September 5, 2018

JUNGLE SWING TRAIL


Max.974m
Min.937m
Incline1%
Time1:45h
Total50m
Time5 min.
Total737m
Time45 min.

ACTIVITY DESCRIPTION

This delightful trail starts near the staff house, a short walk from the lodge. It offers an excellent understanding of the regeneration process that forests undergo following deforestation. The first part of the trail was used for pasture just 15 years ago, and now it’s a beautiful young forest, dominated by pioneer species of Miconia tree. The trail ends in lovely mature forest before returning along the main path.

On this trail we can put the story of Tarzan to the test. Vines are bridges connecting the forest canopy, and some are strong enough to hold the weight of a person. Halfway along this trail, we can take a swing on Mashpi’s very own Tarzan rope-vine – shouting like Tarzan optional!

This trail can be combined with the Dragonfly for the return journey.

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September 5, 2018

STRANGLER FIG TRAIL


Max.945m
Min.891m
Incline5%
Time2h
Total925m
Time30 min.
Total822m
Time45 min.

ACTIVITY DESCRIPTION

Trails throughout the Reserve cross various types of terrain, ranging from the earth and gravel of the main road, forest paths carpeted by leaves, wading through rivers, while some have been specially adapted to make walking easier and pleasant, using embedded recycled plastic crates to create steps and firm paths.

This trail is named after one of the most curious plants in the reserve, the strangler fig. This seed plant, dispersed by birds, lowers its roots from the canopy into the ground around the host tree, and then slowly grows around it until it effectively smothers it. This trail is dominated by palms over 40 m high called pambiles or iron palm (Iriartea deltoidea).

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September 5, 2018

THE HEALING WATERFALL


Max.898m
Min.820m
Incline16%
Time4h
Total1.3km
Time60 min.
Total374m
Time25 min.
Total850m
Time30 min.

ACTIVITY DESCRIPTION

One of the most beautiful in the Reserve, but you have to be pretty fit to enjoy the hike there and back. The waterfall has an amazing setting, and what’s more, you can get round to the back of the chute of water to feel the energizing force – a special place to sit and meditate.

The walk starts from the hotel and takes four hours there and back, covering 3 km (2 miles). There are several other options to reduce hiking time, including taking a vehicle part of the way, walking to the Sky Bike Station, crossing to the other side and walking the trail to the waterfall, or combining the walk with the Dragonfly on the return.

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September 5, 2018

MAGNOLIA WATERFALL


Max.941m
Min.779m
Incline20%
Time2h
Total15m
Time2 min.
Total688m
Time45 min.

ACTIVITY DESCRIPTION

Several rivers cross the Mashpi Reserve close to the hotel, many forming beautiful small waterfalls, cascades and pools. This trail drops down right from outside the lodge to the Laguna River below. It’s steep in parts, with a great viewing platform about half-way, and a beautiful waterfall and pool for bathing at the bottom – with an all-natural Jacuzzi! The waterfall and trail’s name come from the tallest in the Reserve, a new species of Magnolia (soon to be published) that grows abundantly in this area, the species is heavily logged outside the reserve for its valuable timber.

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September 5, 2018

COPAL WATERFALL


Max.966m
Min.865m
Incline15%
Time2h
Total20m
Time3 min.
Total644m
Time45 min.

ACTIVITY DESCRIPTION

Water is key to life in Mashpi, and there’s nothing like a refreshing dip full of nature´s energy at the end of a hike! The water temperature is between 18 and 20°C (64 and 68°F). Don’t forget your swimming suit if you want to swim!

This medium-difficulty trail takes us on a magical walk through primary forest where many of the centenarian trees of the Reserve survived logging, with the copal tree (Dacryodes cupularis) being the most emblematic. It leads us down to a waterfall, whose rocks conjure an enchanting curtain of mist all around. The resin from this tree is used as an anaesthetic and for burning as incense; it’s also combustible.

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September 5, 2018

MASHPI TORRENTEER LAGOON


ACTIVITY DESCRIPTION

The Mashpi forest is transformed at night, with far more activity than during the day.

This lagoon lies a short walk along the road from the hotel, where a waterfall and river form a beautiful pond. This is the ideal habitat for various species of frogs – rain frogs, glass frogs and tree frogs – as well as other fascinating species we might encounter. In this lagoon, our scientific investigation team was able to discover a new species for science: the Mashpi Torrenteer. Its Latin name is Hyloscirtus mashpi, which means guardian of the river.

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September 4, 2018

CAPUCHIN MONKEY TRAIL


Max.1076m
Min.773m
Incline5%
Total2.035km
Time2:20 h (to the Laguna river) 1:30h (by vehicle to the trail)

ACTIVITY DESCRIPTION

This is the longest trail we have designed so far in the Reserve, covering more than 2 miles (3.5 km if the walk starts from the hotel) and connecting different attractions of the reserve.

On this trail we can observe spots where the Club-wing Manakin birds gather to perform their courtship dances. These locations are known as leks. This trail also leads to a fork down to the Healing Waterfall (1.3 km), and finally to the Laguna River. We return wading and walking upstream in the river to the Magnolia trail and from there back to the lodge (2 hours 1.5 km).

We can also walk upstream to Tower 4 and return on the Dragonfly.


