Pre-Program Mashpi Reserve
Come to a luxury cloud forest lodge and discover this hotspot for biodiversity.
Explore more of Ecuador with Hurtigruten Expeditions.
Immerse yourself in a unique habitat and ecosystem.
Discover Mashpi Reserve with daily activities and experiences in the forest
Enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding forested mountains.
Available all Year
Day 1: Quito
Arrive at Quito Airport from the Galápagos Islands. Enjoy a day at your leisure. Enjoy an overnight stay.
Day 2: Quito to Mashpi Reserve
We will pick you up in the morning for your transfer to Mashpi Lodge, located about 60 miles northwest of Quito. Mashpi Reserve is a private conservation property located within the Metropolitan District of Quito. It belongs to the Ecuadorian Chocó Rainforest, one of the world’s greatest biodiversity hotspots. We will behold the spectacular natural diversity of the Andean landscape through steep drop in altitude (from 9,200 to 3,300 feet). We will travel through the dry valley of Pomasqui toward the mountain range’s western flank, into a lush and misty cloud forest. Here, we enter the magical world of Mashpi.
After about a three hour drive you’ll arrive to Mashpi Lodge. Enjoy lunch and some time to rest before starting your afternoon activities. During a briefing, you’ll be introduced to the cloud forest and its conservation efforts, along with the activities you can choose from during your stay and helpful tips about what to wear and bring on the excursions.
On your first adventure, you’ll explore one of the reserve’s trails, chosen by the guides, depending on the day’s conditions. This walk will serve as an introduction to the ecological succession processes and the importance of forest conservation in the Chocó region. All of trails offer great scenic beauty and each includes a unique attraction, such as a forest of ‘iron palm’ (Iriartea deltoidea), special birdwatching opportunities, or other unexpected surprises.
For all guests interested in learning more about the cloud forest’s ecology, the lodge has a lecture series every evening, featuring topics such as ‘The Secret Wildlife of Mashpi - The Trap Camera Project’, or ‘Chocó, a Biological Hotspot’, which touches on the formation and diversity of the Chocó and different scientific research projects. The lectures will be given by one of the naturalists or the resident biologist at 7:30 p.m.
Enjoy dinner at the hotel and an overnight stay.
Days 3–4: Mashpi Reserve
The forest always rewards the ‘early birds’. The dawn light lures a variety of fascinating species in their search for food. A good place to find birds is right at the hotel’s terrace with a hot cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate in hand. The guides will help you spot the wildlife. Take a peek at their telescope for an up-close view of Mashpi’s incredible birdlife. This activity begins at 6:30 a.m. and lasts about an hour. Then, enjoy breakfast at the hotel restaurant.
You’ll have the opportunity to choose between a variety of rainforest experiences, as well as time to enjoy the hotel´s wellness area. Your guides will recommend the best daily program for you, depending on your interests, your level of physical fitness, and the daily weather and trail conditions. Choose from among many trails and activities.
Visit the Life Center for some learning, take a dip in refreshing waterfalls and pools, climb up the Observation Tower for an exciting bird’s-eye view of the dramatic panoramas that surround the lodge, try out the Sky Bike (an exciting way to explore the canopy up close), join night walks to discover nocturnal creatures in the Mashpi forest, or glide through the tree tops at a relaxed pace and view the dense forest during a Dragonfly canopy ride (subject to charge).
Day 5: Mashpi Reserve to Quito
Your day begins at 6:30 a.m. in the hotel lobby, taking full advantage of the opportunity to see some of the many bird species come to the hotel to feed around that time. After a cup of coffee, we’ll walk down the road looking for mixed-species feeding flocks. These usually feature different insectivorous bird species that move together while foraging. In a single flock, we may see over 20 different species, making these more-or-less common encounters an undeniable treat for bird aficionados. This activity takes one hour. Then, it’s back to the lodge for breakfast.
There is time for a short hike today or one of the other activities. Check with your guide for the best option.
The transfer back to your hotel in Quito leaves Mashpi Lodge at 11:30 a.m. You’ll receive a complimentary box lunch to enjoy during the trip.
Upon arrival to your hotel in Quito, you can use the rest of the day to explore the heritage of Ecuador´s capital at your leisure. Enjoy an overnight stay.
Day 6: Quito, departure
Breakfast at the hotel and the end of your Pre-Program.
The price includes two nights at a hotel in Quito (including breakfast), three nights at the Mashpi Lodge (including full board and soft drinks), and the transfers between the hotel in Quito and Mashpi Lodge. Guided activities and excursions within the Mashpi Reserve
Not included: Dinner at hotel in Quito, drinks others then described, Dragonfly canopy ride, gratuities
This tour is available as a Pre-Program in combination with your cruise ending in Quito, upon return from the Galápagos Islands.
Includes walking on uneven terrain. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility.
Minimum number of participants: 2
If the minimum number of participants is not reached, we reserve the right to cancel the trip up to six weeks before departure.