One of the few good hiking opportunities around Mindo can be found at the waterfalls tour a few kilometers out of town. You reach the beginning of the path by zipping over the valley in the cable car (tarabita), an exhilarating ride which offers grand views of the cloud forest and of the river snaking below.
When you reach the other mountainside, you can turn right on a path towards the Cascada Reina, the area's largest waterfall. As the guides will tell you, the hike takes one hour to get there and one hour to get back. Along the rather slippery path (wear appropriate foot gear), you can see many butterflies, giant caterpillars, bromelias, as well as birds flying through the thick forest.
The other hike, to left from the tarabita platform, is much shorter (under 30 minutes) and will take you to the Sanctuario de Cascadas and to the Cascada Nambillo. You can take a very refreshing dip in the ice-cold pools beneath all of the waterfalls, but watch your toes â€“ it is not easy keeping your balance on the rocks while the current drags at you.
To reach the tarabita, follow the dirt road towards Nambillo for about 6 km, following all the signs for the cascadas and canopy tours.
Price Description: $5
Relative price: Budget
Open Hours from: 9am
Travel Skills: beginner/easy.
You Need to Bring: Wear good walking shoes