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Ecuador Cloud Forest Hotels Mashpi Lodge
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Mashpi Lodge - 2 Nights Itinerary

The adventure starts at 8:00 a.m., when you will be picked up from one of the main hotels in Ecuador’s capital city. Traveling 110 Km (70 miles) from Quito, after three hours of driving along and down the western slope of the Andes, you will reach the Mashpi Lodge – a destination where nature meets luxury. This boutique hotel is designed in glass and set within a steel framework to give guests a front-row seat to one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet. Staying here during this 3-day/2-night retreat in the Ecuadorian cloud forest, you might catch sight of a howler monkey while you're soaking in the indoor Jacuzzi, or wake up to the flitting of a Velvet-purple coronet just outside your window. Activities here include forest and waterfall treks, a visit to the lodge’s Life Center, climbing an eight-story observation tower, riding the exhilarating aerial "Sky Bike," early morning bird watching, and simply kicking back to enjoy this heavenly retreat where the clouds meet the earth.

Testimonials

“We had an absolutely amazing trip! Surtrek coordinated a Galapagos Cruise on the Natural Paradise yacht and then a stay at the Napo Wildlife Center. Everything was beyond our expectations!! I highly recommend Surtrek.”Janda Terese Stevens

Mashpi Lodge: Highlights

Cloud Forest Reserve, Hike, Birdwatching, Sky Bike, Observation Tower

Mashpi Lodge: Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: Arrival – Napa Trail – Evening Presentation – Night Hike
Day 2: Early Bird Watching – Sky Bike – Observation Tower – Howler Monkeys Trail – Life Center – Night Hike
Day 3: Early Bird Watching – Copal Waterfall Hike – Departure
South America Map

Mashpi Lodge: Detailed Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival – Napa Trail – Evening Presentation – Night Hike

After having comfortably settled in your room after the 12:00 p.m. check-in time, you will be greeted at 2:30 p.m.  by one of the lodge’s naturalists, who will give you an introductory talk about the cloud forest and its conservation, the planned activities during your stay, and some helpful tips about what to wear and what to take on the excursions.

At 3:30, we will head out on the Napa Trail, which cuts through areas where the forest is regenerating large patches of pristine forest. Because of this, the trail is ideal for demonstrating ecological processes and for explaining the importance of forest conservation for the surrounding Choco region. This trail also possesses great scenic beauty and is good for bird watching. 

Later this evening, for those guests interested in learning more about cloud forest ecology, a presentation will be given by one of the lodge’s naturalists or its resident biologist. Topics include “the Secret Mashpi Wildlife,” “The Trap Camera Project,” and “Choco as a Biological Hotspot.”

As the sun starts to go down, the cloud forest begins to transform. The sounds of croaking frogs, the calls of night birds, and the incessant buzz of insects intensifies. And if you turn off your flashlight, you’ll discover sparkling fireflies and sense bats fluttering by. Looking carefully on the ground, all around you’ll also see the faint glow of bioluminescent fungi (foxfire or fairy fire). Continuing this nighttime safari, you’re likely to hear rustling in the branches above as raccoon-like “kinkajous” scramble though the trees in search of fruit. Following this intriguing excursion, we will return to the lodge to enjoy a delicious dinner.

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Lunch - Dinner
Day 2
Early Bird Watching – Sky Bike – Observation Tower – Howler Monkeys Trail – Life Center – Night Hike

Just before the break of dawn, the cloud forest becomes filled with the sound of thousands of birds in search of food. So, for those “early bird” travelers wanting to experience this daily event, they can do so from the lodge’s terrace. Guides will share their skill in handling the telescope to reveal this incredible diversity of bird species and the essential beauty of the cloud forest. Accompanied by a cup of hot chocolate, coffee or tea, this activity begins at 6:30 and last an hour, after which time you can enjoy a full breakfast.

We will then depart at around 8:30 for the "Sky Bike" and the Observation Tower, which are only a 15-minute walk from the lodge. The Sky Bike allows you to explore the forest canopy up close by pedaling this aerial bike along a cable stretched between two points in the forest, around 200 meters (655 feet) apart. Later, you will be able to appreciate even more of this protected forest from Mashpi´s observation tower that rises above the treetops. Reaching a height of 30 meters (100 feet), this is the ideal place for nature lovers to view the complex structure of the forest as well as the incredible richness of species that inhabit the treetops. Visitors have to climb 162 steps to reach the top of this tower – but the striking views are well worth the effort.

Upon your return to the lodge, staff members will be waiting for you with fresh towels and a refreshing natural juice. You can then enjoy a varied and delicious lunch at the lodge’s restaurant.

After eating and relaxing for a bit, we will head out on the Howler Monkey Trail, which goes through an ancient forest where many age-old still trees survive, with the “copal” tree being the most well-known. While hiking along this trail, the local guide will point out whatever wildlife might appear – from colorful birds to elusive howler monkeys. Also during this trek, the guide will explain the ecology the forest and discuss conservation efforts being made to protect it.

This hike will lead you to the lodge’s Life Center, a place where you can learn even more about plants and wildlife that inhabit this region.  At the center, you will find out more about the butterflies of the area by being shown the growth process of these creatures from eggs to larva or caterpillar to chrysalis to winged wonders. But in addition to being a site for learning and discovery, the center is also a place where visitors can disconnect by contemplating the views from the expansive wooden deck. You will also have a chance to visit a garden close to the center where you will find many varieties of bushes and fruit trees, including banana and plantain trees, manioc, cacao, hot chili peppers, coffee and wild raspberries. 

As the sun starts to go down, the cloud forest begins to transform. The sounds of croaking nocturnal frogs, the calls of night birds and the incessant buzz of insects intensifies. And if you turn off your flashlight, you’ll discover sparkling fireflies and sense bats fluttering by. Looking carefully on the ground, all around you’ll also see the faint glow of bioluminescent fungi (foxfire or fairy fire). Continuing this nighttime safari, you’re likely to hear rustling in the branches above as raccoon-like “kinkajous” scramble though the trees in search of fruit. Following this intriguing excursion, we will return to the lodge to enjoy a delicious dinner.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 3
Early Bird Watching – Copal Waterfall Hike – Departure

This morning’s first activity starts at 6:30 a.m., taking advantage of the fact that many species of birds come near the hotel to feed on the moths that are attracted to the lights. From there, we will walk down the road looking for feeding flocks of insectivorous birds of different species. Forming a single flock, you may see over 20 different species of birds, making this encounter a jackpot for true bird watchers. Accompanied by a cup of hot chocolate, coffee or tea, this activity lasts an hour, after which time you can enjoy a full breakfast. Following your meal, you can begin packing up for your 11:00 a.m. checkout, and by 11:30 you will begin the scenic ride back to one of the principal hotels Quito. On the drive, you will be provided with a box lunch before arriving in the capital city at around 2:30 p.m. 

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Breakfast - Lunch

Mashpi Lodge: Prices

2018 - Price per person
Days
Double
Yaku SuitesWayra Room
3US$ 2,662US$ 2,196
Included in the price:
  • Transfer (Quito - Mashpi – Quito) via shared service
  • Accommodations
  • Meals during your stay at the lodge
  • Soft drinks (unlimited)
  • Unlimited Internet
  • Activities within the reserve with specialized guides (including walks, the aerial bicycle, the Life Center, the hummingbird garden, observation tower, waterfalls, night hikes
  • Use of rubber boots and raincoats
Not included in the price:
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Tips
  • Personal expenses
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