unique biodiversity reserve
As you enter the realm of the rainforests, you will become aware of
Life at every step: mushrooms and fungi below, tree trunks festooned
with liverworts, lichens and mosses, giant ferns reaching up to the
light above, swirling mists and clouds of moisture. And then,
from nowhere, comes the sound of rushing water, a waterfall amid
this glistening, green world, where you can revive your senses.
In the Heart
of the Andean Rainforest, a Gateway to Diversity
wonders waiting at Mashpi Lodge will delight the
worldliest nature lover. Perched at 900-m (3,116-feet) above sea
level and surrounded by lower mountain rainforest and cloud
forest, the Lodge is surrounded by a profusion of plant species,
from ferns and bromeliads to hundreds of orchid species, many
newly-discovered. A staggering 500 species of bird –
including some 36 endemics - are estimated to inhabit the forest,
fluttering through the canopy. Monkeys, peccaries and even
puma make their homes inside the Reserve crisscrossed with
waterfalls between dramatic, verdant hills.
The Mashpi Reserve
is located a mere two and a half hours to the northwest of
Ecuador's capital, Quito - the first city named
a World Heritage Site by UNESCO - and is
accessible via paved and unpaved roads.
Lodge is set within an 1,200-hectare (nearly 3,000-acre)
private reserve, which is part of a globally important
bio-region: the Tunbez-Choa-Darien. The area around
the reserve is world-famous as a biodiversity 'hotspot',
particularly when it comes to flora and avifauna.
The reserve occupies
much of the land that was previously part of a logging
concession. It was purchased in 1997. Over the
following years, more land was added until the forest was
legally registered as a private protected forest.
projects inceptors turned their dream into reality with
the building of the lodge itself - in fact, on the very
site of the mill which once whined with the sawing of the