Mashpi’s Dragonfly is an excellent way to witness the reserve’s most exceptional and magical moments. The cable car lets you see the forest from a different perspective. The highlight of any trip to Mashpi is the Dragonfly. This exciting, open-air cable car system carries you across and sometimes even directly through the forest canopy, offering guests a relaxing way to enjoy the reserve from overhead.
The setup consists of two main stations, six towers (with an intermediate station where guests can get off if they wish), and four gondolas. The gondolas are equidistant and separated by 500 meters/1,640 feet. Each gondola moves along the 2 km/1.24 mi cable length at a low speed of 50 meters/160 feet per minute. The guides can stop the gondola at any point to allow visitors to observe any flora and fauna that catches their eye. An entire roundtrip takes about 40 minutes to complete. Gondolas can carry up to 4 guests (plus one guide).
This is the complete Dragonfly experience for those guests who want to experience the whole ride. You stay on board from the departure station to the end station and then return back.
We can also enjoy the Dragonfly ride just to Tower 4 and back – recommended for people with severe vertigo.
We take the Magnolia Trail from the lodge, walking through a beautiful forest and stopping at the viewing platform halfway down the path. Moving along, we come to a great waterfall for a revitalizing and refreshing dip. We walk downstream through the Laguna River, admiring the colors of the river and spotting birds before finally reaching Tower 4 of the Dragonfly. We will embark on our gondola journey across the canopy, arriving at the Dragonfly’s main station 20 minutes later.
Note: This experience can also be done the other way around, beginning at the Dragonfly’s main station and then hiking back to the lodge.
This delightful trail starts near the staff house, a short walk from the lodge. It offers an excellent understanding of forests’ regeneration process after deforestation. Just 15 years ago, the beginning of the trail was used for pasture; now, it’s a beautiful forest dominated by pioneer species of Miconia tree.
Vines are bridges connecting the forest canopy; some are strong enough to hold a person’s weight. Halfway along this trail, we can swing on Mashpi’s rope vine. This trail descends to the Laguna River. Walking along the riverbed, we can reach the waterfall before returning to Dragonfly’s Tower 4 and the departure station.
This experience is a great way to combine walking in the forest with traveling over the treetops.
At the Mashpi Reserve, “our” dragonfly allows you to experience a similar sensation to these creatures when they fly through the forest. As you slide through the cable system in an open gondola, you have a 360° view of this extraordinary ecosystem, the Chocó cloud forest.
Mashpi’s dragonfly travels at a comfortable speed allowing us to see life in the treetops, with branches covered in mosses and epiphytes, from a different perspective. ¡Come and join us in this unique experience!