This tour was so much fun! It was packed with so many unique experiences for me and my husband and everything about this day exceeded our expectations.
The 2 hour drive to Mindo was very scenic, our guide, Juan, shared more history, culture, and geography of Ecuador during this drive (he was our guide previous day when we went to Papallacta). The roads were very windy and filled with pot holes, so if you are prone to car sickness, be prepared. Juan was kind and checked how we were feeling consistently so don't be scared to let your guide know if you aren't feeling well. Remember that you are going from the highlands into lowland so the roads are steep and can be little scary.
Once we got to Mindo, we went to the Hummingbird conservation reserve where we got to feed hummingbirds, they would stop on our fingers to drink the nectar. They get so close to you that you could feel and hear their powerful wings while they took a drink. It was truly a unique experience! The staff at the reserve didn't speak a lot of English so having Juan to translate was very helpful.
After the Hummingbirds, we went to the Butterfly Garden. The enclosure had ~25 butterfly species in various stages of maturity. We were able to get butterflies to land on our cloths and fingers.
We also did a quick zip-lines to view the vast Mindo Cloud Forest from a completely different vantage point, we got super lucky with the weather so we were able to really soak in the view. I can't really describe how beautiful the forest looks from above. They do give you gloves to hold one of the cable for balance for one of the longer/faster lines so if you feel uncomfortable with that, don't hesitant and speaking with your tour guide about your concerns.
We then went for a three hour hike in the Mindo Cloud Forest. We took a cable car so if you are very scared of heights, it might be little scary for you. I was a little worried but once seated in the cable car, I was okay. The hike was steep and challenging, especially because there were landslide from heavy rain few days prior but totally worth it. Work with your guide to set a pace that works for you. We were able to see three waterfalls before we had to turn around to head back. Unfortunately, the birds weren't out the day we went so we didn't get to see any birds but don't let that discourage you, there are many other beautiful sights and vegetation to see. Make sure you wear appropriate hiking shoes, we went during the rainy season so it was very muddy and slippery. Take a rain jacket as well because of unpredictable weather during the rainy season. If you have hiking poles, that might be helpful for the steep terrain.
We had lunch at a very nice authentic Ecuadorian restaurant (the food was incredible), and then went to the chocolate factory. My husband and I don't really like chocolate so we weren't that excited about this part of the tour but it exceed all of our expectations. After the brief tour of the factory and explanation of how they make their chocolate, we were able to do a tasting menu, where they brought out hot cocoa, chocolate made onsite, and brownies. The hot cocoa and brownie made from 100% cocoa was the best chocolate dessert that we have ever had. We ended up buying chocolates as souvenirs because this quality of cholate at the price point is unheard of.
After the chocolate factory tour, we went back to Quito.
Finally, talk to your tour guide about how long each of these activities take to better plan your day. If you really like hiking, you might want to talk to your guide about how to fit in more hiking, etc.