fog covers the canopy of the mashpi rainforest in ecuador
hikers with binoculars explore the jungle on mashpi rainforest tour in ecuador
three men exploring mashpi rainforest tour in ecuador
white orchid with red details on mashpi rainforest tour in ecuador
aerial tram above jungle on mashpi rainforest tour in ecuador
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South America Ecuador Land Tour

Mashpi Rainforest Tour

The innovative Mashpi Lodge is an elegant hideaway that redefines traditional tourism; geared for those who seek a different sort of jungle experience. Time and space will take on a different meaning as you become immersed in the deep green forest, exploring pristine landscapes such as the rainforest canopy, viewing onsite cultural vestiges of the earliest rainforest dwellers, learning about the native flora and fauna and interacting with local people. Length of stay is customizable, with a 3-day itinerary listed for reference.

Guides will recommend daily activities to optimize wildlife viewing and educational opportunities, complemented by nighttime lectures. Special early morning, guided excursions seek out the plethora of birds found in the Reserve (400 recorded to date), while nighttime walks reveal spectacular species such as the Avatar-like luminous fungus known as fox fire. Guests can take in the 3,000-acre property via unique onsite features including the Observation Tower, Dragonfly Gondola, Sky Bike and Hummingbird Viewpoint.

Mashpi Lodge brings together first-rate service and the singular natural and cultural wonders of the Ecuadorian rainforest. Discerning and environmentally aware visitors will explore the remote Private Rainforest Reserve without sacrificing comfort or style. The hotel features impeccable service and the utmost in accommodations, facilities and dining. It is built to the high standards necessary to qualify as one of the prestigious National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World.

Read on for details about this trip, or learn more about AdventureSmith’s Ecuador tours.



Itinerary

Mashpi Rainforest Tour Itinerary

The Mashpi Rainforest Tour operates round-trip from Quito, Ecuador, with a customizable amount of time spent at the Mashpi Lodge which sits in the heart of a private cloud forest reserve. Enjoy time in the jungle, within the bioverse hot spot region of the Tumbez-Chocó-Darién, with unique opportunities to spot wildlife from options such as an observation tower, gondola and sky bike.

Route map of Mashpi Rainforest Tour, operating round-trip from Quito, Ecuador, with time spent in the northwest Tumbez-Chocó-Darién biodiversity region.
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Day 1
Quito to Mashpi Lodge

Depart from Quito to Mashpi at 8:30am and discover the spectacular natural diversity of the Andean landscape as you travel through the dry valley of Pomasqui towards the cordillera’s western flank, into lush, misty cloud forest. Around 12:30pm, arrive at Mashpi Lodge, where you are greeted by staff and taken into the Expedition Room for lunch and a quick briefing on the property and activities offered at the lodge. Then settle into your room to take in the views of the Mashpi Rainforest Biodiversity Reserve, which extends over the surrounding 3,000 acres – a haven for wildlife and biodiversity.

After a short rest, head out on your first adventure exploring one of the trails of the Reserve, chosen by the guides depending on daily conditions. This walk will serve as an introduction to the ecological succession processes and the importance of forest conservation for the Chocó region. All of Mashpi’s trails offer great scenic beauty and each includes a unique attraction, such as a forest of “iron palm” (Iriartea deltoidea), special birdwatching opportunities or other unexpected surprises. Naturalists and the resident biologist offer optional nightly lectures on cloud forest ecology topics like the “Secret Wildlife of Mashpi, the trap camera project” and the “Chocó, a biological hotspot.”

Accommodations

Mashpi Lodge

Meals

lunch, dinner

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Day 2
Mashpi Rainforest Exploration

For those who want to enjoy the beauty and magic of dawn in the forest – which is when most birds are active and calling, as well as when views are often most spectacular – early morning activities are organized before breakfast. After breakfast, guides will recommend activities based on ime of day, season, weather, physical abilities of the group and where they believe wildlife is more likely to be found. Along the way, naturalist guides and a local guide will educate you about the myriad plants, insects and animals that inhabit this biodiverse universe. Possible options include:

Howler Monkey Trail

The Howler Monkey Trail is mainly through primary forest, roughly 1.25 miles up a steep hillside. This path crosses primary forest dominated by many ancient trees, including the emblematic “copal.” The steep pitch, specially adapted to make walking easier via steps made of embedded recycled plastic crates, naturally enables more light to penetrate the forest and increases the diversity of plants and animals for observation.

