register—we love to see where our guests are from.


Then come up onto the porch and meet us, the new reserve managers!  We arrived at the end of June.  Annie is from West Virginia (United States) and has a background in environmental education and avian biology.  She’ll be happy to teach you about the dramatic and entertaining hummingbirds at our feeders.  You might catch her strumming a tune on the reserve’s ukulele.

Skyler is from Ohio (United States).  His background is a mixture of biological research and land conservation and stewardship.  He enjoys the challenges of maintaining the trails and property here, and can often be found in the reserve kitchen baking bread, muffins, cookies, and other treats.

More than anything, we love guiding visitors to our spectacular Andean Cock-of-the-Rock lek and preparing tasty (mostly) vegetarian meals for our guests.  If this sounds tempting to you, and you’d like to book a guided lek tour or stay overnight, email us at, or call us at 96-982-4972.  We’d love to host you!



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