Your Travel Experience with Galapagos PRO
Day 1 - 3
There are special flagship projects in Ecuador which blend perfectly into the enviroment. The Mashpi Lodge is such a great place in the mysterious mountain cloud forest on the western slopes of the Andes Mountains. The architecture of the lodge is award-winning. The floor-to-ceiling window facade creates the illusion that the guest is in the middle of nature, floating in the tree tops. In the morning you will wake to the chorus of twittering of birds.
A cable car floats over the green treetops and a high tower offers a special view as well.
You will arrive before 2pm at the lodge using a private transfer.
The Napa Trail starts at the side of the road, leading you through both secondary forest and pristine, primary forest. For this reason this moderate-difficulty trail is ideal for explaining the ecological succession processes and the importance of forest conservation for the Chocó region. This is a trail of great scenic beauty, and toward the end of the trail you will find one of the unique attractions - a forest of “iron palm” (Iriartea deltoid). The wood of the iron palm tree is used in different ways, mostly in house construction. This is also a very good trail for bird watching.
The excursion takes 2 hours.
Special presentations are offered every evening for all guests interested in knowing more deeply the cloud forest ecology.
The lodge have prepare a series of different lectures like the “Secret Wildlife of Mashpi, the trap camera project”, the “Chocó, a biological hotspot” about the formation and diversity of the Chocó, or about the various scientific research projects. The lectures are delivered by one of the expert naturalist guides or a resident biologist.
Early Bird Watching
As the first rays of sun filter through the canopy of the forest; the atmosphere in the forest is filled with the sound of birds in search for food. A good place for bird watching is the hotel terrace from where you can appreciate not only the beauty of the cloud forest but also the many species of birds that come to feed on insects or fruit in the nearby trees. Always accompanied by a cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate, our guides will share their skill in handling the telescope to show the cloud forest's incredible richness in fauna. Breakfast is served after the bird watching.
Sky Bike and Observation Tower
You will depart at 08:30 to the Sky Bike and Observation tower, 15 minutes walk from the hotel. The Sky Bike makes for an original and exciting way to explore the forest canopy up close.
Towering above the treetops, Mashpi's observation tower allows guests to appreciate the protected forest in all its glory from a height of 30 meters (100 feet). The ride takes no more than 10 minutes and you have the option of returning via Sky Bike, or walking back to the lodge via one of the lodge's trails. The Oxibelis trail takes you to a small waterfall before circling back to the lodge. The Limones trail leads you through 45 minutes of lush forest to reach the beautiful San Vicente's waterfall before heading back to the lodge.
Howler Monkeys Trail and Life Centre
The best way to get to Life Centre is through the Howler Monkeys trail. This trail leads through primary forest. From the comfort of the Life Centre's expansive wooden deck, you can observe all sorts of wildlife, from birds to rodents and larger mammals – most of them visiting the fruit feeders in front of the deck. The center is conceived as a place for learning and discovery, but also where guests can disconnect from daily routine and contemplate the views.
Evening Excursion, Night Hike
The forest is transformed completely during the night, the sounds and smells are intensified and other senses are awakened. On this “night safari”, you will find beauty in the small details, the croaking of frogs or the hum of insects. If you turn off your flashlight you can observe the sparkling fireflies in the woods, or listening to the flutter of bats. Look carefully to the ground - the faint glow of bioluminescent fungi surrounding you.
The excursion begins at 19:00 and takes about 45 min to an hour, and you will be back on time to enjoy a delicious dinner.
Early Bird Watching
You will meet at 6:30 pm at the hotel lobby to watch colorful birds tucking in to their breakfast. They eat the moths that have been lured in by the light of the lodge during the night. Afterwards, take a walk along the road and you will be able to see how various bird species gather together for hunting. Duration of this excursion: 1 hour
Hike to the Copal waterfall
This scenic two-hour excursion will take you past moss-covered trees, bromeliads and orchids to the 50 meter high Copal waterfall. Afterwards, return to the lodge for lunch.
Transfer to Quito
Return to Quito, departure at 1.30 pm.