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Mindo in Ecuador is one of the best birdwatching destinations in the world. It's only a small village but has developed itself as a tourist destination.
Many of the hotels and hostals offer birdwatching tours or can put you in touch with a local guide. You will see various species of hummingbirds, there are over 15 different species in the area. Some of the hotels put out feeders full of nectar which attract the birds so it is easy to see and photograph them. For an idea of what you might see, look at the hummingbirds photo gallery.
Other activities include Tubing (floating down local rivers on inflated inner tubes) and hiking.
About 2 and a half hours from Quito, at a cost of around US$2.50. Buses fill up early at weekends so book ahead.
|Biohostal Mindo Cloud Forest||Av 9 de Octubre y Los Colibries Av Gran Colombia E4 327||Guesthouse||84|
|Bird Watcher´s House||Avenida los Colibris Barrio el Progreso||Guesthouse||-|
|La Casa del Camino Mindo||Calle Quito S/N||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Hostería Quindepungo||Pichincha - Mindo Vía Cascadas Km3 junto Mariposario||HOTEL||-|
|La Casa de Cecilia||Av. 9 de Octubre||HOSTEL||-|
|El Abrazo del Arbol Farm Eco Lodge||Km 7 Vía a Cunuco||Hostel||-|
Internet cafes can be found nearly everywhere in the major cities and in many of the smaller ones. Cost is from $1 to $2 per hour in the large cities, and the better places have high-speed access. In some cafes, restaurants, and hotels you can find free wifi access, most of them protected by passwords; in most cases, you just have to ask for the password.
See also International Telephone Calls
The international telephone code for Ecuador is 593. The general emergency number is 911, but there are special ones of police (101) and fire (102).
The centre of most towns, cities and villages have telephone 'shops', advertised in the street as 'cabinas'. Go in, ask for a free phone booth and call. There is usually a digital display giving the cost (per second) of your call, whether local, national or international. You can call the United States for about $0.10 per minute and Europe for a bit more. Avoid making a phone call through an operator; the cost for an international call can be $3 or more per minute. For calls within Ecuador, it is possible to use a telephone cabin.
Some mobile phone SIM cards of various networks have problems working in Ecuador - you can purchase a local network SIM (for an unlocked phone) for a few dollars in local mobile phone shops. The costs of calling are higher though at around $0.45 an hour.
Correos del Ecuador is the national postal service of Ecuador. It's fairly reliable to send postcards and letters to other countries, though count on at least 5 days up to weeks for it to arrive. In general, postal services to North America are much faster than to other western countries. Prices start at around $1 (up to 20 grams), but rise steeply after that. You can get stamps at post offices or small shops/kiosks. Post offices generally are open from 8:00am to 6:00pm Monday to Friday and 8:00am to noon on Saturdays, although there are slight variations throughout the country. If you are going to send heavier post or post which has more value, it might be better to contact private courier companies like DHL, TNT, UPS or FedEx, which are generally about the same price and much faster!
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