Three hours’ drive northwest of Quito, Ecaudor’s capital, is a very special kind of paradise. Mashpi Lodge is located amidst 1,300 hectares of rainforest and cloudforest biodiversity reserve, the perfect base from which to explore the area’s incredible environment and wildlife. The area is regarded as one of the world’s most important biodiversity hot spots and is home to virtually thousands of plant species (many endemic to the region), more than 500 species of birds, tens of thousands of insects, countless rodent species, monkeys, peccaries, ocelots and even puma, to name a few.
The sustainable, strikingly contemporary lodge accommodation offers 22 luxurious rooms each with cinematic views of the surrounding forest, a dramatic two-storey dining room, panoramic terrace (for early morning bird watching), lecture space and wellness centre. The rooms are arranged over three floors, all designed with floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall glass windows, some on two sides, with the forest just a few short metres away.
Activities to experience while staying at Mashpi include hiking to waterfall pools, visiting the butterfly and hummingbird gardens, viewing the rainforest canopy from a 30 metre high observatory tower, early morning bird watching, evening lectures and night walks. Not to be missed is a ride on the Sky Bike, a machine of the lodge’s own invention that sees travellers suspended by a 200-metre-long cable over a 60 meter ravine, offering an entirely new perspective of the surrounding rainforest.