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 Mashpi Lodge - "An Encounter with the Extraordinary"
2016 Rates  Per room per night
Mashpi Lodge Programs Yaku Suites Wayra Room
Twin / Double $1824 $1523
Single $1824 $1523
Children under 12
One per paying adult
$456 $381

Rate includes transportation from Quito and back, all meals and accommodation, guided activities and a visit to the Tulipe Archaeological Complex on the way in and lunch at El Crater Restaurant on Pululahua crater rim on the way back. All rates are in US dollars and subject to change at any time. Itineraries are subject to change at any time for any reason. For Christmas and New Year's Eve dinners add $50.

 

The Lodge

Mashpi Lodge - Cloud Forest - Ecuador

A Luxury Cocoon
in the Clouds

The sophisticated and strikingly-contemporary lodge is designed as the ideal springboard for exploring the biodiverse world of its private reserve.

A hideaway in the clouds only accessible to its guests and located on a high plateau, Mashpi 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.

The Lodge, built with the latest techniques in sustainable building and employing hydroelectric power in the near future, is designed to blend beautifully with its surroundings.

Map showing location of Mashpi Lodge from Quito, Ecuador

Mashpi Lodge It features contemporary, minimalist decor, mixing warm earth tones, notes of bright colour, clean lines and striking angles and vistas: a luxury cocoon amid the cloudforest with the natural world just beyond, ideal for contemplation and relaxation. Mashpi Lodge is intimate, accommodating a maximum of 44 guests in 22 understated yet luxurious rooms, including 3 "Yaku" suites and 19 "Wayra" rooms.
Mashpi Lodge in the Ecuadorian Cloudforest

At the lodge’s northwestern corner, a beautiful outside terrace with a pergola roof extends, with tables and seating, with another more intimate terrace with lounge chair-seating nearby – a wonderful location for a morning yoga session. Nooks with picture windows and lounge chairs also invite nature into the Lodge at every opportunity.

 

Reading and Learning Area On the first floor, the Reading and Learning Area, with an extensive collection of books on the country, is used by guides and the resident biologist for talks and presentations, deepening knowledge about the forest and its denizens. Close-by, the small boutique sells a range of books, guides, clothing and crafts, as well as essentials for guests, and there’s a computer with internet access. WiFi is available throughout the lodge.
Wellness space The Wellness Space features a Jacuzzi framed by eye-catching carved wooden panels, open to the breezes and sounds of the forest, perfect for relaxing after hikes, while specialized massages and treatments using natural local ingredients such as earth, stones, herbs and leaves from the Reserve are given in an adjoining room, leaving guests refreshed and revived.

Rooms & Suites

Mashpi lodge is designed to completely immerse you in the cloudforest, while keeping its creatures safely at bay – a luxury cocoon amid the clouds and tumbling mountains. The rooms, arranged over three floors, all face north, with floor-to-ceiling glass windows, some on two sides, with the forest just a few meters away. You wake up to a captivating view awash with greens and browns, with trunks, branches, vines, leaves, birds and clouds all around. It's a bit like being in a capsule, observing life beyond from the comfort of your bed. Open the window, and the sounds of bird and frog calls wash over you. The rooms' lighting is subdued, hidden LED lights running along the handsome wooden bedheads providing a magical touch.

All suites and rooms include: Closets with safe deposit boxes, Bathrooms with luxury amenities and hairdryers, Desks, chairs and furniture, Bathrobes and slippers.

Yaku Suites..

Yaku Suites

The lodge’s three Yaku suites extend over an expansive 37 square metres (400 sq ft). They are located on the first floor, at the lodge’s northwestern end. Each features a large bathroom with twin washbasins and a Philippe Starck-designed bathtub-with-a-view. All of them have king-size beds, stylish easy-chairs and coffee tables, designer rugs, desks and lamps.

Wayra Rooms...

Wayra Rooms

The 19 Wayra rooms all cover a generous 34 sq m (366 sq ft). Fifteen Wayras have two full-size beds, three rooms located at the end of the northwestern wing (next to the outside terraces) and the rest along the southeastern wing. Four of the 19 feature king-size beds. For families or groups of friends, three pairs of Wayra rooms inter-connect, two pairs on the second floor and one pair on the ground floor, each with a king-size bed connected with two full-size beds.

Fine Dining in the Forest...

Fine Dining

The Lodge's towering, two-story Dining Room offers a dramatic setting for a lively gourmet experience. Here, Mashpi's chefs draw from the diversity of Ecuadorian cuisine and ingredients, making the most of its location between the coast and the Andes: the best of both worlds.

Dishes are conjured with herbs, spices and plants from the surrounding rainforest, as well as from delicious regional ingredients such as a vast array of tropical and temperate fruits (think papaya, watermelon, pineapple, mango, naranjilla, guanabana, blackberry, apple, peaches...) and palm heart, coffee, manioc, chocolate and plantain.

A full bar offers specialty fruit cocktails and natural energetic drinks. A carefully-selected wine list features mainly Chilean and Argentinean vintages.

Chocolate-tasting with single-source, organic Ecuadorian chocolate is a feature of Mashpi's gourmet experience.

Exploring the Reserve

The wonders waiting at Mashpi Lodge will delight the worldliest nature lover. Perched at 900 m (3,116 feet) above sea level and surrounded by lower montane rainforest and cloudforest, the Lodge is surrounded by a profusion of plant species, from ferns and bromeliads to hundreds of orchid species, many newly-discovered. A staggering 500 species of bird – including some 36 endemics - are estimated to inhabit the forest, fluttering through the canopy. Monkeys, peccaries and even puma make their homes inside the Reserve crisscrossed with waterfalls between dramatic, verdant hills.

