The eastern and western slopes of the Andes are very different in character, and its cloud forests are consequently home to a different range of species.
Mindo lies at the heart of the protected Mindo-Nambillo cloud forest on the western slopes of the Andes, just two hours drive northwest of Quito. This area of primary forest is one of the most renowned areas in Ecuador for birds and wildlife, with an extraordinary diversity of avifauna – particularly hummingbirds – as well as butterflies. The wildlife changes noticeably according to the altitude, with different species seen at different elevations. Here are some of the highest rates of plant endemism in the world, with orchids, bromeliads, heliconias, ferns, vines, mosses and lichens growing in abundance.
The story is similar on the eastern slopes, where again different cloud forest localities offer chances to see many different species.
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