- A proud member of National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World in Ecuador, Mashpi Lodge is a cocoon in the clouds in the biodiverse Andean cloudforests northwest of Quito.
- Mashpi Lodge lies within a private reserve that protects a small piece of one of the world’s most important biodiversity hotspots for future generations and the enjoyment of sophisticated and inquisitive travellers to Ecuador.
- Mashpi Lodge is a nature lover’s delight. Set amid the 3,200-acre Mashpi Reserve, the property is surrounded by the Ecuadorian Choco rainforest. Hiking trails lead guests past gushing waterfalls, lush greenery and wild inhabitants, including hundreds of species of birds, butterflies, jungle frogs and even pumas.
- A hideaway in the forest only accessible to its privileged guests and located on a scenic plateau, the lodge features breathtaking views of the surrounding forested mountains right up close through its floor-to-ceiling panoramic glass windows.
- Mashpi Lodge is the perfect place for you to surround yourself with exquisite natural beauty and still your mind, care for your body and nourish your soul.
- Dining at Mashpi offers another form of exploration and delight: a discovery of the diverse regions of Ecuador through the fresh and local ingredients that are found in our gourmet dishes, all of them accompanied by exquisite wines and cocktails.
EXCLUSIVE LUXE VOYAGER VIP BENEFITS & BEST PRICE
We negotiate rates & benefits for our clients directly with the hotels’ senior management. Our rates match or in many cases are lower than the best online rate for the property. Our clients also enjoy a suite of extra VIP privileges and recognition while staying at a partner hotel.
- Complimentary room upgrade on arrival.
- Daily complimentary buffet breakfast for two.
- Up to $100 dining or spa credit per stay, and or in-house dining / spa discounts.
- Welcome amenities (wine/chocolates/fruit) and card from the GM.
- Complimentary private airport transfers.
- Complimentary roll-away bed if required.
- Early check-in and late check-out.
- Complimentary Wi-Fi.
- Enhanced recognition through VIP status at all touch points in the guest experience.
A complete or partial suite of VIP benefits will be offered, subject to the property T&C, including availability, category of room & length of stay.
The highlight of any trip to Mashpi is the Dragonfly – an exciting, open-air cable car system that carries you over, across and sometimes even directly through the forest canopy, offering guests a relaxing way to enjoy the reserve from overhead. The entire setup consists of two main stations, six towers (with an intermediate station that guests can get off at if they wish), and four gondolas. The gondolas are equidistant and separated by a distance of 500 meters/1,640 feet. Each gondola moves along the 2 km/1.24 mi length of cable at a low speed of 50 meters/160 feet per minute. The guides can stop the gondola at any point to allow for an extended observation of any flora and/or fauna that catches your eye. An entire circuit (roundtrip) takes about 40-minutes to complete. Gondolas can carry up to 4 guests (plus 1 guide).
Located close to the hotel, the Sky Bike 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 beautiful gorge above a river flowing between rocks and trees below. Silent, easy-to-use and fun, it’s an activity for children over 1 m high accompanied by an adult, providing guests with the chance to fly over the natural world close to the lodge and even spot its denizens. The ride takes 10 minutes or 20 round-trip.
One of the best ways to enjoy the beauty of Mashpi is from the observation tower. From here, we can appreciate a wonderful view of the canopy and the complex structure of the tropical forest, and on clear days we can see the lodge, the Reserve’s boundaries and a mosaic of forest, crops and little villages beyond. The tower is a metal structure with a staircase that rises about eight stories (26 m or 85 ft), ideal for the wildlife lovers. Species spotted from here include toucans, woodpeckers, barbets, tanagers and parrots, as well as birds of prey.
Located west of the lodge, the Life Centre was conceived as a place for learning and discovery, but also as a place where our guests can disconnect while they admire the scenery from the comfort of a chaise longue on the handsome wooden deck – a great place to spot birds, and hear the roar of mantled howler monkeys, too! Here we learn about the species of butterflies found in this region, observing the whole process of metamorphosis from eggs into beautiful butterflies. About 300 species of moths and butterflies have been identified to date in the Reserve, and our team has reproduced 50 of these to date. About a dozen can be seen in the centre itself. Most of the interpretation in the centre is provided by our guides or the employees from the local community involved in the project.
