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Casa Divina is a cloud forest retreat in the middle of the Ecuadorian jungle near the town of Mindo. It is run by a couple – Molly, who hails from the bay area in Northern California; and Efrain, a Mindo native and lifelong naturalist. They both share a love of nature and work hard to help the Mindo community preserve the cloud forest. They are very aware of the benefits of a sustainable economy, and therefore grow and use local ingredients, and run their lodge in harmony with their surroundings.
They have a history of defending the environment (including a battle against the petroleum conglomerate OCP – and helping the local community stop the production of a heavy crude pipeline in 2001), and at the same time are expert hosts, and masters at providing a relaxed and luxurious vacation to their guests.
Looking for Cloud Forest Paradise? Look No Further
Casa Divina offers three spacious two-story finished wood cabins, each equipped with a private patio with hammock and a full-size bathtub. What makes Casa Divina a five-star cloud forest retreat in our book are the people and the location. Casa Divina is nestled well outside and above the town of Mindo in a cozy cloud forest nook, that is so comfortable and relaxing, you’ll forget you’re in the middle of the wild jungle. At night you’ll hear nothing but the soothing sounds of the jungle sleeping. During the day, if you’re not out and about, you can relax in the hammock on your porch; or, if you prefer, on one of the comfortable beds indoors. From there, you can enjoy the view of the jungle and its many fascinating creatures, flora and fauna, via huge glass pane windows in every room – that give you unobstructed views of the cloud forest. And we should point out that, at the time of this writing, Casa Divina is the only place in Mindo with reliable 24/7 electricity, hot water, and their own septic tanks.
Why Casa Divina?
Casa Divina is named after Molly and Efrain’s oldest daughter, Divina, a great trail guide on the local property hikes, especially when teamed up with her little sister Sabina (“Sabi”), and an adorable UNO (the card game) fanatic. The two kids are great entertainment after a long days adventure and enjoy showing you around the property, or just relaxing and playing a game of cards. For those that prefer time to themselves, you’ll get it – Molly is excellent at sensing your mood and making your stay comfortable and relaxing. To round out the family are their playful dogs Lilly and Rosy, and of course Paloosa (fingers crossed that I spelled that right 😉 the cat. On one of our local hikes on the property the whole gang accompanied us, creating an unforgettable experience – I felt like we were living in the Jungle Book.
Hungry? Get Ready for Cloud Forest Gourmet
One of our favorite things about Casa Divina was looking forward to our end of the day meal in the main lodge, prepared by gourmet chef Molly herself. Using locally sourced ingredients, she would create fantastic three course meals accompanied by our choice of beverage, which included everything from wine and beer, to mixed drinks, juices, teas (you’ve got to try the Horchata tea!), coffee, and home-made hot chocolate.
While you’re relaxing in the main lounge waiting for dinner, with yummy smells coming from the kitchen, Divina and Sabina will no doubt be excited to show you the indoor swings (if you’ve never gotten to swing indoors, I recommend not missing the opportunity!).
Overall, our 4 day, 3 night stay at Casa Divina was a wonderful experience. We look forward to returning one day.
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