It is a couple of hours drive from Quito to reach the small town of Mindo which is very different from the big town – out here we are in a small village without much city life to see. What the place lack in cityscapes it has in small natural attractions. The city is famous for being the base village for bird watching and it only takes a few minutes before we spot a tucan eating some of the flowers on the trees in the garden.
We get to the hotel fairly easily and drop the bags in the hotel. Then it is time to head out and explore the city. There is a bit to see. We head around to get some lunch and then look at the central square of the city. There really isn’t much to see here – there is a small park. And then there isn’t much else to see in the city itself. Instead you have to go a bit to the outskirts of the city to explore something.
After lunch we head up the hill to a chocolate factory which makes lots and lots of Ecuadorian chocolate. We get up there and hear about a bit of the way they produce chocolate and see a cocoa tree. The tour around the factory is fairly interesting – but let’s face it – what the entire guest really wanted was the chocolate tasting which took a while at the end of the tour. Some of the chocolate taste pretty good so we consider buying something from the shop. But the prices doesn’t seem to be super discounted wholesale prices so we decide not to blow the rest of the holiday budget on chocolate – at least not today maybe later.
From the factory we head back to our hotel. This just happens to be one of the attractions we had decided to see in the town. There is a huge orchid garden at the hotel and we go and have a closer look at it. Fortunately the English speaking receptionist shows us around the garden pointing out the different orchids. It is a great advantage compared to do it yourself since we see a lot more with her guiding us around compared to the trip around the garden we had done ourselves earlier in the day.
After the tour of the garden I head for the breakfast area which has a couple of humming bird feeders. There are a lot of humming birds around the area in addition to a few other birds eating bananas. I spend the rest of the daylight hours just sitting observing the hummingbirds trying to take a couple of photos of those high-speed birds.