WHY THIS TRIP
The Mashpi Lodge is a beautiful place to relax and enjoy the gorgeous cloudforest. Located part way between the high Andes Mountains and the rainforest basin, the cloudforest is a unique ecosystem of cool, lush forest, and is an excellent place to go birdwatching and wildlife viewing. The friendly and knowledgeable guides at the Mashpi Lodge will take you on naturalist hikes to explore the cloudforest and point out the diverse wildlife, or you can relax on the observation deck with a cup of coffee and enjoy the beautiful views and sounds of the cloudforest. For adventurous travelers, there is a Sky Bike so you can pedal over the tops of the trees and check out the forest canopy. Hike to a nearby waterfall and swim in the pool below the falls, or hike to the butterfly reserve.
A hideaway located on a high plateau three hours’ drive from Quito, Mashpi Lodge sits in the heart of a 1,300-hectare (3,200-acre) Reserve which harbours both cloudforest and rainforest, part of the globally-important Chocó ‘hot spot’ of biodiversity. Metropolitan Touring and Mashpi Lodge belong to the same holding group in Ecuador.
A profusion of plant species has adapted to this environment, creating an incredibly rich ecosystem of trees, vines, ferns, orchids and bromeliads, home to hundreds of bird species, possibly thousands of orchid species, tens of thousands of insect species, as well as monkeys, peccaries and even puma. It’s a system which is still revealing its secrets to science, still mysterious, still magical.
The sophisticated and strikingly-contemporary lodge is designed as the ideal springboard for exploring the biodiverse world of its reserve. It combined levels of comfort, service, guiding and cuisine hitherto unheard of in a tropical forest environment anywhere in the world.
The lodge, built with the latest techniques in sustainable building, is 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: a luxury cocoon amid the cloudforest with the natural world just beyond, ideal for contemplation and relaxation.
Activities include visiting the Life Centre with its butterflies and plants, climbing the eight-story observation tower, riding on the innovative Sky Bike, early morning bird watching, night walks, or simply sitting back to watch the clouds play hide-and-seek with the forest.
LOCAL OPERATOR: METROPOLITAN TOURING
Metropolitan Touring sees the travel business as a people business, and endeavors to create unique experiences in iconic locations for its guests. It currently operates in Peru, Argentina, Chile, Columbia, and Ecuador where it owns and operates a trio of vessels (the Santa Cruz and yachts Isabela II and La Pinta) as well as the Finch Bay Eco Hotel on Santa Cruz Island. Its staff is as committed today as it was when the company was founded more than 60 years ago to create unforgettable experiences for its guests.
The World Travel & Tourism Council selected Metropolitan Touring as one of its case studies worldwide, as an example of sustainability, good practices and commitment. The development of Metropolitan Touring’s existing and new products is based on sustainability principles, preservation efforts, and social welfare support. It continuously measures its environmental performance, and also communicates results to its employees and guests.