Run by a warmhearted and knowledgeable American/Ecuadorian couple, El Monte is a lush eco-friendly retreat with six lovely, private riverside cabins. The aesthetic is contemporary, with lots of wood and natural tones. Three cabins sleep up to four people and have bathtubs. Located 3km south of Mindo along a winding dirt road, it’s reached by a tarabita over the Río Mindo.
The communal lodge has rustic furniture, fire pits, a library and some hydro electric power. The food is delicious and mostly vegetarian using ingredients from the organic garden. Guests can wander the on-site trails or swim in the river-fed pool. Reserve ahead so that the owners can arrange transport from Mindo or Quito (you'll have to be hand-pulled across the tarabita).