The forests of Mashpi boast 32 hummingbird species identified to date, inhabiting different specific altitudes, with around 19 species alone observable by guests in this garden. In order to make it easier to see these amazing creatures, we placed several hummingbird feeders and fruit feeders, in front a shelter with seating providing the ideal setting. Here, apart from hummingbirds, we can also frequently spot fruit feeder species such as toucans, tanagers, squirrels, etc. The site is located at a natural viewpoint, which, on clear days, provides breath-taking views of the Reserve’s forested hills. This is a paradise for photographers, regardless of your level of experience, as well as a place to calmly connect with birds and nature.
Trails throughout the Reserve cross various types of terrain, ranging from the earth and gravel of the main road, forest paths carpeted by leaves, wading through rivers, while some have been specially adapted to make walking easier and pleasant, using embedded recycled plastic crates to create steps and firm paths. This trail is named after one of the most curious plants in the reserve, the strangler fig. This seed plant, dispersed by birds, lowers its roots from the canopy into the ground around the host tree, and then slowly grows around it until it effectively smothers it. This trail is dominated by palms over 40 m high called pambiles or iron palm (Iriartea deltoidea).
This delightful trail starts near the staff house, a short walk from the lodge. It offers an excellent understanding of the regeneration process that forests undergo following deforestation. The first part of the trail was used for pasture just 15 years ago, and now it’s a beautiful young forest, dominated by pioneer species of Miconia tree. The trail ends in lovely mature forest before returning along the main path. On this trail we can put the story of Tarzan to the test. Vines are bridges connecting the forest canopy, and some are strong enough to hold the weight of a person. Halfway along this trail, we can take a swing on Mashpi’s very own Tarzan rope-vine – shouting like Tarzan optional!
This is a short and easy trail which we use mostly for night walks due to its richness in insects. It’s named after the luminous ‘fox fire’ fungus that occurs here. It’s a glow in the dark living experience!
This is the longest trail we have designed so far in the Reserve, covering more than 2 miles (3.5 km if the walk starts from the hotel) and connecting different attractions of the reserve. On this trail we can observe spots where the Club-wing Manakin birds gather to perform their courtship dances. These locations are known as leks. This trail also leads to a fork down to the Healing Waterfall (1.3 km), and finally to the Laguna River. We return wading and walking upstream in the river to the Magnolia trail and from there back to the lodge (2 hours 1.5 km).
This lagoon lies a short walk along the road from the hotel, where a waterfall and river form a beautiful pond. This is the ideal habitat for various species of frogs – rain frogs, glass frogs and tree frogs – as well as other fascinating species we might encounter. In this lagoon, our scientific investigation team was able to discover a new species for science: the Mashpi Torrenteer. Its Latin name is Hyloscirtus mashpi, which means guardian of the river.
Water is key to life in Mashpi, and there’s nothing like a refreshing dip full of nature´s energy at the end of a hike! The water temperature is between 18 and 20°C (64 and 68°F). Don’t forget your swimming suit if you want to swim! This medium-difficulty trail takes us on a magical walk through primary forest where many of the centenarian trees of the Reserve survived logging, with the copal tree (Dacryodes cupularis) being the most emblematic. It leads us down to a waterfall, whose rocks conjure an enchanting curtain of mist all around. The resin from this tree is used as an anaesthetic and for burning as incense; it’s also combustible.
Several rivers cross the Mashpi Reserve close to the hotel, many forming beautiful small waterfalls, cascades and pools. This trail drops down right from outside the lodge to the Laguna River below. It’s steep in parts, with a great viewing platform about half-way, and a beautiful waterfall and pool for bathing at the bottom – with an all-natural Jacuzzi! The waterfall and trail’s name come from the tallest in the Reserve, a new species of Magnolia (soon to be published) that grows abundantly in this area, the species is heavily logged outside the reserve for its valuable timber.
One of the most beautiful in the Reserve, but you have to be pretty fit to enjoy the hike there and back. The waterfall has an amazing setting, and what’s more, you can get round to the back of the chute of water to feel the energizing force – a special place to sit and meditate. The walk starts from the hotel and takes four hours there and back, covering 3 km (2 miles). There are several other options to reduce hiking time, including taking a vehicle part of the way, walking to the Sky Bike Station, crossing to the other side and walking the trail to the waterfall, or combining the walk with the Dragonfly on the return.
With its striking contemporary design and incredible ‘heart of the forest’ feel, Mashpi Lodge is a sophisticated and relaxing hideaway in the clouds, perfectly situated for exploring the incredible biodiversity of the Chocoan cloudforest. Mashpi Lodge, built with the latest techniques in sustainable building, has been designed to blend beautifully with its surroundings. It features contemporary, minimalist decor, mixing warm earth tones, notes of bright colour, clean lines and striking angles and vistas to form a luxury cocoon in the cloudforest. The setting provides an ideal place for contemplation and relaxation. Mashpi lodge has an intimate feel, and accommodates a maximum of 48 guests in luxurious rooms and suites, all with floor to ceiling windows that seem to interact directly with the verdant forest outside.
