It’s rare to look forward to a long drive. With traffic jams at every corner, I often wonder how we make it anywhere. But when the drive is on a winding road up through the Andes with breathtaking panoramic views, the daily commute seems very far away.
On a recent trip to Ecuador (much to the jealousy of the rest of the office) I had the chance to visit a new eco-lodge in Ecuador’s cloud forest. Mashpi Lodge is located about three hours outside of Quito in the ecologically diverse region called the Tumbez-Choco-Darien. It’s called Choco for short, which seemed to have me always dreaming of chocolate (easy to do in an area rich with cocoa beans).
The concept of the lodge is to be able to see forest from anywhere within the hotel, and I must admit there wasn’t a time where I didn’t have a view of lush, green tropical treetops. With giant windows everywhere you look, you truly feel as though you’re lost in the jungle… along with all the comforts of home.
Whether you want to cut loose on one of the many hiking trails, swim in a waterfall, head to the butterfly farm, count as many birds as you can find, have a massage or two, or wind down in the jacuzzi, at Mashpi you’re always close to nature. And if a truly unique experience is what you’re after, don’t forget to try the Sky Bike. Imagine sitting in a chair, hanging from a wire, and pedaling yourself across the cloud forest until you break through the canopy to take in views that span miles.
At Mashpi, everything is taken care of so you can just do what we all need to do sometimes: absorb your surroundings and get back to nature… with a side of luxury, of course.
Victoria brought us back plenty of Choco chocolate and baby seal photos to keep our Ecuadorian research-envy at bay.