As I previously wrote, my friend invited me to accompany him to Ecuador.  We were graciously hosted by his Ecuadorian friend who showed us around this beautiful country.

walking to Mindo Cascades
Our Ecuadorian friend is the person pointing (the other guy is my friend from the United States).

Mindo was my favorite town.  In addition to seeing how Mindo chocolate was made, we explored the Mindo Cascades in the Cloud Forest, also known as Nambilla Cascadas.  And to end such a wonderful day of biodiversity, we were beautifully serenaded at a frog concert (sounds goofy but was fascinating).  

Mindo Cascades

Known as Nambilla Cascadas this refreshing set of 15 waterfalls and hiking trails is well worth a visit.  The cable car to the cascades is maybe a 30 minute walk from town.

Looking at the town of Mindo in the valley

The experience starts with a rickety old cable car, Mindo tarabita, carrying us to the other side of the valley, high across the Rio Nambillo over the trees of the cloud forest.

Mindo tarabita
Embarkation station as we wait for the carriage to come back.
Mindo tarabita 2
Looking back at the station and the cable.  Hmmm.

The vistas from the cable car are amazing.

cloud forest 4
View from the cable car of the cloud forest.
cloud forest 3
Nature’s beauty

Some of us enjoyed every second of the ride.  Others, more challenged with heights, would have maybe preferred hiking to the other side.

Once across, find your preferred trail route.  You can hike for maybe an hour or two to get to many of the falls.

Hiking to mindo cascades
Hiking to the cascades.

The cascades were beautiful and the green life around them worth a close look.  After hiking, a cool wade in the mountain water was refreshing.

Mindo Cascades
One of the many falls in the cascades
Overlook a Mindo Cascades
Overlook on the Rio Nambillo
Swimming at Mindo Cascades
Refreshing swim
Green roof
Green roof on a hut below a diverse hillside.

Keep in mind that the return hike will be more uphill. And you get to ride the cable car back!

I do not like Mindo tarabita
“Don’t worry we are almost there.”
cloud forest
Looking down from the cable car at the Rio Nambillo and the tall trees.  I guess we were dangling pretty high up there.

Frog Concert

A frog concert sounded like it could be a bit cheesy.  They offer a small free class of wine with it.  Almost felt like a gimmick.

It was anything but cheesy or a gimmick. It was fascinating and I wish more people could experience it.  For anyone interested in biodiversity and how amphibia are an early predictor of the health of an ecosystem and the impact of climate change, going to a “frog concert” is a must.

Mindo Lago

We visited Mindo Lago just outside of town for this concert.  Because most of the concert and walk are in the dark, I have very few pictures.

Mindo Lago

Mindo Lago is a hostel and a restaurant.  They also offer a frog concert and night walk in the jungle on their property.  The setting is serene and well-kept.  We started with a small glass of local wine (could have used a big glass though).  The guide walked us through the biodiversity of this area in extensive detail, pointing things out with his flashlight.  I was interested the whole time.  The microbacterias that produce light were really cool.

Frog Concert
Picture with lots of aperture and no tripod.  Lodge is in the center back, and we are looking down at the main pond where much of the concert took place.


The guide explained how “amphibians are…..the thermometer of environment due to their susceptibility towards climate change and pollution.”  Over 40 specifies of frogs and 450 specifies of birds live on their grounds plus much more.

Then we went on the night walk.  That was a little intense knowing (and seeing) snakes around.  Glad I did it though.  The night is very very dark around Mindo.

As odd as it sounds, if you are in Mindo and interested in biodiversity, check out the frog concert (though also make sure they offer it in English if that is your only language).

Thank you for reading and be sure to check out my other post about Mindo:  Mindo, Ecuador Means Chocolate