You wake up to a captivating view of tree 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 biological wonders at Mashpi Lodge will delight the most jaded nature lover. Perched at 900 metres 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. An incredible 500 species of bird, including 36 endemics, call the surrounding forest home, while monkeys, peccaries and even puma also inhabit the reserve. Mashpi is a great place to spot hummingbirds with 22 species present.
Mashpi has 24 rooms, spread out over three floors. All rooms, regardless of category, feature a floor-to-ceiling wall (or two) of glass windows, giving guests an up-close rainforest view day and night. It’s particularly entertaining to open the window and listen when wildlife like birds and frogs are feeling chatty, which, for the most part, is always. There are three Yaku Suites, one Wawa Room for single travellers, and 20 Wayra Rooms, the Lodge’s standard room equivalent, with either two full-sized beds or one king bed. Wayra rooms also have a spacious desk and sitting corner with a comfy chair. Bathrooms have only one sink, but the vanity is large enough for two. Showers boast rainfall-style shower heads. There are no bathtubs. All rooms feature filtered water and reusable water bottles.
The lodge’s three Yaku Suites (Yaku is a Kichwa word meaning “water”) are located on the first floor, at the lodge’s northwestern end. Each of the 46 square meter (495 square feet) suites features a large bathroom with twin washbasins and Philippe Starck-designed bathtubs that have a view into the forest. All of the Yaku Suites have king-size beds.
The 20 Wayra rooms (Wayra is a Kichwa word which means “wind”) all cover a generous 34 square meters (366 square feet). 13 Wayra Twin Rooms have two full-size beds, with three rooms located at the end of the northwestern wing (next to the outside terraces) and the rest along the southeastern wing. 7 Wayra King Rooms (of the 20 Wayras) 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 one with a king-size bed connected to a room with two full-size beds.
All meals are included and served, buffet style, in the dining room. Breakfast and lunch offer a multitude of both hot and cold selections ranging from breads, cheese, and eggs any style, to soups, sandwiches and fruit juices. Even picky eaters should find options here; fresh fruit, vegetables and salad options are particularly plentiful considering Mashpi’s remote location. At dinner, there is table service and guests select from a diverse menu of Ecuadorian cuisine that changes nightly. Main dishes range from the likes of Ecuadorian goat stew and smoked butternut and courgette risotto, to sirloin steak in black beer sauce. Sweets are plentiful at every meal. The well-stocked Explorers’ Bar offers more than a dozen signature cocktails in addition to beer and wine.
The Lodge’s towering Dining Room is two-stories high and serves as a spectacular space for a lively gourmet experience. Mashpi’s chefs draw inspiration from the diversity of Ecuador’s cuisine and ingredients, making the most of the Lodge’s location between the coast and the Andes and providing guests with the best of both worlds.
It’s the perfect spot to meet new friends before dinner or share a drink with your guide. The cocktail menu at our Bar has specifically been designed with Mashpi and its surrounding forest in mind. So come have a seat by the Bar and let your palate explore the wide and exotic array of cocktails that we offer, all of them prepared by our expert mixologists. After that, feel free to pair your dinner with any of the fine wines from our extensive wine list.
Along with a panoramic terrace ideal for birdwatching, there is a spa and hot tub. There’s no pool, but after spending your days swimming in waterfalls, you won’t miss it. There is an additional, more intimate terrace with lounge chair-seating nearby – a wonderful location for a morning yoga session.
SAMAY Wellness Center
The very name says it all. Our SAMAY (“soul” in native Kichwa) Wellness Center is a space where care is highly personalized and life itself is celebrated. We have designed our two wellness areas to blend perfectly with the lodge’s natural environment, offering experiences to help enrich your stay with us. The adjacent wellness area, which is accessible via a short path that winds through the lush foliage, offers great opportunities for viewing numerous species of birds, relaxing in the covered open-air hot tub or practicing your favourite asana on the welcoming yoga deck.
Two massage rooms await on the 2nd floor of the lodge for a wide variety of beauty and body treatments, including single or couples massages. All of these treatments are expertly executed by the hands of our talented spa staff.
Complement your journey with your practice. Our outdoor yoga deck provides a remarkable space for meditation and yoga that will leave you feeling restored, revived and inspired. Mats are available at the lodge.