Explore the magnificent biodiversity of Ecuador on a tour made for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Walk through the forest on a night expedition and find unique species; get on a gondola and experience a similar sensation like the birds when they fly through the forest. Finish the experience in the Research Lab Station and learn more about the unique wildlife in the region.
This tour starts from Quito, where your guide will meet you and take a transfer with you to the Mashpi lodge, the road trip will last about 3 hours. The guide will give you some insights about the city and the tour.
Before you arrive at the Mashpi lodge you can enjoy the social areas and wait for the amazing night tour that awaits for you.
The Torrenteer Lagoon can be found just a few minutes’ walk up the Mashpi Lodge access road. There is much to see on this trail! A clear night with no air pollution in the reserve will reveal a sky full of stars and a bright, full moon. The forest is alive with different species, even in the relative darkness. The naturalist guides at the lodge are able to spot rare species and will let you meet the forest dwellers. Their seasoned eyes can pick up on animals, birds, and insects that would otherwise be missed. Guides and guests use the lodge's flashlights to shine a light onto the slopes and canopy of the forest, looking for reflections in the eyes of the forest's nocturnal inhabitants. The guides are avid photographers and are familiar with the areas in which species are found. They can identify them quickly for guests and assist them in taking spectacular photos.
Overnight in Mashpi
Start Your day with breakfast and prepare to experience another day full of natural wonders.
We walked the Magnolia Trail to the lodge. We pass through a beautiful forest, stopping at a viewing platform half way down the trail. We continue on to a beautiful waterfall where we can take a refreshing and revitalizing dip. We walk down the Laguna River admiring the colors and birds before reaching Tower 4 at the Dragonfly. We will then embark on a gondola ride across the canopy and arrive at the Dragonfly main station 20 minutes after.
Return to the lodge for lunch and other activities. In the night another unique trail full of wildlife is waiting for you.
On this trail, guests are more likely to see some of the reserve's elusive mammals, such as armadillos, silky anteaters, capuchin monkeys, and ocelots. For the lucky guests, they might even spot the reserve's elusive Mashpi ocelots. The powerful spotting telescopes on the panoramic deck of the Life Center allow guests to spot nocturnal animals on distant mountain ridges bathed in moonlight.
Overnight in Masphi
This day starts with an early morning experience. Mashpi Naturalist guides will lead you to the lodge's terrace with binoculars, scopes, gourmet coffee, freshly squeezed fruit juice, and an assortment of delicious cookies. Early in the morning, the cloud forest surrounding Mashpi Lodge is literally alive with birds. They are all searching for their breakfast. This wildlife observation, despite the shifting fog that is present in the mornings, offers guests the opportunity to observe some of Mashpi’s rarest and most endemic species.
After lunch you can enjoy the jungle swing trail, the trail begins near the staffhouse, just a few minutes' walk from the lodge. This trail is a great way to understand the regeneration of forests after deforestation. It was only 15 years ago that the trail's beginning was a pasture. Now, it is a beautiful forest with pioneer species of Miconia trees.
Some vines are strong enough for a person to stand on. We can swing halfway along the trail on Mashpi’s rope vine. The trail leads to the Laguna River. We can walk along the riverbed to reach the waterfall before returning back to Dragonfly Tower 4 and the departure station.
The Research Lab, located next to the Lodge, is the center of cutting-edge research into the plant, animal and bird species found in the Mashpi reserve. The lab is only a short distance away and will open guests' minds to the amazing biodiversity and endemism that the Mashpi Reserve and Ecuador's Choco Rainforest have to offer. The Research Lab also hosts some eye-catching exhibits of many weird and beautiful insects that have been discovered over the years in forest.
Transfer to Quito