Magnolia Trail

The Magnolia Trail, named after an oak, is mainly through secondary forest, roughly 0.5 miles up a steep hillside. The steep pitch, offers steps made of embedded recycled plastic crates to make walking easier. Like the Howler Monkey Trail, the pitch of this trail naturally enables more light to penetrate the forest and increases the diversity of plants and animals for observation.

Waterfall Trails

Another popular trail ends at the San Vicente waterfall after roughly an hour-long steep hike that demands good physical condition. You can also hike the Oxibelis trail to a small waterfall before heading back to the lodge. The Copal Waterfall trail offers a beautiful 2-hour-long hike featuring a landscape of moss-covered trees, bromeliads and orchids at every corner. The trail ends at a spectacular waterfall over 164 feet high. Several rivers cross the Mashpi Reserve close to the hotel, many forming beautiful small waterfalls, cascades and pools that invite you to take a dip in the  64-68 °F water.

Life Center

The Life Center offers a great view of the forest from the comfort of an expansive wooden deck. Spot wildlife, explore the tropical orchard nearby and learn about the 200 species of butterfly that have been identified to date in the Reserve. The many nearby varieties of bushes and fruit trees, including banana and plantain, manioc, cacao, tobacco, coffee, bread fruit, and heart of palm, not only attract wildlife but also appear in dishes prepared back at the lodge.

Observation Tower

The Observation Tower is a metallic structure, with a staircase that climbs 162 steps to a platform 100 feet off the ground, enabling an exciting bird’s-eye view of the dramatic panoramas that surround the lodge.

Dragonfly Gondola

The Dragonfly Gondola canopy ride lets you glide through the tree tops at a relaxed pace. In 40 minutes, the Dragonfly covers 1.25 miles, passing through dense forest interrupted by cascading waterfalls, contrasting what can be seen on trail walks below.

Sky Bike

Silent, easy-to-use and fun, the Sky Bike is designed for two people to use at once, with one person pedaling the bike along a cable stretched between two points in the forest. The roughly 655 feet of cable takes about 20 minutes, crossing a gorge above a river flowing between rocks and trees below. Children over 8 years-old may enjoy this activity when accompanied by an adult.

Hummingbird Viewpoint

Ecuador plays host to the most hummingbirds in the world, and the forests of Mashpi boast 32 species identified to date, with around 19 species alone observable by guests. The Hummingbird Viewpoint shelter with seating provides the ideal setting to see these amazing creatures, with feeders for the birds strung from its roof. The site is located at a natural viewpoint which, on clear days, provides breathtaking views of the Reserve’s forested hills.

Night Walks

The Mashpi forest is transformed at night, with far more activity visible than during the day. Optional night walks depart from the hotel after dinner. Observable species range from moths as big as your hand to miniature glass and tree frogs, croaking toads, birds, owls, rodents and mammals, and even fox fire, an Avatar-like luminous fungus.

Wellness Center

The peaceful surroundings of the Reserve allow for spiritual moments to unite body, mind and spirit. Keep up your practice at the yoga deck or just lie back and enjoy a massage, spa treatments or time in the outdoor hot tub.

Accommodations

Mashpi Lodge

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 3
Mashpi Morning & Return to Quito

There is an early bird viewing activity to take advantage of the fact that many bird species come to the hotel to feed, which takes about an hour. After breakfast, there is time for a short hike or another of the above-listed activities. Check with your guide for the best option. Return to the hotel for check out at 11:00am and your journey back to Quito with a box lunch to enjoy during the drive.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast, lunch

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

All meals, guided visits (English and Spanish) within the reserve, specialized lectures, waterproof ponchos and rubber boots. The rate also includes shared transfers in/out from main hotels in Quito (Casa Gangotena, Hilton Colon, J.W. Marriott, Swissotel) with a guide and driver, snack on the way in, entrance fees and visits to sights along the route.

