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.