ANDEAN TREASURES

Mashpi Lodge Activities

Uniquely natural - Close enough to touch.

A hideaway in the forest only accessible to its privileged guests and located on a scenic plateau, the lodge features breath taking views of the surrounding forested mountains right up close through its floor-to-ceiling panoramic glass windows. Like a cathedral to the natural world, it protrudes from the verdant hillside, holding unknown comforts and pleasures within.

Discover the world of Mashpi

The wonders waiting at Mashpi Lodge will delight the worldliest nature lover. The world of Mashpi is yours to discover, to experience, to cherish, and our expedition leader and top trained naturalist guides – many of them native to the region – are here to assist you on your journey.
Following, we have outlined the main activities and experiences we offer our guests. You can elect to combine them as you please, depending on your interests and abilities. Every night, you will be able to choose from our activities menu. All are accompanied by expert naturalist and local community guides.
Please do get in touch with us in advance so we can best plan your stay together!

We have an expedition leader who each evening will help you to plan your explorations for the next day, as well as a team of natural guides on hand to make the plans reality

The Dragonfly

The highlight of any trip to Mashpi is a ride aboard the Dragonfly, an innovative cable system which carries you under, through and above the forest canopy: a unique way to see the world anew offering unprecedented access to such a little-understood place.

The Dragonfly consists of two stations, six towers (with an intermediate station half-way, which we can use to embark and disembark), and four ‘gondolas’ in which you travel. Each gondola can carry four guests plus their guide. The Dragonfly travels gently and slowly along a 2-kilometre (1.2-mile) cable between the two stations, sometimes below the canopy, sometimes through it, and also far above it – it’s a bird’s eye view of this magical ecosystem where the sounds of the forest greet you like a symphony. It takes about 40 minutes to ride from one station to the other.

Activity Description

We take the Magnolia Trail waterfall from by the lodge, walking through beautiful forest and stopping at the viewing platform half-way. Further down, we come to a great waterfall for a revitalizing dip and pummelling shower. We then wade and walk through the Laguna River downstream, admiring the colours of the riverbed and spotting birds, before reaching Tower 4 of the Dragonfly. Here we embark for our glide up the gorge, arriving at the departure station 20 minutes later.
This experience can also be done the other way round, beginning on the Dragonfly and returning uphill to the lodge.

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.

Activity Description

To get 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).

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.

Activity Description

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

A place for learning and discovery

The Life Centre

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.

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.

Hummingbird Garden

Activity Description

The forests of Mashpi boast 32 hummingbird species identified to date, inhabiting different specific altitudes, with around 19 species alone observable by guests in this garden. In order to make it easier to see these amazing creatures, we placed several hummingbird feeders and fruit feeders, in front a shelter with seating providing the ideal setting. Here, apart from hummingbirds, we can also frequently spot fruit feeder species such as toucans, tanagers, squirrels, etc. The site is located at a natural viewpoint, which, on clear days, provides breath-taking views of the Reserve’s forested hills. This is a paradise for photographers, regardless of your level of experience, as well as a place to calmly connect with birds and nature.

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.

Strangler Fig Trail

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).

Jungle Swing Trail

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.

Capuchin Monkey 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.

The Luminous Trail

Activity Description

This is a short and easy trail which we use mostly for night walks due to its richness in insects. It’s named after the luminous ‘fox fire’ fungus that occurs here. It’s a glow in the dark living experience!

Copal Waterfall

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.

Magnolia Waterfall

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.

The Healing Water Fall

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.

Malimpias Waterfall

Activity Description

One of our more challenging trails, but definitely worth the effort, since the hike ends at one of the largest waterfalls in Mashpi, which cascades down 60 m (190 feet). We wind downhill through enchanting primary forest with trees towering up to 35 m (110 feet) to the lower part of our Reserve, just where the tropical rainforest begins in earnest. The falls create a deep pond, perfect for swimming

For additional information and reservations contact us at (800) 666 8687 – (305) 436 0933 – Email: mar@gttours.com

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CONTACT US AT GT TOURS
TOLL FREE NUMBERS: (800) 666 8687 – (866) 496 9600
TELEPHONE: 305.436.0933 – FAX: 305.436.0843
EMAIL: mar@gttours.com
7270 NW 12TH Street – Suite 740, Miami, Florida 33126
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G T TOURS OFFICES:

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13494 NW 7th Street
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Miami, Florida 
9930 SW 142 Street
Miami, Florida 33176

Toll Free USA & Canada:
(800) 666 8687
Local Number: 
(305) 436 0933 
Fax:     
(305 436 0843

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We will be happy to answer your questions or comments.

G T TOURS OFFICES:

Plantation, Florida  
13494 NW 7th Street
Plantation, Florida 33325

Miami, Florida 
9930 SW 142 Street
Miami, Florida 33176

Toll Free USA & Canada:
(800) 666 8687
Local Number: 
(305) 436 0933 
Fax:     
(305 436 0843

Send us a Message

ENQUIRE NOW

We will be happy to answer your questions or comments.

G T TOURS OFFICES:

Plantation, Florida  
13494 NW 7th Street
Plantation, Florida 33325

Miami, Florida 
9930 SW 142 Street
Miami, Florida 33176

Toll Free USA & Canada:
(800) 666 8687
Local Number: 
(305) 436 0933 
Fax:     
(305 436 0843

Send us a Message

ENQUIRE NOW

We will be happy to answer your questions or comments.

G T TOURS OFFICES:

Plantation, Florida  
13494 NW 7th Street
Plantation, Florida 33325

Miami, Florida 
9930 SW 142 Street
Miami, Florida 33176

Toll Free USA & Canada:
(800) 666 8687
Local Number: 
(305) 436 0933 
Fax:     
(305 436 0843

Send us a Message

ENQUIRE NOW

We will be happy to answer your questions or comments.

G T TOURS OFFICES:

Plantation, Florida  
13494 NW 7th Street
Plantation, Florida 33325

Miami, Florida 
9930 SW 142 Street
Miami, Florida 33176

Toll Free USA & Canada:
(800) 666 8687
Local Number: 
(305) 436 0933 
Fax:     
(305 436 0843