January 16, 2008: The next place we stayed was Mindo, a city approximately 2 1/2 hours away from Quito located in the cloud forest. The town has flourished is a ecotourism fairytale. A lot of the cloud forest has been destroyed for farming purposes, but Mindo has reaped ample profits from tourism and therefore any forest destruction would be detrimental to their economy. We spent our time hiking up the mountains, ziplining through the canopies and visiting a butterfly farm located at the foothills. The high elevation made hiking difficult and we often succumbed to fatigue instead of taking on an extra hike. We also were fortunate enough to visit an independent coffee plantation run by a French immigrant who personally set up the first organic coffee plant in the Mindo region.