3 DAYS / 2 NIGHTS
Combine your experience at Galapagos Safari Camp with a two-night stay at the sophisticated and strikingly-contemporary Mashpi Lodge; designed as the ideal springboard for exploring the biodiverse world of its 3,000-acre 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 nearby forest on the other through its floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Some of the residents of the reserve are different types of monkeys, reptiles, and 500 species of birds.
- from $1,932 per person
Sample Itinerary: In Brief
The below sample itinerary is just that, a sample. We are happy to change the order of activities and add days depending on your needs and interests as much as we can — just get in touch!
- Type of activity:
- LAND EXPERIENCE
- SEA JOURNEY
- DAY 1MASHPI LODGE Transfer from Quito with a stop at the archaeological ruins of Tulipe before arriving at the lodge for lunch.
- DAY 2EXPLORING THE CLOUD FOREST Explore the cloud forest with a naturalist guide.
- DAY 3MASHPI LODGE AND BACK TO QUITO Hike to Copal waterfall before lunch and transport back to Quito.
Full Sample Itinerary
All the programs at Sacha are tailor-made and can be customised to meet your needs, fitness levels and interests.
- Type of activity:
- LAND EXPERIENCE
- SEA JOURNEY
- DAY 1 MASHPI LODGE Drive three hours privately from Quito (110 Km, 70 miles), into the evergreen wilds of the Andes’ western slope. En route, discover the spectacular natural diversity of the Andean landscape.
Once settled in and depending on your arrival time, you will meet your naturalist guide, followed by a delicious lunch or dinner in the lodge’s two-story dining room. The chefs at Mashpi Lodge serve innovative dishes created with care, using locally grown and sourced ingredients. The seasonal menu includes different kinds of ceviche, fresh seafood, and tender beef and chicken dishes. To finish the day, you are welcome to join a night walk to get acquainted with the area`s flora and fauna.
- DAY 2 EXPLORING THE CLOUD FOREST As a guest of the lodge, there are exciting activities to choose from for the morning and afternoon; the first starting after breakfast and returning for lunch. The afternoon’s outing begins after a siesta and returns in time for dinner. The following guide is a breakdown of where the day can take you.
For a rundown of available activities, take a look at the guide below. Canopy Gondola Air Tram
The highlight of any trip to Mashpi is the canopy gondola or air tram. Four gondolas take guests through and above the canopy, actively exploring the Reserve. The air tram consists of two stations; the gondolas travel 2000 meters over the green and verdant canopy. The 40-minute journey takes you over the Rio Laguna River and valleys. The changing terrain and the far stretching views sheds new light on the diversity of the reserve. The entire network is designed to combine trail hikes with a gondola ride; guests can choose to walk along the river and through the hills and valleys back to the lodge.
Located near the lodge, the Life Center is a place to learn, discover, and reconnect with nature. An expansive wooden deck is the perfect place to relax in a comfortable chair while taking in the surrounding wildlife and scenery. Part of your visit to the Life Center revolves around the butterflies of Mashpi. You witness the process of metamorphosis, starting with eggs through to the final stage where beautiful butterflies emerge from cocoons. About 200 species of butterflies have been identified to date in the reserve, and about a dozen can be seen in the center. In the center, we have a small orchard of medicinal and ornamental plants and many varieties of shrubs and fruit trees; including banana and plantain, cassava, and cocoa. These attract a variety of wildlife, from birds to mammals – seen from the large wooden deck. Your local and naturalist guides, including people from the nearby community involved in the project, provide most of the interpretation for the center. Mashpi’s kitchen uses many of the ingredients from the center’s gardens in the dishes served in the restaurant.
Within the reserve there are 11 trails for nature walks accompanied by a local and bilingual naturalist guide. Together, they teach guests about the different plants, insects and animals of the reserve’s biodiverse forest. The guides also act as stewards of the land, responsible for both your safely and the conservation and protection of the reserve. The trails of the Mashpi Reserve can be challenging in the steeper sections, but recycled crates form steps that make traversing the hills and valleys easier. The slopes allow for more light to reach the different strata of the forest, increasing the diversity of plants and animals that can be observed around every turn. The trails are on average between 1.50 and 2 meters wide.
One of the best ways to enjoy the beauty of Mashpi is from the high reaches of the observation tower. From here, you have a panoramic view of the canopy and the complex eco-system of the dense forest below. On a clear day you can see the Imbibe lodge within the forest. The metal tower’s staircase rises about eight floors to an observation deck (26 m). The species that frequent the area’s treetops include toucans, woodpeckers, tanagers, parrots, and birds of prey.
The Mashpi forest is alive with a flurry of activity after the sun sets. Hosted night walks before or after dinner reveal the nocturnal creatures of the reserve and explore their behaviors. Discover insects of all sizes, glass frogs, tree frogs, and nocturnal birds and mammals amidst the glowing bioluminescence of mushrooms along the path. It’s a magical world, shown to you by experts and local guides who know the lay of the land.
Located near the hotel, the Sky bike is an original and exciting way to explore the forest canopy. You pedal the bike to move it along a 200 meter cable; crossing a ravine and a river flowing between rocks and trees. Quiet, easy to use, and fun, this is an activity for everyone; giving guests the opportunity to immerse themselves in the natural world of the reserve.
Water is essential for life in the Mashpi Reserve, and there is nothing more refreshing than a dip in a placid pool at the end of a hike. Several rivers flow through the reserve, forming small and big waterfalls and pools. The water temperature varies between 18 and 20° C (64 and 68 F).
- DAY 3 MASHPI LODGE AND BACK TO QUITO After an early morning on the deck for bird watching or a lie-in until breakfast, a hike to Copal Waterfall is a great way to spend your time before going back to Quito. The 2-hour hike takes you through moss-covered trees, orchids, and bromeliads before arriving at the astonishing 50-meter high waterfall. After the hike, enjoy a farewell lunch and depart via private transport.
- Private transfer to and from Mashpi
- Double accommodation in Wayra Rooms
- All meals as per itinerary
- Non alcoholic beverages
- Activities detailed in the program (including the Teleferico ride)
- Rubber boots and water ponchos
- Alcoholic beverages
- Personal expenses
Mashpi welcomes kids of all ages, and offers Young Mashpi Rangers activities for children aged 6 years and above. Experiences include:
- Learning how to mimic the sounds of birds by using leaves from trees
- Learning how to identify animals, plants and insects
- Learning how to explore the cloud forest safely
- Learning how to make camouflage hats using natural resources
Older children will enjoy pedalling through the canopy on the Sky Bike, riding the open-air gondola car above the forest and the thrills that accompany night walks.
At the Mashpi Life Center, children will explore the lifecycle of butterflies
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