Escape Big City Quito to a Very Different World
One of my and travelers' favorites! Quito has dozens of interesting and beautiful sites, but it is still a big city like all big cities, full of concrete, cars, noise and people in a hurry. After seeing Old Quito and the UNESCO World Heritage Site, if you have another day, why not go down, down, down and out to rural, cloud forest, gorgeous Mindo and see nature at its best? You'll never see more lush forest, more exotic birds, hundreds of hummingbirds and butterflies than in Mindo. We can stop en route for a mountainside, local, organic coffee or breakfast with dozens of hummingbirds swirling close around us. Use my Nikon binoculars to see these things, both close and distant, up even closer. If enough time we can walk to a beautiful waterfall or take a zip line ride or a steel basket ride over the jungle or stop at the Middle of the World or visit Pululau volcano rim, one of only two active volcanos in the world with people living and farming in the crater.
This tour can be for up to 10 people - see below
Depart hotel 7am
Travel out and down from Quito in northwest direction toward Mindo (2 hour trip)
Stop, if open, for a coffee, snack or breakfast at an amazing, mountainside, hummingbird site where they will buzz around you and even, sometimes, land on you, literally dozens and dozens of active hummingbirds. You will remember this stop for the rest of your life when you sit at your breakfast table at home.
Take a zip line ride over the cloud forest?
Less adventurous? Take a steel basket ride over the cloud forest.
Arrive in Mindo and walk the tiny town, visit a truly amazing butterfly exhibition, a little chocolate factory that takes you from pod to finished products, an orchid exhibition, a jungle waterfall and a cloud forest hike if you desire. We can't do all of these things, but we'll come close and do what you want.
Return to Quito with stop at Pululau Volcano and/or Middle of the World site IF TIME ALLOWS and client desires.
Arrive at Quito hotel approximately 6pm
Meeting Location + Tour Duration
Meeting location: Hotel lobby
End location: Hotel lobby
Duration: 11 hours
Weather, traffic may effect time trip takes although weather and traffic going and coming are usually good.
Up to 3 people by nice, SUV with Vivian driving
MORE THAN 3 PEOPLE AND UP TO 10: price for safe, comfortable, spacious commercially licensed driver and larger SUV, touring van or small bus depending on number of people - $333 total includes me - Ask me to prepare a Tours by Locals Custom Tour with this price for you.
Nice, SUV transportation for up to 3 people with Vivian driving
Larger SUV or touring van or small bus with professional driver required by law for 4 or more, $333 includes Vivian as guide.
Guiding personally by Vivian
Estimated Local Cash Needed
25 USD - $3 and up coffee and/or breakfast if desired
$7 and up lunch cost per person depending on client's desires
Add $22 per person for Zip Line through and over cloud forest if desired and a little more for a couple entrance fees
Incidentals such as snacks and bottled water
Nominal entrance fees ($26 +/- total per person) for client desired exibitions
Lunch: $7 and up depending on the client's preference
Museums in Quito are closed on Mondays. If this is your only available day please send me your inquiry, and I will create a customized itinerary.
A Recent Review of this tour
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There is nothing that we can say about Vivian that hasnt been said 1000 times, but we would be doing a disservice if we didn't reiterate how incredible she is. She has a passion for this country that is unmatched and knowledge that can only come from decades of experience. She knew all of the hidden stops in our Mindo trip that will no doubt become big themselves someday and I felt like we got the perfect insider tour. If she is available, don't wait, book her ASAP! Thank you Vivian from your Tenn. boys!