I have long been interested in eco-tourism and Mashpi Lodge was on the top of my to-do list.
Mashpi Lodge is all about luxury in the middle of the Ecuadorian cloud forest. The lodge features floor to ceiling walls of glass giving you an unimpeded view of some of the most pristine cloud forest in the world.
What I Iove about Mashipi lodge is their dedication to preservation. Not one tree was felled during the construction of the uber-modern lodge. The lodge sits on 3,200 acres of former logging land. Their team of naturalists and scientists are committed to preserving the flora and fauna while giving you an up close and personal experience with nature. The revenue of the lodge is used to fund all of these preservation projects.
From the moment you check in the experience is unique. I was welcomed with a hot towel and welcome drink. The receptionist said she didn't need my passport or credit card. The surprising thing is she knew me by name. The staff are briefed on who all the guest are before they arrive.
Literally, there is not a moment to rest if you want to take part in all of the activities at Mashpi. I started my first day with day with a visit to the observation tower and a ride on the skybike. I was a bit hesitant of the skybike as I'm a little afraid of heights. I finally got enough courage to ride the sky bike, and it was phenomenal as you are riding the wire at the tree top level and ride over a river below you. Later on that evening I did the night walk. My guide was able to find so many creatures at night. Two species of snakes, two species of frog, scorpions, butterflies, and numerous insects. I was pretty amazed at how he was able to find things I would normally just walk past.
My second day's activities consisted of a morning 3.5-hour hike on the capuchin trail. It was a long hike, but the magnificent San Vicente waterfall at the end of the trail was a good reward. My guide Carlos and a few of the other guests took a swim in the waterfalls lagoon. In the afternoon I visited the life center where I saw a Tayra which is part of the weasel family feeding on bananas that were left out for birds to feed on. I also saw a toucan. The crowning glory of the life center is their butterfly enclosure and breeding center. I was given a demonstration and shown the different stages of a butterflies life cycle from caterpillar, a cocoon to butterfly. After that, I was allowed to run free int he butterfly enclosure with all sorts of different species of butterflies. It was truly magical as even a few of them landed on my shoulder.
My final day and check out at the lodge I did a light activity with a visit to the hummingbird garden. I was astonished and the variety of species within the Mashpi preserve.
Some of the other amenities Mashpi provides is a full spa with massage and other beauty treatments. My personal favorite amenity is the lounge bar. Mashpi crafts some bespoke cocktails that taste just as good as they look.
I was pretty tired by the time I left Mashpi but elated with all the experiences I took part in at this lodge. I only stayed at the lodge two night, but wish I had booked my visit for three nights. There is so much to do and see here. Mashpi Lodge lived up to the hype I have heard about it. I think I will definitely be going back for a second visit.