19,200 hectare (48,000 acre) Mindo-Nambillo Protected Forest

Mindo Biological Station 2018-10-09T19:18:19+00:00

Mindo Biological Station MBS

“Research to Learn, Learn to Teach, Teach to Conserve”

  Here at El Monte Sustainable Lodge we feel an integral part of conservation of natural areas is research.  This is why the MBS was founded back in 2001 by El Monte Sustainable Lodge to facilate research of Mindo and the surrounding areas.

Research that helps unravel some of the biological mysteries of Mindo, such as how closely related species prevent intermixing, where North American migrants winter in Central and South America or the discovery of new species increases the interest in Mindo and aids in our efforts to conserve it.

 The bio station is located just beside the main lodge of El Monte Sustainable Lodge within our private reserve.

Between El Monte`s cabañas and the  MBS we have accomodations for groups up to 22. The MBS welcomes researchers and student groups at reduced rates, please contact El Monte Sustainable Lodge for more information.

The station itself protects 44 hectares of land and is located in the buffer zone of the 19,200 hectare Mindo-Nambillo Protected Forest and it is our hope that with more research into the ecology of this unique ecosystem we will be able to further promote conservation in the area.

Mindo Nambillo Protected Forest

El Monte Sustainable Lodge is located in the buffer zone of the Mindo-Nambillo Protected Forest. With 19,200 hectares (48,000 acres) under direct protection and much more under private protection the Mindo-Nambillo Protected Forest ranges in altitude from about 1,400 meters above sea level (4,200 ft) to over 4,500 meters above sea level (13,500 ft).

This public/private protected forest was declared as a conservation area in 1988 through the work  of Mindo residents who formed the Amigos de La naturaleza de Mindo (Friends of Mindo Nature) and then officially declared as a Protected Forest by the Ecuadorian Government.  Interestingly Mindo was 1st conserved primarily by the local residents for solely conservation reasons, then later the area was discovered by birders and other ecotourists. Mindo  has been a shining example  of how local conservation efforts can preserve large tracts of forest.  In 1997 Mindo was declared “An Important Area for Birds” by Bird Life International and was the 1st declaration in South America.


Plants of Mindo

by Tobías Policha

Created with the support of ‘El Monte,’ this unique field guide is useful throughout the montane forests of the neotropics. Based in the Andean Chocó of northwest Ecuador (many photos from ‘El Monte’) it illustrates almost 400 species, representing over 100 families of common plants. Bilingual, with almost 700 photos, it is a useful reference for students, botanists, naturalists, guides, scientists, and tourists.
“What a handy field guide! It has been a tremendous help for the guides and our guests in the identification of plants in Mindo. Thank you Tobias!” – Mariela Tenorio. El Monte Sustainable Lodge. Mindo,


The Amphibians and Reptiles of Mindo: Life in the Cloudforest

An outstanding field guide to the cloud forest of Mindo, around 60 km northwest of Quito, filled with exceptional color photographs and distribution maps. The first field guide for any cloud forest region in the Andes, contains an addendum with the description of Pristimantis ornatissimus.

“This book succeeds wonderfully both as a field guide and as a comprehensive technical reference of the species and geographic region covered. I have never seen a better regional treatment than this one.”
– Joseph Mendelson, Amphibian Ark


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