WHAT TO EXPECT
Mashpi is more than a five-star lodge in the middle of a great forest: it was conceived and planned to provide unique travel experience in its class, where the material elements are the perfect complement to enjoy a unique and very close contact with the fauna, flora, geology, geography, ecology, climate, landscape and historical features of this extraordinarily biodiverse corner of the world, now protected as a nature reserve.Request Itinerary
Itinerary at a Glance
Day 1 : Quito – Masphi Lodge
The adventure begins at around 08:30 am at one of the main hotels in Quito, when you will be collected by Mashpi transportation for your journey to the northwest corner of the Metropolitan District of Quito. The road passes along the western flank of the Andes next to the “Middle of the World” (“La Mitad del Mundo”) which marks the equatorial line. We then continue westwards, downhill, following the course of the Rio Blanco, watching as the vegetation changes with every significant drop in altitude. After passing the town of Nanegalito, we head northwest, along winding country roads, passing the archaeological site of Tulipe and various farming communities. We arrive at the Lodge at noon.
After settling into our respective rooms, we meet naturalist guides who will tell us through a presentation, a bit about cloud forests, their characteristics and importance for conservation activities during the stay and some useful tips for taking into account during excursions. It lasts about 30 minutes and talk will be held in the library before lunch.
At 15:30 we will start the discovery of the forest along the Napa Path, the same crossing a variety of habitats, including forest regeneration and large patches of primary forest. The walk is, therefore, a great opportunity to learn about the ecological realities of Mashpi and the importance of forest conservation. On the way also we observe how small organisms that inhabit the forest floor are the key to understanding how this ecosystem. It is a path of great scenic beauty and an excellent opportunity for bird watching. Towards the end, we find one of the most unique attractions of Mashpi: the pambil (Iriartea deltoid), a palm 40 m high by the hardness of their wood is comparable with steel. The walk, moderate in their level of difficulty, will last about two hours.
Every night from 19:30 we will have a scientific lecture given by our resident biologist or one of our naturalist guides. They will help us to understand why the enormous biodiversity in Mashpi, exploring issues such as the lifting of the Andes and the formation of Choco. In addition to lectures on the various specific research projects or fauna in the reserve
- Included: shared transportation, excursion, English speaking guide, lunch, accommodation, dinner
Day 2 : Chocó Reserve
- Exploring Mashpi Lodge
The forest rewards early birds since the dawn light attracts a wide variety of fascinating species in their search for food. A good place for bird watching, with a cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate in hand, is the terrace, where you can enjoy not only the beauty of the jungle, but also of the many species that come to feed on insects and fruit trees nearby. Our guides will help to show everything that can be found nearby, offering a look into a telescope to see the animals up close and experience the wealth of wildlife that has Mashpi. This activity starts at 6:30 and lasts about an hour. Then we will enjoy a delicious breakfast in the hotel restaurant.
At 8:30 we went to the air Bike and the Observation Tower (15 minute walk from the hotel) .Poder witness the jungle from above is a real treat thanks to the observation tower Mashpi. At 30 meters above the ground, this is an ideal place for nature lovers site. Allows not only appreciate the book in all its splendor, but also the many species that enliven the treetops (70% of the biodiversity of the forest is here!). We climb 162 steps to reach the top.
Air bicycle is a different and exciting way with which we can explore the forest. Designed for two people at once: one pedal along a cable that extends between two points with a distance of about 200 meters, crossing a ravine and a river. Quiet, easy to use and fun, it is an activity that offers a new perspective of exuberant nature of Mashpi.
To ride the bike air one must measure no less than one meter high (over eight years old children can participate but must be accompanied by an adult).
The bike ride takes only 20 minutes. Also returning to the hotel you would be done by taking one of our many trails, for example the Path Oxibelis, which also leads to a small waterfall. Alternatively take from the arrival station the path that leads to the waterfall of San Vicente, a steep 45-minute walk quite demanding, it recommended only for people with good physical condition. The combination of activities (biking, observation tower and hike) lasts between 2 and 4 hours depending on the route taken.
In the hotel, a natural fruit juice waiting for us, before enjoying a delicious and varied almuerzo.A 15:30, the best way to reach the Life Center is through the forest by the “Monkey Trail Howler “. This trail runs through primary forest dominated by ancient trees, with the copal (Dacryodes cupularis) the flagship of them. Early in the morning, it is very popular with all kinds of animals. Our guides, always attentive to sounds and rustling leaves, birds or disclose seek elusive monkeys while explaining the ecology of the environment; They also shared with us his extensive knowledge about plants and their medicinal use.
Life Center offers a wonderful view of the forest from the comfort of a large wooden deck. We identify different species of birds and mammals that visit feeders fruit. The center is designed as a place of learning, but also a place where guests can be disconnected.
In the butterfly, we can watch the butterflies. We discover the many species found in the area Mashpi and everything about his metamorphosis from larva and caterpillar to chrysalis and butterfly. Also we discover different species of plants on which the butterflies lay their eggs, such as passion flower, bird of paradise and other tropical species in the garden. Not far from the center, it has also created a “tropical garden” where many varieties of fruit trees such as banana, cassava, cocoa, pepper, coffee and raspberries are grown wild.
For those interested in learning more about the cloud forest of Ecuador, we will offer a talk summarizing the various scientific research projects carried out in Mashpi. Lasting 30 minutes, this will include a video presentation on camera traps, a project developed by our resident biologist who displays the amazing diversity of the forest.
- Included: breakfast, excursion, English speaking guide, lunch, accommodation, dinner
Day 3 :Mashpi Lodge – Quito
On your last day, there’s more time to explore the forest trails, head to a different waterfall or find a nook to let the whole experience sink in.
We return to the hotel for check out at 11:00 a.m. Our transfer leaves Mashpi Lodge at 11:30 a.m. We will be given a complimentary box lunch to enjoy during our drive back to Quito.
- Included: breakfast, English speaking guide, box lunch, shared transportation
Bellavista Cloudforest Lodge$988
In this lofty paradise you can lie down in your room and watch the sunrise over Bellavista or watch the mist rise from deep within the Tandayapa Valley.
Quilotoa Adventure – Mama Hilda 3D/2N$703
Hostal Mama Hilda is a family run hostal in the small town of Chugchilan on the Quilotoa Loop. We are ideally situated half way around the loop and have...
Avenue of the Volcanoes 4D/3N$1,194
The great Andean corridor known as the Avenue of the Volcanoes welcomes you to enjoy the indigenous culture and traditions, while the snow-capped mountains accompany us on this magical...