Canopy Gondola Adventure...

Maspi Lodge Gondola

The highlight of anyone's trip to Mashpi is the 'canopy gondola', or aerial tram. The two gondolas on the system will glide guests through and above the forest canopy on an exciting exploration of the Reserve's ecosystem. The gondola cable system extends over 2 km (1.25 miles) between two end/boarding stations, with one tower in the middle for possible embarking and disembarking.

On the way out, it will travel dramatically above the trees' upper canopy and on the way back through the forest understory, at a very slow pace. Each way takes about 30 minutes to complete. The canopy gondola's route enables guests to explore different areas of the Reserve as well as appreciating the trees' ecosystem from root to tip, creating a complete vision of the various life-zones and types of forest within the Reserve. The first time guests board the system, they will enjoy a round-trip journey of discovery, taking around two and a half hours in all to complete. The system can then also be used by guests to combine hikes of varying difficulty with travel by gondola. On return journeys following a hike, if the other gondola is empty, guides can stop if the group spots a creature in the forest, enabling exciting, prolonged observation of plant and animal life. The gondola carries six guests, plus their Naturalist Guide. It is roofed, with rotating seats, safety rails and places to hang day-packs. The gondola will ready for guests at the end of September.

Nature Trails...

As you enter the realm of the rainforests, you will become aware of Life at every step: mushrooms and "fox fire" fungi below, tree trunks festooned with orchids, lichens and mosses, giant ferns reaching up to the light above, coiling vines, swirling mists and clouds of moisture. And then, from nowhere, comes the sound of rushing water, a waterfall amid this glistening, green world, where you can wade through rivers, walk along their banks, revive your senses...

Mashpi Lodge birding

The two main trails are the Howler Monkey and Cucharillo (named after an oak). Both link up with the Cotinga Tower of the 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, behaviour and uses. Due to Mashpi's mountainous topography, trails are rarely flat. The Howler Monkey (mainly primary forest) and Cucharillo (mainly secondary), although short – 2 km and 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 be aboard the gondola, reached by wading through the shallow river in rubber boots, and walking the connecting trail to the Cotinga Tower.

Life Center...
Mashpi Lodge Butterfly Breeding

Close to the lodge, the centre is conceived as a place for learning and discovery, but also where guests can disconnect, where they can contemplate the views, lie back in a hammock, read a book, enjoy a fresh fruit juice or a brew of locally-grown coffee. 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 include various species of frogs and toads inside glass terrariums, as well as dozens of species of orchids, bromeliads and passion flowers all around the structure. 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, coca, bread fruit 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. Most of the interpretation at the centre will be imparted by local guides or people involved with the project from local communities. Guests will find ingredients from these gardens in the dishes prepared at the restaurant.

 

Night Walks...

The Mashpi forest is transformed at night, with far more activity than during the day. Optional night walks will head out from the hotel after dinner to discover its nocturnal creatures and their behaviours, ranging 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. It's a magical world, often astounding at the micro level, and seldom explored, ready to be discovered in expert company.

Observation Tower...

Mashpi Lodge Observation Tower

There are few easier or better ways to appreciate the beauty of the Mashpi Reserve forest and hills than climbing the Observation Tower. Here, guests are able to enjoy an exciting bird's-eye view and the dramatic panoramas that surround the lodge from the observation tower. This is a metallic structure, with a staircase that climbs to about eight-stories high (26 m or 85 ft), ideal for wildlife observation, particularly at dawn or dusk. Species that can be spotted here include toucans, woodpeckers, barbets, tanagers and parrots as well as raptors. Several towers are planned within the Reserve. The first lies a 10-minute walk from the lodge.

 

 

Aerial Bicycle...

Mashpi Lodge Aerial Bicycle

Located close to the hotel, the aerial bicycle makes for an 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 feet) 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. Several bicycles are planned in the Reserve.

 

 

Hummingbird Viewpoint...

The forests of Mashpi boast 22 hummingbird species identified to date, inhabiting different specific altitudes, with around 16 species alone observable by guests. In order to make it easier to see these amazing creatures, a shelter with seating provides the ideal setting, feeders for the birds strung from its roof. The site is located at a natural viewpoint, which, on clear days, provides breathtaking views of the Reserve's forested hills.

Refreshing Waterfalls...

Mashpi Lodge Waterfalls

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).

 

 

Leks...

Mashpi Lodge Cock-of-the-Rock Lek

Leks are places where certain bird species gather to take part in fascinating and often elaborate displays to seduce females. One has to imagine them like the bird equivalent of a youth-club disco. Males, often brightly coloured, engage in vocal, mechanic and choreographic "performances". They provide an incredible opportunity for us to view certain species, capitalising on their regular schedules which allow us not only to know where but when they will display. We have found four leks to date: two of the Long-Wattled Umbrellabird, (Cephalopterus Penduliger), one of the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock (Rupicola peruviana) and one of the Club-Winged Manakin (Machaeropterus deliciosus). These leks can be visited but require very early starts in some cases and long walks in others.

Specialist Activities...

Mashpi is an exciting place for photography and botany (particularly orchids) in general. Special interests can be accommodated upon request.

Transport within the Reserve...

Electrically-powered buggies are employed within the Reserve to carry those guests who wish to use them from one sight or attraction to the next, thus reducing the impact on the forest and its creatures.

Combine with a luxury Galapagos cruise...

 

 

Reservations

Gate of the Sun © Inti Travel and Tours, Box 1586, Banff, Alberta, Canada, T1L 1B5
Phone 1-403-760-3565 / Fax 1-403-760-3566