The Chocó biogeographical region spans the length of Panama, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. It encompasses the biodiversity hotspot known as the Tumbes-Chocó-Darién, which extends along the western edge of the Andes mountain range. It is considered to be of “high interest for the global conservation of biodiversity” and is also the first forest to be considered a “Model Forest” in Ecuador. Worldwide, there are only 28 of these hotspots that manage to cover a total of 164 countries.
The Chocó-Andean forest, which is located along the western flanks of the Ecuadorian Andes, consists of about 125,000 hectares (309,000 acres). Only about two percent of its original forest remains intact. It is home to approximately 18,000 people, most of which are farmers.
By visiting Mashpi Lodge, you are directly contributing to the conservation and deeper understanding of this unique and precious ecosystem and biogeographical region.
A staggering 400 species of birds – of which 36 are endemic (meaning they are found nowhere else in the world) – are estimated to inhabit the forests of Mashpi. Monkeys, peccaries and even pumas make their homes inside the Reserve’s dramatic, verdant hills which are dotted by majestic waterfalls. A myriad of invertebrates and amphibians inhabit this world. While you’d be lucky to catch a glimpse of many of these shy creatures, a network of camera traps allows to us to sneakily observe their movements in breathtaking proximity and clarity.