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Where Imagination Has No Boundaries
When we are kids, there is no better place to let the imagination fly than a park: a sandbox becomes a kitchen and a laboratory, a river turns into an ocean, a swing transforms into a rocket heading to the moon. As kids, we have the ability to transform what surrounds us and there is no limit to what we can do or be. We start the game as explorers of strange worlds, then become astronauts, and suddenly we are doctors curing an incurable disease. And with the same leaves and twigs we used as medicine, we bake a mud pie that we beg our parents to try at all costs. A park is definitely the best playground, but thinking on a bigger scale, what does that make a jungle or a forest? Give a kid a park and he’ll have fun for a while; give him a forest and he’ll transform his life.
Mashpi Lodge, located in the Mashpi private reserve inside the Choco biogeographical region, is a part of Quito still waiting to be discovered. This lower montane rainforest and cloud forest, characterized by dramatic changes in altitude – ranging from 500 to 1200 metres above sea level – is one of 25 biodiversity hotspots in the world. The wild exuberance, powerful waterfalls and beautiful wildlife covering the reserve’s 1200 hectares are the perfect setting for a transformative experience. In Mashpi Lodge, where imagination know no limits, both kids and adults watch as their dreams come true. Disconnect from the city, the noise, mobile phones and computers. Turn off all distractions and reconnect to what really matters!
Live the Jungle with Comfort and Security
Any adventure is more enjoyable when all the senses are awake. Start the morning with a view of the jungle and the song of birds. The floor-to-ceiling windows in every room turn into screens that put the forest at your feet while you enjoy it from the comfort of the cosiest bed you will have ever experienced. Wake up and the dream becomes reality. After an abundant gourmet breakfast, the whole family put on their rubber boots and start exploring. Immerse yourselves in the lush Mashpi forest and watch as everyone in your family becomes an explorer in an environment that is simultaneously safe and wild.
Trails and Waterfalls
Beautiful trails traverse the Mashpi Reserve. Guided by expert local and naturalist guides, young and old have the opportunity to learn about the life that roams this immeasurable paradise. A discovery awaits every step of the way. Life is so abundant in this forest that the resident scientists in charge of investigating it have already discovered two new species for the world: the Mashpi magnolia and the Mashpi Torrenteer frog.
A river whispers in the distance. The walk passes through viewpoints and mountain slopes in the middle of this mainly primary forest. Without realizing it, you get to the whispering river you heard in the distance and it leads you to a natural pool at the bottom of one of the many waterfalls hiding in the Reserve. Off go the boots and t-shirts and the whole family jumps into the water. Feel how the crystalline liquid rejuvenates your soul and watch how your kids become one with nature. Back at the hotel, the Mashpi chefs await with a delicious meal. In Mashpi one thing is clear: a full stomach makes for a happy heart.
The Forest Seen From Above
There are many ways to discover the wonders of Mashpi Lodge. By foot, feeling the earth and water with your hands, or by air, from a bird’s eye view. Swing from the vines like Tarzan or marvel at Mashpi’s indescribable landscapes from above. Would your kid believe you if you told him or her that you are going for a ride on bicycle that flies? Well, here, air transportation is not something that happens only in a Harry Potter book. Mashpi’s Sky Bike is designed for two people to roll comfortably as one of them pedals a distance of 200 m (0.1 mi) – safely crossing through cliffs and the jungle at the tip of your fingers. Or float atop the canopy aboard the Dragonfly, the most advanced cable car in the region, that glides over the forest for a distance of 2 km (1.2 mi). Look at the jungle with the freedom of a bird and feel as life unfolds beneath your feet.
Life at Your Fingertips
As if this weren’t enough, Mashpi’s Life Centre is home to some of the forests most beautiful butterflies. Learn about some of the most representative species that inhabit the cloud forest, while they naively pose themselves on your fingertips and head. Kids and grownups leave all their worries behind and let themselves be carried away by the sweet fluttering of these amazing insects. Or visit the Laboratory with your kids and let Mashpi’s resident scientists feed their curiosity – perhaps planting the seed of love for their planet and all of its species.
A visit to Mashpi Lodge is an adventure that will be forever kept in your family’s heart for the rest of their lives.