Adventures in the cloud forest: Mashpi Lodge

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The Mashpi experience goes beyond just offering a comfy lodge in the cloud forest.  You can be submerged within this dripping, primeval ecosystem by day, and yet come back to the most civilised of retreats.

While Mashpi Lodge offers luxurious lodgings, the experience does not feel tame because being in a protected reserve, the diversity and quality of the forest and the birding is excellent. The lodge is indeed exclusive: there are no others around, and no-one lives here. The overall quality of the experience from all angles is first class.

On this three day visit, you will take advantage of imaginative and innovative ways of exploring the fantastically beautiful surroundings: from above on a suspended aerial bike, Dragonfly open-sided cable car or observation tower – or at ground level on traditional forest trails or a jungle waterfall. Each excursion is fulfilling and worthwhile - and fun! Whether or not you are a birding enthusiast (500 species including 36 endemics inhabit the forest here) it is a privilege to spend a couple of days in this magical and pristine cloud forest environment .

Day 1: Depart Quito and head north crossing the Equator and descend towards the Pacific, the vegetation becoming more verdant and abundant with every turn of the road. Arrive at Mashpi Lodge in a protected reserve in the cloud forest and begin exploring - there’s a menu of guided activities and excursions.

Day 2: Perhaps the highlight of your stay here is a ride on the unique 2km aerial open-sided cable car. You glide silently like a dragonfly through, above and below the lanky palms, moss-stifled deciduous and evergreen trees, flowering shrubs, twisted vines, giant ferns and orchids in the fairyland jungle environment.

Day 3: Return to Quito.

Breakfast daily; full board at the lodge.

3 days from £1,497pp