As it was our first morning in Mindo, we treated ourselves to a longish lie and had breaky at 8am. Spoilt with fresh fruits, smoothies, pastries and scrambled eggs we stuffed our tunnies and headed on an adventure to the waterfalls. There are two roads out into the Mindo-Nambillo nature reserve. If you aren't bombarded with signs advertising the waterfalls and canopying, you're on the wrong road, but as it was a 5km walk uphill to get to the start of the waterfall walk we hopped in a taxi which cost us $6USD.
I complained to Leo that it was expensive until we started the ascend and I realized that every time a taxi drove this road it was guaranteed to damage the vehicle – the road was useless and filled with holes.In NZ we love chasing waterfalls and visiting as many as possible and on this walk alone there are 7 overall ranging in size and depending how long you want to walk.
At the top we decided to do the walk first to Nambillo, one of the largest waterfalls before later catching the Tarabita – Cable car. It takes about 1 hour to hike to the Nambillo waterfall and will cost $3USD per person to enter this side of the park. It’s such a beautiful walk, filled with nature, lush green forest, a fantastic rope swing and plenty of questionable areas of path.
Upon arrival, there is a beautiful waterfall – Nambillo which was absolutely bursting at the seams as we have had so much rain, as well as a toboggan which you can shoot down straight into the falls. It looked like instant death to us and luckily it was closed as 100% Leo would have given it a go.
What was open unfortunately was the 12m death drop. I have never seen anything like it. You jump from 12m into the actual waterfall and the white water rapids below. Now these falls reminded us both of Huka falls in NZ or any other white-water rafting river so I laughed knowing neither of us would do it…however, Leo wanted to.
NOOOOOO… I was so nervous, but he was excited, and I am never going to burst anyone’s bubble just because I am a panic panda filled with anxiety. The man, who I can only presume worked there came over to us smiling ear to ear as he obviously loves when a tourist opts for this death jump and tied a long piece of rope around Leo, gave him a life jacket and assured him that when he went under the falls – which he would, that he would then pull him out. None of this sounds fun, right?
Anyway, I filmed the whole thing and Leo survived, thank Christ. It would have been an awkward phone call home. He loved it, and seeing him light up made me so happy, after I had finished having multiple heart attacks. The photos will show the platform he leapt from. I was asked if I would go next, (F**K THAT!!) and considering I nearly drowned last time I went rafting I opted out of this one. I don't think our travel insurance covers stupidity and for me this would be 100% accurate.
After that we headed back up the road that took us high up a mountain to the cable car (tarabita). The cable car crosses a 1,640 feet (500 meter) wide valley about 500 feet (150 meters) up in the air. The car seemed very stable and safe – HAHA, no it didn’t, but tried and tested I can say it was. Just don't look down if you don't like heights. It doesn’t take long and we are sent us flying across the valley, soaring high above the dense canopy of the cloud forest. It only takes a minute and a half, and the view is incredible! For $5USD per person it is definitely worth it as it is the gateway to the other 6 waterfalls.
We hiked for another few hours stopping along the way at the different waterfalls as there is one every 20 minutes. We were told we could refill our water bottles along the way, so I did, but others said don't. I am writing this the 24 hours after the hike and I can say I feel in tip top condition and the water was delicious! After this we started the trek back to town for coffee and cake, which was much needed after a sweaty hiking waterfall filled day.
For dinner we decided to go for cervice at a beautiful restaurant we had our eye on. We both got quite excited and I even wore my hair down so you could say I dressed up. However, being Sunday night, everything was closed so we opted for $1 empandas …again. I do love them, but maybe starting to get sick of eating the same food every day. Getting home full, yet slightly disappointed I smothered myself with insect repellent as my poor legs are goosed and so swollen from bites and fell straight asleep. We are both knackered, like so tired. Traveling is difficult and we knew this but not having a routine everyday and staying in different places most nights it starting to take its toll. Roll on May 1st for 1 month of Galapagos!
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Hey! I'm Ally. I left the UK in 2011 to move overseas and ended up in New Zealand - my new home. This year we are taking a gap year to loop the world stopping in some AMAZING destinations - and I'm passionate about sharing these adventures with you!