This week we’re taking a look at lodges situated in and around the Ecuadorian cloud forest town of Mindo. A little over an hour from Quito, the Mindo cloud forest is filled with amazing plant and animal life – perfect for a day or even a week-long trip from the capital city. For the ornithologists in the bunch, Mindo, its surrounding cloud forest, and the local lodges make for a birdwatcher’s paradise!
1. Mashpi Lodge
Dubbed “The world’s most luxurious new jungle retreat” by Forbes Magazine, Mashpi Lodge ( just 2-1/2 hours from Quito) meets all the 5-star expectations for those traveling for comfort as well as intimate contact with nature. Situated deep in a cloud forest, yet with amenities on par with a high-end city hotel, you’ll awake with nature within arm’s reach of your floor-to-ceiling windows.
2. The Birdwatcher’s House
The Birdwatcher’s House was designed as a place to relax and enjoy the surrounding aromas of flowers as well as the sounds of birds. It’s located a few miles from the “adventure town” of Mindo, with easy access to all of the area’s birding sites. Specially designed for birders and photographers, this cloud forest inn features great views, incredible biodiversity, and 10 comfortable rooms.
3. Arasha Resort & Spa
According to several prestigious international tourism organizations, the Arasha Resort & Spa is “The finest resort in Ecuador;” and this may be for good reason, seeing how Arasha has been consecutively awarded at the London “World Travel Awards” (The “Oscar” of the travel industry). From close to a decade, Arasha was the winner in two categories, namely “Leading Resort in Ecuador” and “Leading SPA Resort in Ecuador.
4. Bellavista Lodge
Less than 1 hour and 45 minutes from the heart of Quito, or 1 hour from the “Mitad Del Mundo” equatorial monument, the Bellavista Lodge is on a private 1,700-acre (700-hectare) reserve near the famed adventure-town of Mindo. With 15 rooms with hot showers and comfortable beds in different cabins, the lodge offers an excellent network of trails and four area waterfalls.
5. Sachatamia Lodge
Sachatamia Lodge is located in a privately owned ecological reserve just over an hour and a half from Quito. Nestled in the cool cloud forest near the outdoor-adventure town of Mindo. This comfortable lodge offers a wonderful insight into the life of Mindo’s hummingbirds and is a great base for exploring the surrounding cloud forest.
6. Cabañas San Isidro
A place renowned for its bird diversity and great nature photo ops, the Cabañas San Isidro is located in the Mindo cloud forest on its own 1,900-hectare reserve. Consisting of cabins with 11 comfortable double rooms and 2 single rooms, each cabana has hot water and a small living room.