Mariposario de Mindo


Mindo's best butterfly garden is like walking through a paint factory with the fans set to slow – a stunning kaleidoscope. Visit in the warmest part of the day, around 11am, when butterflies are most active. If it's raining, the butterflies are dormant and you can use your ticket another day. Kids will love scaling the observation towers, and feeding the giant koi.

The road uphill from town splits for the waterfalls (right, Via a las Cascadas) or the mariposario (left, Via al Mariposario). It also has a restaurant and some above-average lodging.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Mindo attractions

1. Tarabita

0.14 MILES

This unique, small motor-powered (2002 Nissan!) cable car takes you soaring across a lush river basin over thick cloud forest to the Bosque Protector…

2. Armonía Orchid Garden


Check out the blooms at this impressive collection of more than 200 orchids – many viewable with a handy microscope. Naturally, the garden is also full of…

3. Cascada Nambillo

1.27 MILES

Popular with local families on weekends, this series of cascades is the easiest to access in the area. However, it still entails either a trip on the…

4. TelefériQo

19.66 MILES

For spectacular views over Quito’s mountainous landscape, hop aboard this sky tram, one of the world's highest aerial lifts, that takes passengers on a 2…

5. Vulqano Park

19.7 MILES

This theme park on the flanks of Volcán Pichincha has rides for all the family.

6. Cima de la Libertad

19.91 MILES

Up the flanks of Volcán Pichincha, this monument offers one of the finest views of the city. It was built at the site of the May 1822 Batalla de Pichincha…

7. Convento de San Diego

20.36 MILES

Overlooking the Old Town, this beautiful 17th-century Franciscan convent sits in a quiet courtyard behind thick walls. Inside, you’ll find outstanding…

8. Museo del Agua-Yaku

20.36 MILES

Housed in a stunning modern glass building on the lower slopes of Pichincha, at the site of the city's first water distribution tanks, this museum tells…