My friend invited me to Mindo, Ecuador and I was so happy I went.  This town is worth a visit if you are in the region.  I already wrote about Mindo, Ecuador Means Chocolate  and about Mindo Cascades and Cable Cars.  In this post, I write about the town, the food, and where we stayed, plus a few travel basics for Mindo.

Mindo, Ecuador

Mindo is a village of about 3000 people in the Andean mountains.  I loved walking around the cute town of Mindo, looking at storefronts, churches, how people lived, and the smiling faces of kids and parents everywhere.

Scenes In Mindo

Mindo seems like a sleepy town.  But that is deceiving.  It really comes alive in the early evening.  And there is plenty to do in and around Mindo.  In addition to chocolate, hiking, and frog concerts, Mindo has among the highest bird diversity in the world, so it is a paradise for bird watchers.

The following set of photographs highlights some of the views of the town.

morning walk mindo
Woman going for early morning walk into town center.
central square mindo
Mindo Central Square and Playground.  It was mid-day so kids were not out at this hour.
el quetzal chocolate lodge
El Quetzal
murals mindo
Murals on Mindo stadium walls.
I really needed my sunglasses for this picture.
road mindo
Road off of the town center

Church in Mindo

Their beautiful Catholic Church still plays a big role in daily life.  It was full for an event on Friday night.

catholic church service
Friday night event at church.  You can not tell from the picture but it seemed festive.
catholic church mindo
Outside the Catholic Church
grotto mindo
Grotto scene in the Church.  Might be representing Our Lady of Lourdes but I am not really sure.

Homes in Mindo

house in mindo

small house mindo

nice house mindo

Eating in Mindo

I also loved the tastes of Mindo.  The food was consistently excellent, fresh, real, and bargain priced.  Keep in mind, a meal is meant to be slowly savored with friends and family.  So do not expect the rush-rush service you regularly experience in the United States.

trout in mindo
Fresh caught river trout, with fried potatoes, rice, carrots, and a little cauliflower and broccoli.  Everything tasted so fresh, home made and delicious.
Corn soup
Corn soup – so good, and no doubt that it was made from real corn.
chicken marsala mindo
Ecuador’s version of Chicken Marsala. Very nice.
Bio Hostal breakfast
Breakfast at Bio Hostal – the eggs were coming after the fruit as I heard the lady cooking in the backyard chicken coup – fresh.  I think the fruit was picked on the property too.


Mindo offers an extensive range of rustic accommodations – all very affordable by US standards.  Many have their own restaurant and the food freshness and taste quality standards are very high – they take pride in what they serve.

Bio Hostal

We stayed at the Bio Hostal Mindo for about $30 a room a night, breakfast included.  The rooms are large and comfortable, the layout is funky and social, and the food is fresh and delicious.  The whole place was clean.  The staff is friendly and kind.

Bio Hostal Bean Bags
Any place with a bean bag area is a good place.
Bio Hostal Relaxing
Lots of little areas to relax, socialize, think, or watch.  Comfortable.



  • We flew on American Airlines from JFK to Quito (via Miami).  The flight to Quito from Miami was about 4 hours 20 minutes with some great views if you get a window seat.
  • There are a few options to get to Mindo from Quito, like the bus.  Or rent a car like we did based on our parties size.
  • Ecuador’s currency is the US Dollar so bring lots of cash and no need to change money.  Like many countries, outside of big cities, you can not necessarily take out your card for every little thing.
  • Outside of Quito, English speakers were far and few between.  But people will try to communicate which is appreciated.