MINDO GARDEN Mindo Garden is the perfect place to appreciate, from a front row, the natural wealth of the Mindo area. No better host than a hotel with 25 years´ experience that blends almost unnoticeably into its surroundings, allowing its guests to live in luxury within the cloud forest. One of the key elements of this hotel is that its own identity is integrated with Mindo, enabling the perfect connection between guests and the environment. Five natural watersheds provide Mindo Garden with its own source of pure mineral water. The hotel faces Mindo river. Over the course of 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) the river meanders through the cabins and paths, spreading a gentle murmur that softens the atmosphere. More than twelve acres (five hectares) of lush gardens are waiting for guests to enjoy them. Only nine cabins, among them doubles, triples and quadruples, can accommodate any group, be it a couple, a family with children or just a bunch of friends, with natural privacy. A unique feature is that the hotel has its own ecological reserve, covering 370 acres (150 hectares) of private forest. A hike to explore the animal and plant species of this area is a must. Since Mindo is known worldwide as a prime destination for “bird lovers”, one of the most popular activities is birdwatching, an experience that nobody should pass. The hotel is certainly the best base in Mindo to savor this passionate hobby. Mindo Garden also provides hiking paths. One of them, three miles (five kilometers) through the cloud forest, passes by places where monkeys, spectacled bears, deer, armadillos and plenty other animals live. Another path points upwards to the highest local hill, some 4.600 feet (1.400 meters) above sea level whose prize, upon reaching the crest, is a marvelous view of the entire Mindo valley. Four waterfalls are located within Mindo Garden´s grounds. Guides lead tourists to safely explore the waterfalls. Yoga classes are the perfect complement to these outdoor activities. Through yoga, the body becomes a type of spinal column between earth and sky, where the primordial energy that flows around Mindo helps body, mind and soul to achieve harmony. Guests who aren´t seeking adventure, or maybe just looking for some peaceful moments, can rest in the hotel´s library or its lounge. Children have plenty of games to choose while adults can spend time with a good game of pool. Mindo Garden´s cuisine adds another layer of satisfaction to the Mindo experience. The menu is traditional ecuadorean, prepared with local ingredients. The hotel chef creates special dishes to ensure guests are delighted in the two restaurants designed to make each meal a memorable occasion. One of them is outdoors, just a few steps away from Mindo river, and the other is indoors, but both offer the unique flavors created by the chef. Mindo valley is one and a half hours from Quito by car. Mindo Garden is on the road to El Mariposario (butterfly park), about 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) from the town. The fact it is out of town is an essential part of living the Mindo Garden experience. Not surprisingly, the hotel has been awarded the Certificate of Excellence and the Seal of Tourist Quality in recognition of its facilities and its service. From the smallest detail to the service rendered by the staff, everything shows the hotel´s respect and appreciation for its environment, a feeling that all guests take back home.