The lodge is nestled in the cloud forest and is reached by crossing a rushing river. There is no bridge. You are pulled in over the river on a cable seat. You are surrounded by the forest in complete peace and all you can hear is the sound of birds and the gushing river as it flows perpetually and crashes over the rocks.
The cabins are far enough from each other to provide privacy and seclusion. Very comfortable beds. On the top floor, with windows all around, you feel like you are in a tree house. You are enveloped in greenery. In the afternoon you can watch the misty clouds descend the hillsides. You can hear the rain gently pattering on the window panes while you are cosily ensconsed in your cabin.
The main lounge is a short walk. It is an impressive, open structure - large enough to accommodate dining area for 20, a big kitchen, a fire pit and relaxing areas with comfortable chairs as well the hosts' living quarters. It is hard to describe this grand structure, open on all sides, which looks like a cathedral with a many-winged roof. From this lounge you can view the garden where fresh vegetables are grown.
The food is absolutely amazing. Merina, the cook, is a gifted woman. Bread is homemade, quinoa, pasta, and exotic dishes are absolutely delicious and all made fresh. You won't eat this well and healthy in any restaurant. The fresh lemon grass, ginger and mint teas and the hot chocolate are memorable.
The staff is great. Lucia, our guide, was helpful and patient. She accompanied us on all our trips - canopy cable car ride, hikes, visits to the orchid garden, to see humming birds and to the local chocolate factory. Taxis were available as needed.
The hosts - Tom and Meriela were most gracious and spent time with us. They shared the history of the lodge, how they designed and built it by themselves. We laud their effort to make the lodge truly sustainable. We took a tour and saw the septic system, the electricity generator and the recycling system .
We spent 4 restful days at El Monte - the kind of peaceful time one needs to rejuvenate the spirit. It was a highlight of our trip to Ecuador.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- El Monte Sustainable Lodge is an ecotourism destination in every sense of the word. We emphasize nature here at El Monte, in the form of birdwatching and observation of wildlife in general. Aside from the natural focus of our lodge, we also supply many of the vegetables, eggs and more from our organic garden. Most of our energy is supplied by a microhydro plant. We are located in a 110 acre reserve that is close to the Mindo-Nambillo Reserve of over 40,000 acres. At only 3 kilometers from the town of Mindo we are within access of many the activities, such as the Butterfly Garden, Ziplines, White-water Tubing, waterfalls and more. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- El Monte Hotel Mindo