What makes El Monte so special is its small size and personal touches. The lodge which has 3 cabañas and a total capacity of 6 to 10 people, first started receiving guests in 1998. It sits on 44 hectares (110 acres) of land... while the lodge and its garden and cabañas take up about 1 hectare (2.5 acres).
The rest of the land is used for nature walks, bird watching or just enjoying the surrounding forest.
El Monte visitors can choose from a variety of things to do. You may decide to go on a nature walk (which range from one hour to the whole day) where your guide will point out many species of plants, including many with medicinal properties, and help you spot birds and other wildlife.
Another option is to visit a waterfall, where if you choose you can jump from a 33ft (10M) cliff beside the falls. Even if you decide not to take the leap you and simply enjoy swimming beneath the waterfall in the refreshing waters of the Nambillo river.
El Monte is a sustainable lodge outside the town of Mindo; its goal is to help preserve and protect the natural beauty of Mindo, one of the most biologically diverse Cloud Forests in the world. Enjoy world-class birding, hike in lush cloud forests replete with orchids and bromeliads, enjoy river tubing, as well as hikes to a primary forest reserve.
Today we may decide on a short visit to the monument which marks the equator and to the Pululahua crater on the way to El Monte. At the lodge a short informal introduction to El Monte and its nearby garden will be provided by our hosts before lunch.
In the afternoon we will take a two hour introductory walk beside the Mindo river and the nearby forest. Our local guide will help us to identify exotic birds and will explain about medicinal plants and their local uses. Dinner will be followed by a briefing on the next day’s activities.
After breakfast we will take a 5 hour nature walk (up and back) along the Cordillera San Lorenzo. Our guides will describe the flora and fauna along the way and there will be a good possibility of seeing spectacular bird species such as the Golden-Headed Quetzal, Choco Toucan and Crimson Rumped Toucanet... among others.
Dinner and next day briefing.
Today there is an optional early nature walk before breakfast. We will be back at the lodge for lunch. In the afternoon there is the chance of another short walk on one of our trails or whitewater tubing down the Mindo river. Later we will visit the famous Tony's house, a small house where you can see more than 24 species of hummingbirds from the balcony. Tony, who knows the birds and the their 'songs' very well, has placed a lot of hummingbird feeders around his house, as well as in the forest itself. They attract many species of hummingbirds and more than 19 varieties can regularly be seen including some very rare ones. We return to Quito.