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Long hikes in primary cloud forest?

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
19 posts
Long hikes in primary cloud forest?

Hi everyone, I'm planning a trip to the Quito area in mid-June and am looking for some hiking opportunities in primary cloud forest. It seems most of the options around Mindo (through package tours or lodges) are a collection of short guided hikes and other activities - I don't have much interest in animal sighting and would just prefer one or two half- or full-day hikes on my own, though a guide is fine too if that's the only option.

I won't have a vehicle, so is anyone aware of any lodges or tours that allow access to some more intense exploration? I've been to a lot of rainforests before so I don't need much of an introduction. (I'll probably have time to spend two nights.)

Also, the consensus seems to be that Mindo is the place to go for cloud forest, but I have read about some other reserves in the region that seem to offer more of this sort of thing. Generally they seem harder to get to - but I'm open to recommendations beyond Mindo as well.

Thanks!

8 replies to this topic
Tucson, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Quito, Ecuador
Level Contributor
11,335 posts
101 reviews
1. Re: Long hikes in primary cloud forest?

I really don't know about hiking trails in the Mindo area, but if you are planning to go off on small, one-track trails away from the dirt roads, you should definitely have a local guide with you. Cloud forest is...cloudy...and it would be all too easy for you to lose sight of the trails as they become obscured.

Los Alamos, New...
Level Contributor
3,248 posts
149 reviews
2. Re: Long hikes in primary cloud forest?

I recomend Rio Nambilla Cascades. It was an $8 taxi ride from town and then a couple bucks to ride the cable car across the gorge. You can go left to see many small falls and people do swim there. Or you can go right for a huge waterfall an hour hike back. This is what ww did. Trail is easy to follow and took about an hour to reach the big falls. Stunning and no guide required.

Los Alamos, New...
Level Contributor
3,248 posts
149 reviews
3. Re: Long hikes in primary cloud forest?

That should have said "Rio Nambilla Cascadas". Darn auto-correct

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
19 posts
4. Re: Long hikes in primary cloud forest?

Good to keep in mind :) Thanks!

Vermont
Level Contributor
6 posts
2 reviews
5. Re: Long hikes in primary cloud forest?

Check out Reserva Las Tangeras. Their blogpost, "Walk on the Wildside", sounds relevant to you. I didn't go there, deciding instead on Mindo Coffee Lodge, which was perfect for my desires of town, bird tours, comfort.

Chelsea
Level Contributor
14 posts
31 reviews
6. Re: Long hikes in primary cloud forest?

I'm there in a few weeks time (early August) - can anyone offer any guidance as to suitable clothing to wear on forest walks/gentle hikes please? ie in the early mornings / late evenings I'm imagining it will be quite cool & damp, but becoming pretty warm & humid through the day? Are shorts going to be practical or would people definitely recommend long trousers & long sleeves? And would a hat be advisable re bugs / sun / rain? I'm sorry this sounds maybe a bit dumb but I'm puzzled about the sort of climate I need to prepare for!

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
19 posts
7. Re: Long hikes in primary cloud forest?

I’d always suggest long pants/long sleeves for bugs and also plants that may irritate, plus yes a hat helps for rain (under a raincoat hood). I’m sure people do get away with shorts, but given the cooler temps at cloudforest elevations it isn’t worth the drawbacks.

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
19 posts
8. Re: Long hikes in primary cloud forest?

Thanks for the suggestion! I ended up going to Los Cedros Reserve (more of a research station), not in the Mindo area but same direction. Rustic and an adventure to get to, but well worth it!

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