Mindo Ecuador is a beautiful cloud forest located near the city of Quito. It's a paradise for birdwatchers.
It is located only an hour and 45 minutes from Quito on the lower flanks of the western Andes in the Province of Pichincha.
The Valley of Mindo is part of the protected 48,000-acre (19,200 hectares) Mindo Nambillo Reserve.
The Forest stretches over the slopes of Pichincha Volcano, at altitudes from 4,700 to 1,400 meters, (15,500 to 4,600 feet) and covers diverse ecosystems ranging from the cloud-high, treeless plateau or "paramo" through subtropical forest to Amazon Tropical Rain Forest
The steep slopes also give birth to myriad waterfalls, many of which have never been named, just an example of nature's undiscovered treasures that await you here!
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Cloud forests like Mindo have high humidity, cool temperatures and an abundance of wildlife and plants, particularly epiphytes, varieties that grow on other plants.
While Mindo Ecuador cloud forest is a heaven for birdwatchers, it also appeals to photographers and explorers for its outstanding panoramic views.
The Valley of Mindo is considered to be one of South America's best bird-watching sites.
BirdLife International named Mindo as the first IBA or Important Bird Area in the Americas in 1997, for its exceptional flora, fauna and botanical abundance, unique in species, considered vital for the development of ecological tourism.
And the area has recently achieved the highest single day bird count during the world-wide Audubon Christmas Count.
So for a birder, this region of Ecuador has to be a "prime destination". And of course Don't forget to pack your binoculars!!
Also, every 200 meters or so drop in altitude means a change in the species of birds that live here in Mindo.
Consider that Ecuador which only covers 0.02% of the Earth's land surface, holds about 10% of all bird species found on the planet.
And it is not an exaggeration to state that an inordinately high number of Ecuador's 1,600 species of birds are found in the Cloud Forests!
Just to mention a few, some of which are endemic (unique) to this cloud forest:
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Watch for other specialties such as Black-and-Chestnut Eagle, over 20 species of hummingbirds, Golden-headed and Crested Quetzals, Toucan Barbet and Powerful Woodpeckers.
Over 170 species of orchids have been identified within the reserve of Mindo Ecuador, which lies in a region with some of the highest rates of plant endemism in the world.
Orchids, bromeliads, heliconias, ferns, vines, mosses and lichens grow in abundance here.
This is an exciting experience to enjoy while watching the wildlife and the beautiful natural landscapes while you go down-river.
Consider the City of Quito (the city of the two hemispheres "north and south" crossed by the Equator line) and Mindo Ecuador with its stunning Cloud Forest, as a fascinating new frontier with exuberant nature, incredible people and comfortable and original lodging.
Mindo Ecuador is waiting for you to be explored and discovered!
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