You will be picked up early in the morning from either your hotel or the Quito airport and taken in a private air-conditioned vehicle to the town of Mindo, about 80 kilometres northwest of Quito. The drive takes about two hours. An English-speaking guide will accompany you on this tour.
Travel from Quito to the biodiversity-rich Pahuma Ecological Reserve through the picturesque route of the Waterfalls of Nambillo. This area has more than 325 species of birds including the golden-headed quetzal, crimson-rumped toucanets, violet-tailed sylph, broad-billed motmot, and the famous Andean Cock-of the Rock lek.
After visiting Pahuma, drive down to the town of Mindo.
Arrive in Mindo and visit the Mariposas de Mindo (Butterfly Farm). Its butterfly exhibition has 25 varieties flying freely in a greenhouse that is approximately 644 square meters, making it one of the biggest exhibits in Ecuador. Flight areas simulate the outside forest with water streams, mineral deposits, and a wide range of wild flowers. Hundreds of caterpillars feed on their host plants in their natural environment to assure the best development of pupae and butterflies.
Stop for lunch in the complex of the Mariposas de Mindo.
Overnight at the Mariposas de Mindo in Mindo. Mariposas de Mindo is an eco-tourism lodge dedicated to the conservation and investigation of live butterflies in the sub-tropical cloud forest of the Mindo Nambillo Reserve. It is a family-run business and the lodge offers 4 rooms and 3 independent cabanas (cabins). They are constructed in wood, and blend in with the natural environment. The rooms have the comforts of home but are placed in an incredibly exotic place. The complex has a multi-cuisine restaurant.
After breakfast, set out on a trek through the cloud forest to the see the Waterfalls of Mindo. After that, visit the El Pahuma Orquid Reserve. Wader through its Orchid Botanical Garden where flowering orchids are mounted on the trees and placed in the vegetation along the trail. Over 170 species of orchids have been identified within the reserve, which lies in a region with some of the highest rates of plant endemism in the world. Orchids, bromeliads, heliconias, ferns, vines, mosses and lichens grow in abundance here.
Relax and rest in the peaceful environs of this reserve. Enjoy being surrounded by a profusion of butterflies and birds that fill the air.
Stop for lunch in a nearby restaurant.
After lunch, continue towards Sachatamia, a private ecological reserve near the protected forest of Mindo–Nambillo, to see some of the hundreds of bird species that can be found in the area.
Begin your return journey to Quito.
Arrive in Quito where your tour ends with a drop-off either at your city hotel or at the Quito airport.