Wildlife and Activities in the Mashpi Lodge Ecuador
How do you get to Mashpi Lodge in Ecuador’s cloud forest? How does Mashpi Lodge contribute to cloud forest protection in Ecuador? And how many waterfalls are there at Mashpi? We answer these questions in the first part of the travel report about Mashpi Lodge.
Here you can find out what activities we did during the last days of our stay. For example, how does the air bicycle work? And what is special about the Teleférico Dragonfly?
The air bicycle (Bicicleta de aire)
After we had walked up the Copal Trail again, we went on to the air bicycle. Always two persons can sit on this vehicle one behind the other. Only the rear one has pedals and therefore makes sure to get to the other side with one’ s own power. Well strapped in, the 20-minute tour leads over and along the forest giants. At the highest point you float 60 m above the forest floor, which you can only guess at. It is an incredible feeling to float up there!
Up to the halfway point it is downhill, so to speak. On the second half you have to make a little more effort to cycle uphill to the final station. At this station there is reliably someone standing by to help turn the seats over. So it can go back in the same way. It is a great adventure for everyone! Children are allowed from a height of 1 meter. Of course, the tour is not recommended for people with fear of heights! During the 20 minutes that the tour lasts, other guests can visit the 30 m high metal tower or try out the liana swing.
The Dragonfly (Teleférico)
After lunch at the Mashpi Lodge we set off for another great adventure in Ecuador’s cloud forest: the Dragonfly or Teleferico. The Teleferico “Dragonfly” costs 40 USD for adults and 20 USD for children. Nevertheless we decided to go for it. This cable car works pretty much like a ski lift, except that the cabin is an open rectangle and has four seats with seat belts. The guide sits between the two rear seats. And so we started the 30-minute ride to the other side of the reserve.
The height in which one drives is in some places even 80m. It is a fantastic ride above the treetops of the cloud forest. We drove once all the way to the other side and then back again to tower 4.
Bathing and picnic in the middle of nature
From tower 4 we first went to the Jacuzzi, as the guide called a small pool under a waterfall. It was quite deep, so that I didn’t dare to go into it with our daughter, who had just learned to swim.
The next bathing possibility at a waterfall was not far away. It was also very nice and the pool there was not so deep. While the way up to the jacuzzi and the waterfall was almost exclusively through a shallow stream, it went up again quite steeply afterwards. After 45 minutes uphill we came to a viewpoint.
Here our guide from the day before had prepared a fantastic picnic with wine, cheese, chips, cookies and even gummy bears for the children. It was a great surprise and showed once again how perfect and careful the planning for excursions in the cloud forest at Mashpi Lodge is. After the picnic it was only a short walk to the lodge.
The nocturnal life in Ecuador's cloud forest
Although the hike was already quite exhausting, the children insisted on doing a night hike as well. During this hike they could look for nocturnal cloud forest inhabitants in a nearby forest for about two hours. They saw three snakes, several frogs, a lizard and many insects, including a tarantula, and by the end of the day they were exhausted but happy all around!
On the last day we already drove at 7.30 am by car to the hummingbird viewpoint. There was a shelter for the birdwatchers and all around it was swarming with hummingbirds.
In the lodge, feeders are suspended, i.e. containers with sugar water. They must be changed every day, otherwise the sugar coagulates and the hummingbirds get stomach aches. In addition, numerous different flowers have been planted here, which serve as food sources for the hummingbirds. This is to ensure that the animals do not become dependent on sugar water.
This last day was the only rainy one during our stay. But for the hummingbirds it was really lucky, because they are more active in cooler, rainy weather! Beside the hummingbirds we also saw different tangars.
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