Mashpi Lodge: The Experience

Located in Chocó Rain Forest, Ecuador

The mission at Mashpi is discovering and understanding the rare biodiversity that surrounds the lodge, and to do so, guests typically enjoy several different activities or guided excursions a day. The lodge provides rubber boots for walks, and the muddy paths (it is a rain forest, after all) are laid with some 7,000 recycled beverage crates to make them less slippery and reduce erosion on the trail.

See our sample itinerary describing how you would experience this lodge during a 4-day stay.

Things to Do

The following experiences are included in the cost of your stay.

Birding

Sunrise bird-watching sessions take place on the rooftop terrace, with coffee and breakfast cookies served.

Expert-led Nature Walks

Follow a scientist or a local naturalist on a trek to the forest, spotting unusual flora and fauna along the way.

Wildlife Observation

An 85-foot observation tower offers a bird’s-eye view of the forest—and a chance to spot toucans, woodpeckers, barbets, tanagers, and parrots. The area is also home to 36 hummingbird species, many of which can be observed at a natural viewpoint on the lodge grounds.

Swimming

Numerous rivers on the reserve fill the forest with hidden waterfalls and natural pools perfect for a refreshing dip.

Night Walks

The jungle transforms into a magical world after dark as many of its creatures are nocturnal. Night walks may reveal miniature glass and tree frogs, owls, bioluminescent fungi, and countless other species.

Sky Bike

This is perhaps one of the only places in the world where you can pedal your way through the forest canopy: the innovative two-person Sky Bike moves by pedal power along a cable, crossing over beautiful scenery and bringing guests up close to a part of the forest rarely examined. Silent, easy-to-use, and fun, it’s a great activity for children over eight years old accompanied by an adult.

Life Centre

Set off from the main lodge, the Life Centre is part research station, part vivarium, and part tranquil retreat. Naturalists are on hand to interpret local flora and fauna, including a dozen butterfly species, orchids, bromeliads, and passionflowers all found within the center. In the adjacent gardens, medicinal plants, vegetables, and fruit trees draw wildlife of all kinds, easily visible from the terrace. Guests often come here to disconnect, read a book, or watch for wildlife while sipping fresh cane juice.

Dragonfly Canopy Gondola

Glide through the treetops on the Dragonfly, an innovative canopy gondola. Travel more than a mile through the cloud forest with resident naturalists, who help identify the sights and sounds of the surrounding wilderness. Take the two-hour round-trip ride, or opt to disembark at a point along the route for a hike along the riverbed.

Food and Drink

Dining is an awe-inspiring endeavor at Mashpi’s restaurant, where the windows soar to two stories and the jungle is constantly on display. The chefs draw from international and Ecuadorian cuisines, using herbs, spices, and fruits of the surrounding forest to concoct dishes that are innovative, inspired, and delectable. A full bar offers specialty fruit cocktails and natural energy drinks, as well as a curated wine list that showcases Chilean and Argentinian vintages.

The Spa

The Wellness Space features a large indoor Jacuzzi framed by wooden panels and open to the breezes and sounds of the forest. An array of massages and spa treatments are available using locally sourced natural ingredients such as earth, stones, herbs, and therapeutic plants.

Other ways to visit this lodge

  • Customize a Trip

    Want to plan the trip of your dreams? Create a custom trip around this lodge.

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  • Private Expeditions

    See a specially crafted National Geographic itinerary including this lodge.

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