Mindo is a small town off the main road in a valley and the Casa Divina is a mile outside of town, surrounded by river valley, farm, and forest. The area can be wet -- it is a cloud forest, after all. The grounds are very nice, and a bit of a work in progress. The rooms and main room are really nice and comfortable. Hammock, chairs, and lots of beautiful wood interiors, tables and chairs, all built by Efrain the co-owner. Check out the photos. Beds are great, the showers are hot (it gets a bit cold in the cloudforest when a cloudburst happens).
The food is homemade and outstanding. Breakfasts and lunches are wholesome, generous, and tasty. Dinners were a special of the day. We were there in an off-season with only a couple other guests, and therefore missed meeting Molly and the two children, but Efrain was a very capable host on his own.
We walked from the Casa a few times, exploring the area on backroads and seeing birds on our own. It felt very safe. But the highlights were birding with Efrain - - which involves getting up very early and driving to a special refuge (Angel Paz) to see the Cock of the Rock, Quetzals, Antpitas, and many other birds. He also took us birding right from the Casa one morning and we saw at least 50 species in 2 hours. And yes, you pay extra for birding, but it it totally worth it compared to birding without a guide.
The Casa isn't cheap, but we thought we got great value and found it very relaxing, like visiting friends. We'd go back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Casa Divina Lodge is located 1.2 km (3/4 mi.) outside the town of Mindo in the western lowlands of the Pichincha Province in Ecuador, South America. About 2 hours northwest of Quito, the valley of Mindo forms part of a larger biodiversity hotspot known as the Andean Choco Region. We are proud to offer comfortable and elegant accommodation in the middle of the cloudforest. The town of Mindo offers many activities for the outdoor, nature-seeking traveler. World class birdwatching is at its best in and around the Mindo area. Please inquire about birdwatching packages and personalized tours.At Casa Divina Lodge we provide delicious home-style meals and comfortable accommodations for those who want an adventure by day and an elegant and cozy place to rest by night. As well as an experienced bird guide, Efrain, owner and builder, is a talented carpenter and has demonstrated his love for wood in each of the hand-built cabins as well as almost all of the wooden furniture in the lodge. We are a family-run business that holds high standards in service to our guests and also towards our employees. We value those that work with us greatly. We are proud to have a dedicated staff that is happy to be here and has been with us for an extended period, making the atmosphere here that much more warm and family-oriented.We welcome families that travel together, as well as guests with young children. We have two children and know what a great opportunity and advantage it is for children to experience a broader sense of the world through travel. We run a small capacity lodge on a private nature reserve, so whether you are dedicated birdwatchers, honeymooners or a traveling family Casa Divina Lodge offers the perfect cloudforest experience.We support community tourism by working with other family-run businesses in the area. We encourage our guests to get out and experience the variety of activities available in the region. For the adventure seekers there is zip lining through the trees, tubing down the Mindo River and rappelling down one of many local waterfalls. Delight your sweet tooth on a rainy afternoon at the local chocolate factory. For nature lovers there is a morning at the butterfly farm, a tour at the orchid garden and the after dinner night hike. For avid bird watchers you can't miss the cock-of-the-rock lek, a visit to the Paz de Las Aves Reserve and humming bird observation.But you won't want to spend all of your time out of doors. Casa Divina is a place where life slows down. A place where you are invited to relax on the sofa with a good book, or in your hammock for a refreshing siesta.Our meals are a healthy blend of traditional Ecuadorian and international fare. And don't forget the desserts. Each evening a unique sweet inspiration is served from the ovens of the Sweet Goddess Bakery. For those who can't get enough of our cooking (or just want to stay in for the day) we offer lunch, snacks, drinks and-of course-coffee and tea all day long. Unlimited filtered drinking water is also available in your room as well as in the main house.Mindo is a small town located in the Ecuadorian western lowlands (more commonly know as cloud forest) where so many ideals come together: the climate is just right (the nickname for this valley is "the land of eternal spring"), the biodiversity will make even the most amateur nature seeker giddy with excitement, malaria does not exist here (no pills, no side effects), and the community is conscientious and moving ahead in the eco-tourism movement. You will see informative signs posted throughout town about the effects of pollution and all households and businesses separate our waste into organic and non-organic bins. The young people from Mindo are proud of their town, their work and the opportunity to have an international experience in a small rural town.Although Mindo still has a long way to go in its development as an "eco-destination," change and progress are happening and it's exciting to be part of the process. We invite you to come and kick up your heels at Casa Divina Lodge and participate in community tourism in the making. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Casa Divina Cloudforest Retreat Hotel Mindo