Mashpi Rainforest Biodiversity Reserve in
Enter the Realm of the Rainforest
Mashpi Lodge aims to bring this future age to today’s travellers, by using an innovative canopy gondola.
This aerial tram quietly and safely carries six guests with a naturalist guide along a 2-kilometre-long (1.2-mile) rail. The gondolas glide amid the understory of the forest, one of the least-explored and leastknown biomes in the world, and where most of the exciting life in the rainforest takes place. The gondolas enable visitors to enjoy an unparalleled extended exploration.
The network of trails through the Reserve is designed around the gondola’s route, so guests can trek through the forest downhill, have a picnic lunch, and then board the gondola to return in comfort to the base station – a short walk from the lodge. Within the reserve’s mountainous topography, it’s the ideal way to travel.
The Fascinating World…
The forest ecosystem of Mashpi hosts hundreds bird species, possibly thousands of orchid species, tens of thousands of insect species, as well as monkeys, peccaries and even puma. The camera traps installed and the field work carried out by our team of on-site biologists have produced many exciting sightings since the project’s inception.
Enter this realm and one’s eye soon spots flitting colourful wings, such as the amazing, electric-blue Morpho butterfly. These can be observed at the butterfly exhibition centre, where at night, one can also enjoy the amazing nocturnal show of dozens of multi-hued moths. The rivers and rivulets, waterfalls and hilly terrain around Mashpi make perfect habitats for dozens of species of amphibians, with new and very rare individuals discovered to date. They come in all sorts of marvellous and eye-catching forms, and all sorts of sizes, from the tiny to the titan, including beautiful, other-worldly glass frogs. These are just some of the mysteries and delights that await in the forest.
Discover the world of birds
Mashpi rewards the curious with sightings of amazing avian species. Take hummingbirds: these unfailingly busy flying machines buzz from flower to flower at speeds of up to 115 kilometres per hour (70 miles per hour), their wings flapping at up to 80 beats per second. An incredible sight!
And then there are flocks of chattering parrots to spot, or sightings of multihued toucans up in the canopy… In this small region northwest of Quito, you can spot an estimated – and staggering – 500 species (about half the total for all of Europe, and a third of all of the five-country Amazon Basin), including some 36 endemics – birds found here and absolutely nowhere else.
The environment around Mashpi Lodge provides ideal conditions for what are commonly called ‘air plants’ because they do not root in soil, but rather grow on living plants. The most beautiful of these plants are orchids, bromeliads and gesnerias, ‘the violet of the Tropics’.
Ecuador is home to 4,000 known orchid species – a thousand of them discovered in the past 12 years alone – more than any other country in the world, despite its small size. Within the Reserve, natural gardens and trails will allow you to explore the amazing variety and beauty of these most beguiling of plants.
Guided Nature Walks
As one enters the realm of the rainforests, one becomes aware of Life at every step: mushrooms and “fox fire” fungi below, tree trunks festooned withliverworts, lichens and mosses, giant ferns reaching up to the light above, swirling mists and clouds of moisture.
And then, from nowhere, comes the sound of rushing water, a waterfall amid this glistening, green world, where senses are revived and new perspectives gained.
The trails are designed in combination with the canopy gondola, creating a complete vision and understanding of the various life-zones and types of forest within the Reserve.
Trained local guides and expert naturalists explore this world with guests, bringing the reserve’s riches to life through their explanations of its flora and fauna’s behaviours, adaptations and medicinal uses. Exciting guided night walks through the reserve reveal an altogether different side of the magic of the rainforest: true nocturnal safari adventures.
Lectures by the team of naturalist guides are part of everyday activities, allowing guests a more in-depth understanding of the ecosystem and the science at work within the Reserve.
The Lodge: a Contemporary Hideaway
Mashpi Lodge was designed as a private getaway, the ideal springboard for exploring the biodiverse world of its Reserve.
It combines the highest standards of comfort, service and cuisine that today’s most discerning travellers expect. Located on a plateau, the Lodge’s architecture allows guests breathtaking views of the forest from nearly every angle. Built of glass and steel with the latest techniques in sustainable building and powered by hydroelectricity in the near future, it blends mimetically and beautifully with its surroundings: the forest is at-once incredibly close yet comfortably at a distance.
The Lodge features contemporary design and décor, mixing warm earth tones and clean lines: a cosy cocoon amid the forest. Its ample public areas, lounges, dining room, massage room and Jacuzzi are all perfect for contemplation and relaxation, with huge picture windows making guests feel part of their surroundings, where, at night, the only lights are the dance of myriad fireflies. The Lodge is intimate, accommodating a maximum of 44 guests in 22 ample rooms, three of which are suites. For those travelling with friends or family, connecting rooms are available.
22 total rooms – 44 guests
· 3 Yaku suites of 37-square metre (400-sq ft), each with private Jacuzzi, all with king-size beds.
· 15 Wayra rooms of 34 sq m (366 sq ft), each with two full-size beds.
· 4 Wayra rooms of 34 sq m (366 sq ft), each with a kingsize bed.
Three pairs of inter-connecting Wayra rooms: each with a king-size bed connected with two full-size beds.
• Full-size bed dimensions: 135cm x 200cm
• King-size bed dimensions: 200cm x 200cm
• Suites have bathtubs and Jacuzzi; rooms have showers
• Luxury bathroom amenities
• International telephone IDD
• Air conditioning and heating
• In-room safety deposit box
Services & Facilities
• Rubber boots, rain ponchos and binoculars supplied
• Massage and treatment room
• Laundry service
• Terrace café-bar
• Reading/briefings room with extensive collection of books and videos on the natural world
• Internet centre
• WiFi throughout
• Dining room
• Non-smoking hotel
• Emergency electricity generator
• Water-sprinkler system
• Electronic room keys
• Fire prevention and precaution systems
• Closed circuit surveillance and security guards
• Lounge with flat screen TV
• Cable TV with over 90 national and international channels
• Electricity: 110 volts (220 volts in certain areas only)