As you descend into the forest of Mashpi, you are let in on a secret. The curtain draws back and you’re led in to the backstage of the universe, stepping between the spotlights of the sunshine filtering down through the canopy as tropical birds and howler monkeys orchestrate the soundtrack. Perhaps it’s here where the most exciting event is enacted.
Here, every element, from the leaves of every shape, size and colour imaginable to the drops of rain that bounce off them and the animals they quench, plays its role in the greatest show that most will never see, working together in incandescent harmony.
This place, this steaming, breathing, living entity, where the air is rich with life and clouds linger like disembodied spirits, is not only the lungs, but the soul of the Earth.
Mashpi Lodge perches at 950 meters, (3,117 feet) above sea level between lower montane rainforest and cloud forests, at the heart of a 1,200-hectare (3,000-acre) private reserve, a lush, green world, of which roughly 70 percent is primary forest.
Species thrive here, not only those within the realms of our understanding, but also those yet to be discovered. The Mashpi Frog and Magnolia are both endemic to this very forest and were only identified in the last few years – imagine what other creatures remain uncharted!
Mashpi, located in the northwest corner of the Metropolitan District of Quito, the capital of Ecuador, offers guests an unprecedented opportunity to explore both cloud and rainforest, rich in species and biodiversity, from every angle, from the roots of the trees all the way up beyond the canopy, always accompanied by experienced guides who more often than not grew up among those very same trunks and branches.
CLOSE ENOUGH TO TOUCH.
A hideaway in the forest only accessible to its privileged guests and located on a scenic plateau, the lodge features breathtaking views of the surrounding forested mountains right up close through its floor-to-ceiling panoramic glass windows. Like a cathedral to the natural world, it protrudes from the verdant hillside, holding unknown comforts and pleasures within.
It seems unfathomable that such a wild and remote site could even be associated with a city, yet Mashpi lies within the Metropolitan District of Quito, the capital of Ecuador. The lodge perches at 950 metres (3,117 feet) above sea level and the reserve in which it is located ranges in altitude from 500 metres to 1200 metres above sea level. Even our local guests express amazement that such an incredible wilderness lies within the city borders and that it can be reached without complicated logistics.