Cloud forest instead of the Oriente?
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Feb 5, 2013 1:35 PM Last Post By: dbuonam
Feb 3, 2013 6:36 PM
Cloud forest instead of the Oriente?I've got only a week to spend in Ecuador outside of time in Quito. I'm considering spending a few days in the cloudforest near Mindo instead of going on a jungle tour. Has anyone done both, and can compare the two? Would it be a mistake to miss a trip into the Oriente, if it would only be for a couple of days?
Feb 4, 2013 2:41 AM
1This is a tricky question. You cannot compare the forest around Mindo with the Oriente ecosystem. The wildlife is very different and the landscape too. In an ideal world you'd go to both, as they are both definitely worth a visit in their own right. Having said this, 2 days is probably too little to get yourself to somewhere you can begin a worthwhile jungle lodge stay (for instance, Tena or Lago Agrio/Nueva Loja). If you are going to find yourself rushing and worrying, I would save a foray into the Amazon for another trip, if that lucky opportunity ever arises in the future. Remember the Amazon Basin can be visited from Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia!
As regards Mindo, I highly recommend it. Birdwatching is simply fabulous, and there are many qualified birding guides there. Mindo birdwatching is considered genuinely world-class. If you go I highly recommend Julia, who will be well known to many hostel owners. If you stay for a couple of days you may get to visit different part of the valley and different sections of forest - Mindo is good for spotting cock-of-the-rock. We saw all sorts, including some rare species of toucan and lots of birds of prey.
See below some blog entries on Mindo and the Oriente. Wildlife photography in the Oriente is difficult without really good (and expensive and heavy!!) equipment and a specialised guide who knows what you want to photograph. Just trying to justify my bad photos of animals in the Oriente!!!
Let me know if I can give you any more info.
Enjoy your travels!!
Feb 4, 2013 10:39 AM
2I have been to both and it was nice to say I'd seen the Amazon, but I would have much rather spent more time in Mindo. You can see wildlife, rare plants, just like you would in the Amazon and for me it was much more comfortable in the cloud forest. You cannot compare the two, but I would have had to choose... definitely Mindo.
Feb 4, 2013 2:39 PM
Feb 5, 2013 12:19 PM
Feb 5, 2013 1:35 PM
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