A cocoon of luxury in the clouds, where contemporary design moves in harmony with nature.Get ready to encounter 500 species of birds, trees and frogs found nowhere else in the world, complete with crashing waterfalls and incredible flora. Trek down hidden paths, splash through rivers, rise at dawn to spot rare birds or fly high above it all aboard the Dragonfly canopy gondola.This sophisticated and strikingly-contemporary lodge is designed as the ideal springboard for exploring the biodiverse world of its reserve. A hideaway in the clouds only accessible to its guests and located on a high plateau, Mashi Lodge features views of the forested mountains on one side and the forest right up close on the other through its floor-to-ceiling glass windows.
Mashpi Reserve, a 1,200-hectare (3,000-acre) conservation property located within the Metropolitan District of Quito, forms a part of the Ecuadorian Choco rainforest, known as one of the world’s greatest biodiversity hotspots. The sudden shift in altitude from 2,800 to 1,000 meters (9,200 to 3,300 feet above sea level) will allow us to discover the spectacular natural diversity of the Andean landscape as
we travel through the dry valley of Pomasqui towards the cordillera’s western flank, into lush, misty cloud forest, and enter the magical world of Mashpi.
Our guests have the opportunity to live between 8 and 10 rainforest experiences on our most popular 3N/4D stay, as well as time to enjoy our wellness offerings. Your guides will recommend the best daily program for you and your group depending on your interests, your level of physical fitness and daily weather and trail conditions. Choose from our many trails and activities, including the following:
Two of the Lodge’s main trails are the Howler Monkey and Magnolia (named after an oak) trails. Both link up with the Tower #5 of the Dragonfly canopy gondola system. Along the trails, guests will learn more from both their Naturalist Guide and Local Guide about the myriad plants, insects and animals that inhabit this biodiverse universe. The guides will enthusiastically share their knowledge of their characteristics, behavior, and uses.
Due to Mashpi’s mountainous topography, trails are rarely flat. The Howler Monkey(mainly primary forest) and Magnolia (mainly secondary), although short – 2 kmand 700 m, respectively – are steep. The trails’ steepness is an advantage since the hillsides enable more light to penetrate the forest, thereby increasing the diversity of plants and animals that one can observe at each stratum. Both trails have been specially adapted to make walking easier, using embedded recycled plastic crates to create steps and firm paths. The way back uphill on both these trails can beaboard the Dragonfly, reached by wading through the shallow river in rubber boots, and walking the connecting trail to the Cotinga Tower.
A popular trail after completing the Sky Bike activity (see below) takes us toSan Vicente waterfall, a 45-minutes-to-an-hour steep hike that demands good physical condition. You can also hike the Oxibelis trail that takes us to a small waterfall before heading back to the lodge. The combination of activities (Sky Bike, observation tower and hike) can take between 2 to 4 hours, depending on the trail chosen.
The Copal Waterfall trail offers a beautiful 2-hour-long hike featuring a landscape of moss-covered trees, bromeliads and orchids at every corner. The trail ends ata spectacular waterfall over 50 m high. Water is key to life in Mashpi, and there’s nothing like a refreshing dip at the end of a walk. Several rivers cross the Mashpi Reserve close to the hotel, many forming beautiful small waterfalls, cascades and pools. The water temperature is between 18 and 20°C (64 and 68 °F).
If we really want to see the amazing canopy life, we need to get a birds’ eye view.Glide through the treetops at a relaxed pace and view the dense forest, interrupted by cascading waterfalls, from an air-born perspective. In 40 minutes, the Dragonfly takes us on a route covering 2 km (1.25 mi) and gives us the opportunity to appreciate the true immensity of the Reserve, contrasting delightfully with the discoveries of minute life forms that we achieve on walks through the dense forest below. Enjoy the Dragonfly on its own or combine it with other hikes and activities.
