Ecuador Cloud Forest Discovery: Mashpi Lodge

A two-and-a-half hour drive from Quito, Ecuador’s bustling capital city brings you to the award-winning Mashpi Lodge, a heavenly hideaway in a private reserve where discerning, eco-conscious travelers can experience life in the clouds, 3,116 ft. above sea level.

Slated to open April 2012, this designer showcase strikingly concocted of glass, recycled steel and just enough wood to hold it all together, will offer a luxurious home-base from which to explore the lush Mashpi Rainforest Biodiversity Reserve. Guests will be surrounded by 2,600 acres of tangled green jungle, filled with mountains, waterfalls, plants, orchids and hundreds of endemic birds and butterflies, all shrouded in misty clouds. To explore the reserve in depth, you can join the resident naturalist for guided hikes (offered day and night) climb the observation towers or hop on one of the cable car and aerial bicycles that glide over the rainforest canopy.

The contemporary 22 suites (three offer private Jacuzzis or a full-service spa is also available) are strikingly simple yet cloud-comfy cozy. The dining room, almost completely surrounded by glass, offers breathtaking views that pair perfectly with the gourmet Ecuadorian cuisine utilizing fresh organic ingredients from the surrounding rainforest. The full bar will offer exotic cocktails and the finest Chilean and Argentinean wines.

Rates start at $1,552 per person double for a three-day visit, including meals, guided tours, specialized lectures, rain gear and transfers from Quito.

For more information about Mashpi Lodge, please visit the website:

Watch a video of the Mashpi Rainforest Biodiversity Reserve:

Janice Nieder

Janice Nieder could be the love child of Indiana Jones and Julia Child. She was a specialty food consultant for 12 years in New York, with a client list that included Tavern on the Green, Dean & Deluca and Sign of the Dove. After being bitten by the travel bug, her culinary adventures took her to over 90 countries, where she shared a smoked monkey dinner with a generous Shuar Indian family deep...(Read More)

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