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Impressively eco-friendly hotel, cloud-forest-swathed Mashpi Lodge, is environmentally conscious to the core, offering guests a unique immersive experience in the the Andes.

This fascinating – and National Geographic-approved – rainforest lodge will make an eco warrior of even the most reluctant Goretex wearer, with conservation centres and low-impact activities that bring biodiversity front and centre – alongside its home-harvested food and forest-surveying spa. Here’s why you should stash some natural mosquito repellent in your multi-pocketed vest and book a guilt-free getaway now…

Eco-friendly hotels in Ecuador | Mashpi Lodge

FORWARD-THINKING ARCHITECTURE

No trees were harmed in the construction of Mashpi Lodge: the land it’s built on was wrested from loggers, and the striking recycled-steel, glass and tropical-wood structure was built offsite and reassembled with as little disruption as possible.

Eco-friendly hotels in Ecuador | A tayra at Mashpi Lodge

REALLY WILD SHOWS

Kinkajous, tayras (above), howler monkeys, and the occasional puma: Mashpi Lodge offers dress-circle seats for the Chocó region’s brilliant biodiversity, starring a varied cast of critters through lowland and floodplain habitats. Attend a guided nighttime nature walk with the on-site naturalists to see luminescent fungi and spy a vast-winged Atlas moth.

Eco-friendly hotels in Ecuador | Mashpi Lodge Life Centre

LIFE FINDS A WAY HERE

The totem of Mashpi’s commitment to conservation, the Life Centre (set a 30-minute trek from the hotel) is captained by resident biologist Carlos Morochz, whose wholly local team works to introduce new species, protect the surroundings and find new methods of saving energy.

Eco-friendly hotels in Ecuador | The Sky Bike at Mashpi Lodge

CLOUD CYCLE

Mashpi Lodge couldn’t get a licence for boat rides, but if we’re honest, we find the Sky Bike’s jaw-dropping treetop safari far superior. Hop on the tandem ET-esque ride to pedal through clouds, wave to howler monkeys and rose-faced parrots, and see the misty and magical Andes unfold from on high.

Eco-friendly hotels in Ecuador | hummingbirds and butterflies at Mashpi Lodge

ALL A’FLUTTER

Follow a guide past liana-entangled trees to witness the brilliant flutter of activity at the Hummingbird Station. Or wander through the colourful and camouflaged residents of the butterfly garden, an observation centre housing more than 200 species, many introduced by the lodge’s biologists.

Eco-friendly hotels in Ecuador | Mashpi Lodge waterfall trek

CHASING WATERFALLS

Hidden within thick clusters of trees are unspoilt waterfalls where guests can swim or stop for a picnic. The less-taxing Oxibelis trail leads to a small waterfall-splashed clearing, but if you have the stamina, the Limones trail to San Vincente’s waterfall is worth the extra effort. Post-trek, guides will meet you with revivifying towels, juices and snacks.

Eco-friendly hotels in Ecuador  | the observation tower at Mashpi Lodge

TREETOP TWITCHING

Parrots, rainbow-billed toucans and raptors with razor-sharp talons may draw top-billing for the sky ballet visible from Mashpi’s observation tower (a 30-minute trek from the hotel), but we’re rather taken with the red-headed Cock of the Rock (Peru’s national bird) and Bond-girl-monikered flutterers Indigo Flowerpiercer and Black Solitaire.

Want to go wild in the Andean Highlands? Get up close and personal at Mashpi Lodge, or pick from our new crop of hotels in Ecuador.

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