The Sky Bike provides another original and exciting way to explore the forest canopy up close. Designed for two people to use at once, one person pedals the bike along a cable stretched between two points in the forest, around 200 m (655 ft)apart, crossing a gorge above a river flowing between rocks and trees below. Silent, easy-to-use and fun, it’s an activity for children over 8 years-old accompanied by an adult, providing guests with another chance to observe the natural world close to the lodge and even spot its denizens. To enjoy the ride, one must be at least 1m tall (3.2 ft). The bike ride takes no more than 20 minutes.
Looming above the treetops, Mashpi’s observation tower allows our guests to enjoy the protected forest in all its glory. At 30 m (100 ft) above the ground, this is an ideal site for nature lovers, allowing us not only to appreciate the forest’s complex structure, but also the incredible species richness that thrives throughout the canopy (70% of the forest’s biodiversity is found here). We climb 162 steps to reach the top. Here, guests are able to enjoy an exciting bird’s-eye view and the dramatic panoramas. This is a metallic structure, with a staircase that climbs to about eight-stories high (26 m or 85 ft), ideal for wildlife observation, particular lyat dawn or dusk. Species that can be spotted here include toucans, woodpeckers, barbets, tanagers and parrots as well as raptors.
The forests of Mashpi boast 32 hummingbird species identified to date, inhabiting different specific altitudes, with around 19 species alone observable by guests.In order to make it easier to see these amazing creatures, a shelter with seating provides the ideal setting, with feeders for the birds strung from its roof.
The Mashpi forest is transformed at night, with far more activity visible than duringthe day. Optional night walks will head out from the hotel after dinner to discover its nocturnal creatures and their behavior. The species range from moths as big as your hand to miniature glass and tree frogs, croaking toads, birds, owls, rodents and mammals, and even fox fire, an Avatar-like luminous fungus.
Close to the lodge, the Life Centre is conceived as a place for learning and discovery, but also as a space for guests to disconnect, contemplate the views, sit in comfortable chairs, read a book, and enjoy a fresh cane juice.
Once at the Centre, guests will learn more about the butterflies that inhabit the region, being shown the process of these creatures from eggs to pupae to chrysalis to winged wonder. Some 200 species of butterfly have been identified to date in the Reserve, with nearly a dozen observable at the Centre. Other points of learning dozens of species of orchids, bromeliads and passion flowers all around the structure. We will also discover various species of host plants that butterflies use to lay their eggs, such as passion flowers, birds of paradise, milk weeds and other species found in the garden.
Close to the Centre, we have established an area for growing medicinal plants(ideal for a reviving herbal infusion) and beyond, many varieties of bushes and fruit trees, including banana and plantain, manioc, cacao, tobacco, coffee, breadfruit, and heart of palm. These attract all sorts of wildlife, from birds to rodents to mammals – making for easier observation from the comfort of the Centre’s expansive wooden deck. Guests will find ingredients from these gardens in the dishes prepared back at the lodge.
Each evening, at 7:30 p.m., our Naturalist Guides or resident biologist share the wonders of the Mashpi with our guests. Learn about ongoing research projects, conservation initiatives, natural history of the region and much, much more.
|3 Nights||4 Nights|
Suggested Gratuity: $30.00 per guest per day for guides and staff combined.
Dragonfly ($24 children or $48 adults).
Please inquire for a quote at the time of booking. Private transfer from your hotel to the Lodge – the rate varies depending on the total number of requests, Private guide while at MASHPI Lodge $147 per day (max 6 guests) Holiday supplement for Christmas and New Year’s Eve dinner celebration.
FIT bookings: Reservations from 1 to 4 rooms Cancellations: 30 days prior to the arrival date (90 days for Dec 20-10 Jan and Easter).
Groups Reservations of 5 or more rooms.
Cancellations: 60 days prior to the arrival date, 90 days for holidays.
Add on a stay in Mashpi to your Galapagos small ship cruise by contacting our team. If you have yet to reserve a cruise tour, please take a look at all of our different options and reach out to us with any questions you may have.