Exclusions

International airfare, excess baggage charges, taxes and port fees, Quito airport international departure tax, gratuities to Naturalist Staff and crew, activities outside the reserve (kayaking, biking, zip lining, visits), items of a personal nature such as alcoholic beverages, spa treatments, and insurance of any kind. Christmas/New Year’s Eve dinners have a $70 per guest supplement. Cost of a private transfer if passengers want to go from Mashpi directly to Quito’s airport and not take the provided shared transfer. Access to the Dragonfly gondola is an additional $40 per person, per stay.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of $500 is required per person at the time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 91 days – 50% of deposit
90 to 31 days – 50% of total trip cost
30 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The Mashpi Rainforest Tour begins and ends in Quito, Ecuador (UIO), and requires a pre- and post- hotel night. Please plan flights to arrive at Quito International Airport anytime the day prior to day 1 of the itinerary and depart anytime on the final day. The departure point in Quito is the Hotel JW Marriott and departure is at 8:30am. Guests staying at other main hotels (Casa Gangotena, Hilton Colon and Swissotel) will be transferred beforehand to the JW Marriott. The included return transfer on the final day is from the Mashpi Lodge to the downtown hotels listed above, arriving early evening. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit ourBooking Flights resource page.

Activities

Included activities at Mashpi Lodge consist of guided hikes, waterfall swims, birding, butterfly and hummingbird gardens, sky bike rides, canopy tower walks and more. The onsite Dragonfly gondola can be ridden at an added cost. Guests are provided with rubber boots, rain gear and binoculars for the duration of their stay.

Room Configuration

The Wayra Room may be booked individually for the single occupancy rate of $2345 (2020) or $2388 (2021) and the Yaku Room for single occupancy rate of $2835 (2020) or $2886 (2021).

Families & Children

Children 12 and under may receive a special child rate of $670 (2020) or $682 (2021) per child in a Wayra Room or $810 (2020) or $826 (2021) per child in a Yaku Room. Maximum of 2 children per room and must be sharing a room with 2 full-fare adults to receive child rate. Mashpi has interconnected rooms, subject to availability, ideal for families traveling together – ask your Adventure Specialist for details.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 15 or 21 days of booking (depending on plan) for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, National Park regulation or at the guides’ discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of adventure travel unique.

Rates & Dates

Trip Rates & Details

Length of stay is customizable, with a 3-day itinerary and pricing listed for reference. Contact AdventureSmith for details of longer stays.

2020 Rates
Mashpi Lodge
From $1345USD
Per Person
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2021 Rates
Mashpi Lodge
From $1367USD
Per Person
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Accommodation

Learn About the Lodge on Your Itinerary

Lodge
Mashpi Lodge

The luxurious Mashpi Lodge sits in the heart of a private cloud forest reserve west of Quito, Ecuador. This National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World adheres to the highest environmental standard while providing numerous exploration opportunities of the biodiversity of this region.

Expert Review

Reviews from Our Experts So You Know What to Expect

Jennifer Morse • November 27th, 2017
Expert Review: Mashpi Rainforest Tour

AdventureSmith's Jennifer travels to Mashpi Lodge in Ecuador's famed cloud forest. Read her review of the journey: sky bikes, gondolas, toucans, waterfalls and all.

Testimonial

Hear It from Travelers Who Have Explored with Us

"An Incredible Array of Experiences"

This trip was incredibly well planned and went quite smoothly. We stayed at some top-notch hotels and had an incredible array of experiences.

Overall
4 /5 Star Created with Sketch.
Accommodations
4 /5 Star Created with Sketch.
Meals
4 /5 Star Created with Sketch.
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