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Situated on the western slopes of the Andes, approximately a three hour drive northwest of Quito, lies Mashpi Lodge, a luxury futuristic lodge resting high up in the clouds in a private reserve aiming to protect an ecosystem rich in biodiversity. The lodge promotes sustainable tourism giving a unique experience to travellers who are environmentally aware and educated. Over 500 species of birds, the possibility of encountering wild monkeys, and the occasional puma sighting, along with waterfalls and forested hills and an abundance of plant species, are some of the things that make this reserve so special.
Since its opening in April 2012, Mashpi has been awarded several important prizes, like Outside magazine's inaugural annual Travel Awards as Best Eco-Lodge. It ranks among the most exciting hotel openings in South America in 2012.
The lodge was built with the latest techniques in sustainability and with a minimalist approach to blend in with the natural surroundings. A total of 22 spacious rooms, including 3 suites, enabling a capacity of 44 guests, are distributed over three floors. Guests can enjoy the stunning scenery from the comfort of their bed and through the floor-to-ceiling glass windows without disturbing the outside world.
Plenty of activities and places within the reserve keep visitors busy. Nature trails where guests can closely observe the reserve's wonderful life forms; a life centre where they can learn about butterflies, frogs, and orchids of the area, or just relax and enjoy the views while lying in a hammock; night walks in the company of expert guides to discover the amazing nocturnal activity of the forest; a 26 meter-high observation tower from which guests can observe the panorama from above and spot the most beautiful birds; a natural viewpoint for watching the 22 identified hummingbird species of the area. Several rivers and waterfalls running through the Mashpi reserve invite guests to plunge into the water for a refreshing dip, and, as stars of the show, the canopy gondola (operation starting in September 2013) and the sky bike, unique to Mashpi Lodge, provide a fun and unparalleled way to observe the forest through and above the canopy.