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September 4, 2018

THE LIFE CENTER

A PLACE FOR LEARNING AND DISCOVERY

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A PLACE FOR LEARNING AND DISCOVERY

THE LIFE CENTER

Located west of the lodge, the Life Centre was conceived as a place for learning and discovery, but also as a place where our guests can disconnect while they admire the scenery from the comfort of a chaise longue on the handsome wooden deck – a great place to spot birds, and hear the roar of mantled howler monkeys, too!

Here we learn about the species of butterflies found in this region, observing the whole process of metamorphosis from eggs into beautiful butterflies. About 300 species of moths and butterflies have been identified to date in the Reserve, and our team has reproduced 50 of these to date. About a dozen can be seen in the centre itself. Most of the interpretation in the centre is provided by our guides or the employees from the local community involved in the project.

EXPLORATION DETAILS

  • Life Centre Trail
  • Howler Monkey Trail
Life Centre Trail
Max.941m
Min.872m
Incline9%
Time45 min.
Total703m
Time45 min.

ACTIVITY DESCRIPTION

To get to the Life Centre we take the Howler Monkey trail, located 1 km from the hotel. This trail runs through primary forest and is the perfect prelude to discovering the various interactions between species inhabiting the tropical rainforests. On the way back from the Life Centre we take the short Life Centre trail to the main road, and then back to the lodge. In total, we walk 3.5 km and take about 3 hours, including the visit to the Life Centre.

Howler Monkey Trail
Max.926m
Min.871m
Incline11%
Time20 min.
Total456m
Time20 min.

ACTIVITY DESCRIPTION

This trail runs mostly primary forest, where the dominant species is the copal tree (Dacryodes cupularis), with an average height of 40 m, prized for its wood. The trail get its name from the howler monkeys, a species that inhabit this forest fragment – it’s quite possible we’ll hear them as we walk the trail – and ends at the Life Centre.

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September 4, 2018

OBSERVATION TOWER

ENJOY AN ENDLESS VIEW OF THE CLOUD FOREST

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ENJOY AN ENDLESS VIEW OF THE CLOUD FOREST

THE OBSERVATION TOWER

One of the best ways to enjoy the beauty of Mashpi is from the observation tower. From here, we can appreciate a wonderful view of the canopy and the complex structure of the tropical forest, and on clear days we can see the lodge, the Reserve’s boundaries and a mosaic of forest, crops and little villages beyond.

The tower is a metal structure with a staircase that rises about eight stories (26 m or 85 ft), ideal for the wildlife lovers. Species spotted from here include toucans, woodpeckers, barbets, tanagers and parrots, as well as birds of prey.

  • Sky Bike Trail
  • The Walking Palm Trail
Sky Bike Trail
Max.1025m
Min.1005m
Incline10%
Time
Total540m
Time15 min.
Total160m
Time5 min.

ACTIVITY DESCRIPTION

The observation tower is located near the Sky Bike and we combine the two activities.

The combination of activities – Sky Bike, Observation Tower and hike – lasts about 3 hours.

The Walking Palm Trail
Max.1023m
Min.995m
Incline1%
Time50 min.
Total850m
Time25 min.
Total640m
Time25 min.

ACTIVITY DESCRIPTION

This trail leads from the Sky Bike landing station to the road, following the course of the river. Here we can come across a very special palm: Irearthea deltoidea, famous for being able to ‘walk’ towards the light in order to improve its chances of growth.



September 4, 2018

THE SKY BIKE

ENJOY THE BEAUTIFUL VIEW FROM ABOVE

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ENJOY THE BEAUTIFUL VIEW FROM ABOVE

THE SKY BIKE

Located close to the hotel, the Sky Bike makes for an original and exciting way to explore the forest canopy up close. Designed for two people to use at once, one person pedals the bike along a cable stretched between two points in the forest, around 200 m (655 feet) apart, crossing a beautiful gorge above a river flowing between rocks and trees below. Silent, easy-to-use and fun, it’s an activity for children over 1 m high accompanied by an adult, providing guests with the chance to fly over the natural world close to the lodge and even spot its denizens. The ride takes 10 minutes or 20 round-trip.

EXPLORATIONS DETAILS

The intrepid Sky Bike at the Ecuador eco lodge
  • Sky Bike Trail
  • The Walking Palm Trail
Sky Bike Trail
Max.1025m
Min.1005m
Incline10%
Time
Total540m
Time15 min.
Total160m
Time5 min.

ACTIVITY DESCRIPTION

To get to the Sky Bike, we walk 15 minutes along the access road, and then just 5 minutes (160 m) along a short trail.

We can combine the Sky Bike with other activities like a hike on the Walking Palm trail to the Laguna waterfall and walk back to the lodge from there (1 hour, 1.5 miles). For a longer walk, we can take the Capuchin trail and walk to the Healing waterfall (a demanding hike and only recommended for people in good physical conditions because the hike is 2-miles long and takes 2.5 hours).

The combination of activities – Sky Bike, Observation Tower and hike – lasts about 3 hours.

The Walking Palm Trail
Max.1023m
Min.995m
Incline1%
Time50 min.
Total850m
Time25 min.
Total640m
Time25 min.

ACTIVITY DESCRIPTION

This trail leads from the Sky Bike landing station to the road, following the course of the river. Here we can come across a very special palm: Irearthea deltoidea, famous for being able to ‘walk’ towards the light in order to improve its chances of growth.