In Mindo, Ecuador, there are two different companies that will take you on zip line tours through the cloud forest.
The cloud forest in Mindo is something very similar to jungle, just wasn’t quite as hot (at least on the day we were there).
One of the canopy tour companies charges $10/person, and the other company charges $13/person. The canopy tour for $10 has 12 zip lines, the canopy tour for $13 has 13 zip lines.
We opted for the one with 12 lines for $10.
(Only later did we learn that they aren’t certified for safety, but we never once felt unsafe, and it looked like they took very good care of their equipment and their lines – maybe that they just hadn’t paid the money to become officially certified.)
We got our tickets in town at one of the various places you can buy tickets for the zip lines in Mindo. We learned that it takes about 45 minutes to walk to the zip lines, or you can take a taxi for $5 (ish).
However, on the weekends, there’s something called the Chiva bus, which will basically take you anywhere in Mindo for $1.
So we rode the Chiva bus, which is basically a large pickup truck with a makeshift person carrier instead of the bed of a truck… it´s made out of wood, and kind of looks like it could fall apart at any minute.
Note, this is a Chiva bus from a different city in Ecuador… ours was smaller than this, but I didn’t get a picture of ours and found this picture using the Google.
But we actually felt quite safe in the Chiva bus, and we were happy for it, because it definitely would have taken at least 45 minutes to get to the Zip Lines.
The canopy tour was a BLAST!
Cruising over the forest on a cable with nothing but your hand for a brake is actually a lot less scary than you might imagine. I generally felt very safe, and the whole experience whizzed by because I was having so much fun.
In between each zip line, you walk uphill to the next zip line, so that by the end of the hour and a half of the canopy tour, you actually end up above where you started, so that you can zip back across the forest to where you started.
On one of these hikes up the hill, I walked by this BEAUTIFUL pink flower, which REALLY stood out because everything around it was so green. I learned that this is a bromelia. It also had beautiful purple blooms coming out from it.
After doing the zip lines once, I can definitely say we will do this again.
Canopy tours on zip lines came to us highly recommended by my brother and sister-in-law (who did one about 8 months ago in Costa Rica.)
We especially enjoyed our canopy tour in Mindo.
It was inexpensive, safe, and a lot of fun.