World Journeys | Ecuador's Cloud Forest

Three and a half hours scenic drive from Quito lies Mashpi Lodge – a cocoon in the cloud forest situated on its own private 1,100 hectares of the endangered Choco forest and surrounded by another 18,400 hectares of natural protected area. With incredibly rich biodiversity, the area is internationally renowned as one of the best places on earth for bird watching. The area is free of malaria.

Hosting up to 48 guests, the award winning luxury lodge offers tasteful accommodation without trying to compete with the real attraction – the forest outside! Picture windows everywhere allows guests to feel part of their surroundings and at night, the only lights outside are the dance of myriad fireflies or the sparkle of the stars. An exciting addition to the Mashpi Lodge activities is the introduction of the ’Dragonfly’, a gondola system that gently glides guests and their naturalist guide more than 2 km through the jungle canopy. Great food and expert guides so knowledgeable in all facets of flora and fauna found in this unique environment, will create enduring memories.

  • Summary


    3 Days / 2 Nights from NZD $2,610*



    Type of Journey

    Wildlife, Active


    • Pristine Cloud Forest • More than 600 species of birds • Amazing flora and fauna

  • Departure Dates

    Daily, year round
  • What's Included

    Tour Includes

    • Tailor-made journey
    • 2 nights’ accommodation
    • All meals (B, L, D) plus soft drinks during your stay
    • Shared transfers to/from select Quito hotels
    • Shared forest excursions with English/Spanish-speaking guides
    • Shared Dragonfly cable car
    • Specialised lectures
    • Waterproof ponchos and rubber boots

    Not Included

    Gratuities; recommended USD $22 per person per night
    Carbon offset fee

  • Pricing

    Description Twin

    1 Jan – 31 Dec
    Wayra Room
    Yaku Suite
    Wawa Room


    On request

    1 Jan – 31 Dec
    Wayra Room
    Yaku Suite
    Wawa Room



    Please note: while prices are accurate at time of loading they are subject to change due to currency fluctuations and currency surcharges may apply. Please check price at time of booking
  • Itinerary

    Day 1: Quito > Mashpi Lodge

    This morning you will be met at your hotel in Quito and transferred with fellow guests to Masphi Lodge, located three and a half hours (110km) by road from Quito in the evergreen wilds of the Andes’ western slope. Departing Quito on the highway north and after passing the Equator Monument and Latitude 0, the sudden shift in altitude (from 2800 metres above sea level to 1000 metres above sea level) will allow you to discover the spectacular natural diversity of the Andean landscape. The road crosses the valley of Pomasqui dominated by Andean dry forest, and then to the western flank of the Andes through the Cloud Forest and the road ends in Mashpi at the beginning of the tropical rainforest.

    You will spend the next two nights at Mashpi Lodge where you can join guided excursions, walks, bird-watching and nature encounters.

    After settling in, you are introduced to your naturalist guides who will briefly speak about the cloud forest and its conservation, the activities you will be offered during your stay, and helpful tips about what to wear and bring to the excursions. This is followed by lunch.

    After lunch enjoy a hike in the cloud forest on the Cucharillo Trail – named after the Cucharillo tree (Magnolia dixonii), which in Spanish means ‘little spoon’, an Ecuadorian endemic that is common at Mashpi, although otherwise threatened throughout the country. The trail requires some physical condition due to its steeper portions, but has been made less demanding thanks to recycled plastic crates that have been used to form steps and make paths firmer. At the end of the trail find a large waterfall and rocky riverbed with beautiful ponds and smaller waterfalls. The excursion takes about 2 hours to complete. There is some time to relax before an optional evening excursion.

    The forest transforms by sunset: the sounds and smells intensify and other senses are awakened. You will discover the evening croaking of nocturnal frogs and incessant buzz of insects. Turning off flashlights, you will be able to observe sparkling fireflies and feel bats zipping by and on the ground, discover the faint glow of bioluminescent fungi all around. Owls and other nocturnal birds may call into the night, while the rustling of branches above us may mean that we’re in the presence of kinkajous (Potos flavus), an arboreal mammal relative to the raccoon, making their way through the trees in search of ripe fruit. The excursion begins at 7 pm and takes about 45 minutes to an hour. We then return to the lodge to enjoy a delicious dinner.

    Day 2: Mashpi Lodge
    Spend a full day enjoying many of the activities on offer which include:
    • Hikes along primary and secondary growth trails through the cloud forest, so incredibly rich in bio-diversity
    • Dragonfly aerial gondola above the forest canopy
    • Life Centre, including explanation and displays of butterflies, frogs and toads, along with a wonderful selection of orchids and bromeliads
    • 26-metre high observation tower – ideal for wildlife viewing
    • The Sky-bike – a unique way to cycle 200 metres along a zip line in the canopy of the forest
    • Hummingbird viewpoint, with some 16 species of this colourful bird commonly on display
    • Traditional medicinal plants – their uses and benefits explained
    • Swimming in beautiful natural pools

    Day 3: Mashpi Lodge > Quito
    This morning is an early start for bird watchers with a guided tour – the Ecuadorean cloud forest is one of the finest ecosystems on earth to view an amazing variety of avian life. After breakfast, head to the Copal Waterfall, a beautiful 2-hour hike through a landscape of moss-covered trees, bromeliads, and orchids. Return to the hotel by noon for check out before heading back to Quito.

  • Booking Conditions

    • Pricing varies due to fluctuations in exchange rates; please contact us for current pricing
    • Please enquire about pricing for children (4 to 11 years) or for a private guide
    • The minimum age requirement is 4 years
    • Please also enquire about pricing to extend your stay
    • A supplement applies for dinner on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve


HLO Ref# 19988
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