Traveling to the Amazon Rainforest: What is your best option?
The Amazon rainforest is one of the most stunning regions in the world. Arguably the most important region in terms of biodiversity and conservation. However, the remoteness of the region can pose some challenges for travelers. In order to help you out with organizing a visit to the Amazon, we have written this blog. It’s full of tips and one amazing alternative that you’ll really want to consider.
What should you consider while planning a trip to the Amazon rainforest?
The Amazon conveys this idea of adventure in a pristine, remote paradise. Often enough, travelers feel a slight trepidation about travel due to the remote nature of the region and the planning required to reach it and find comfortable lodgings, not to mention that all sorts of myths regarding the Amazon region abound!
While piranha-infested waters and images of explorers being gobbled up by quicksand can be ignored off-hand, one should keep in mind that travel to the Amazon does entail some challenges. The biggest challenges are finding the right sort of accommodation and then the trip itself, given how far this region is from international airports and large cities.
Secluded destinations: An unfiltered experience of nature’s most spectacular side
There is no denying it, the Amazon is simply stunning and LARGE. Using Ecuador as an example, half the country is covered in tropical forests. These regions are the largest but also some of the least populated and developed in the country.
One of the things you have to keep in mind about these regions is that they are covered in tropical rainforest. This type of forest offers an incredible wealth of flora and fauna but also generates all sorts of challenges in terms of infrastructure, not to mention its peculiar conservation needs.
Note: Keep in mind that lodging in the Amazon means you will be getting to share your room with, shall we say, many-legged roommates. If you feel discomfort at the site of insects, ask about the measures your hotel or lodge employs to keep the bugs out. Mashpi Lodge, for example, uses state-of-the-art technology and design to ensure the lodge is a perfect hermetic setting, no bugs allowed!
How much you want to see during your stay is clearly an important factor when choosing a destination. We recommend you take some time to think about what sorts of activities you want to do. Do you like river kayaking? Canopy exploration? Bird watching? Often enough, the region you want to visit may not offer these activities and the time of the year can also impact your experience due to flooding.
Easy travel: Avoid logistical complications and discover new and exciting places
Let’s talk about your very first step when travelling to the Amazon rainforest. Using Ecuador as an example again, keep in mind that this stunning country only sports two international airports, one in its capital city of Quito and one in its main port, Guayaquil. Obviously if you’ve chosen to get to the Amazon basin, you want to start in Quito, which is far closer to the eastern side of the country. Now, sadly this doesn’t really get you close to the Amazon. You still need to hop on a small rotary plane and fly to one of the cities closer to the region itself. Then you will need to hop on some sort of ground transportation, followed by a long ride on a speedboat or a canoe.
Obviously, this adds a level of planning and time to your trip for which you’ll need to account, and one has to admit that all of these extra logistics can become prohibitive and unwise, especially while the world is still going through a pandemic.
Let’s talk about a more accessible alternative.
Is there such a thing as a rainforest in the Andes Mountain range?
The Earth’s longest continental mountain range, the Andes amount to the most stunning feature in the South American continent, second only to the Amazon itself. This continental barrier is also responsible for the amazing climate in the region. Among the peculiarities resulting from the relationship between the Andes and the Amazon are the gorgeous transition zones, the most incredible of these regions being the high altitude forests that scientists call cloud forests.
In Ecuador, the Mashpi Reserve is located in one of said “transitional” regions, one that encompasses both rainforest and cloud forest!
What’s the best rainforest resort to stay at in Ecuador?
Mashpi Lodge: the best nature resort of the region
Combing a modern design with sustainable technologies, Mashpi Lodge is one of the most lauded hotels in the entire hemisphere, and its smack in the middle of one of the most diverse biomes on the planet! Multiple awards have been garnered in accommodation, food, and spa categories. Currently, no similar lodge in the Amazon comes close!
Mashpi offers a plethora of activities, from multi-level canopy exploration via the Skybike and the Dragonfly Canopy Gondola, to rewarding walks to stunning waterfalls. Animal observation is also a guarantee at Mashpi thanks to all the teeming fauna. It’s also a premier birdwatcher’s paradise.
Proximity: Why is it safer to visit Mashpi Lodge than the Amazon Rainforest?
Another virtue that Mashpi can brag about when compared to lodges in the Amazon Rainforest is the close proximity to a large capital city like Quito. You won’t hop on a small rotor plane to get to Mashpi, you don’t even need to hop on a speedboat. Mashpi can be reached via a short drive from Quito itself!
This proximity offers other comforts, Mashpi is much closer to the fully-equipped hospitals of a city like Quito. You won’t have to be helicoptered out of Mashpi! As if that wasn’t already incredible, Mashpi has a medical professional on-site 24/7 as an added measure of safety.
What are Mashpi’s unique perks?
A stay at Mashpi comes with a guaranteed rest in world-class lodgings. This comfort doesn’t change the access to the amazing forest. Activities abound, from multi-level canopy exploration to amazing walks that will bring you closer to some of the most amazing animals on the planet (including over 400 species of birds).
Sustainable Travel: Why is your stay at Mashpi sustainable?
Mashpi is one of the most hopeful destinations in terms of nature conservancy. Boasting its own scientific team dedicated to research, Mashpi has been the site of multiple discoveries, including the discovery of some species that were previously unknown.
Recently, Mashpi has become the tip of the spear in an ongoing and ambitious conservation and carbon sequestering program. This project aims to increase the size of the Mashpi Reserve, adding several thousand acres to the protected area. It also includes expanding and restoring “biological corridors” to promote the health and wellbeing of many species by connecting individuals from different protected areas. Last but not least, a reforestation program will tackle the issue of global warming head-on through the planting and conservation of new, emergent forests and the protection of the old-growth forest.