ECUADOR ESCAPE: MASHPI LODGE AND CASA GANGOTENA

ECUADOR ESCAPE: MASHPI LODGE AND CASA GANGOTENA

2,395.00

7 DAYS / 6 NIGHTS

3 Nights at Casa Gangotena in Quito
3 Nights at Mashpi Lodge in Cloud Forest

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FROM $2,395 PER PERSON

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

The mountains of Ecuador host some of the most beautiful cities and most pristine destinations in South America. This exciting itinerary combines a cultural and a natural tour to Quito and the cloud forest while experiencing Casa Gangotena, the best boutique hotel in Ecuador, and Mashpi Lodge, a five star lodge designed to completely immerse you in the forest life.

Start the program discovering Quito's beautiful old town as you walk its narrow stone cobbled streets and observe its majestic churches and colonial buildings.

The second part of the itinerary takes you to Mashpi, a unique biodiversity reserve in the Cloud Forest. Be on the lookout for more than 450 species of birds, black howler monkeys, and a vast variety of butterflies while enjoying the lodge’s exciting facilities including a sky bike, life center and funicular!

WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • 3 Nights Accommodation with Daily Breakfast at Casa Gangotena in Quito

  • 3 Nights Accommodation with Full Board at Mashpi Lodge

  • Excursions and tours in Quito as specified below

  • Daily included excursions at Mashpi Lodge

  • All airport and ground transportation (unless otherwise specified in the itinerary)

  • All entrance fees as mentioned on tour

  • All local taxes (unless otherwise specified)

  • *Not included: gratuities, visas (if applicable), international or internal flights, meals and drinks not described above, items of a personal nature


DETAILED ITINERARY

DAY 01 | WELCOME TO QUITO!

Welcome to Ecuador! Upon arrival to Quito’s International Airport you will be transferred to Casa Gangotena hotel, named one of the world’s top hotels by ‘Travel + Leisure’. You will have the evening at leisure to explore the surrounding neighborhood or simply enjoy this gorgeous property.

Overnight at Casa Gangotena (no meals included)


DAY 02 | QUITO

After breakfast at the hotel, head out with your guide on a tour of lovely Quito, a beautiful city surrounded by volcanoes, most prominently by Pichincha volcano (15,750 ft). Quito was founded by the Inca civilization and developed by Spanish colonizers. Its historic center is a true architectural jewel, dating back to the XVIth and XIXth century and registered by UNESCO for its unique touristic sites, churches, and colonial convents. Admire Plaza de la Independencia, Quito's main square, and the Metropolitan Cathedral with its striking sugar white tower. Colorful people from all over the country display Ecuador's rich cultural melting pot of cultures. Visit La Compañia de Jesús, the first and best example of Latin American baroque architecture, boasting a ornate and completely gold-leafed interior. After this, travel to “The Middle of the World”, to the north of Quito, where the fictitious Equator line runs along the monument. Enjoy a delicious lunch at “El Crater” restaurant before visiting the Equator monument and its neo-colonial village.

This evening is yours at leisure.

Overnight at Casa Gangotena (B, L)


DAY 03 | QUITO

After a delightful breakfast at the hotel, you will be taken to Otavalo, where you and your private guide will walk through the bustling marketplace to browse the different stands and meet local people. Otavalo is one of the most visited indigenous markets in South America, rich in traditions and customs. As you make your way through the maze of stalls selling alpaca sweaters, ponchos, hammocks, pan flutes and other souvenirs, you can admire the multicolored handicrafts and have a go at haggling with the merchant. Enjoy lunch at Hacienda Pinsaqui. Return to Quito for your final night on your own in the city!


DAY 04 | QUITO - MASHPI LODGE

After a final breakfast in Quito, you will be transferred out to Mashpi Lodge, a journey of approximately 3 hours in the western slope of the occidental flank of the Andes. The rapid change in altitude allows you to discover the wonders of the Andean landscape. The road crosses the valley of Pomasqui dominated by Andean dry forest, and then to the western flank of the Andes through the Cloud Forest and the road ends in Mashpi at the beginning of the tropical rainforest. Upon arrival you will be greeted by staff for a 30-minute introductory talk about the Cloud Forest and its conservation, the activities during your stay and some helpful tips about what to wear and what to bring to the excursions. Now it’s time to enjoy a delicious lunch on site before your first excursion, a two hour trek along the Napa Trail taking you through patches of pristine forest and areas of regeneration.

This evening, enjoy dinner and a special lecture on property about the Cloud Forest, secret wildlife and special research projects. Rest up for an early morning and full day tomorrow!

Overnight at Mashpi Lodge (B, L, D)


DAY 05 | MASHPI LODGE

Today you'll have an early start to witness morning birding inside the forest and the beauty of the butterflies in the Life Centre. The activity begins at 6:30 in the hotel lobby with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and cookies. Your local naturalist will take you along the Howler Monkey Trail, pointing out different species of colorful birds and, of course, the very vocal howler monkeys. Arrive to the Life Center, where you will enjoy a picnic breakfast (around 8:00am) and some down time to view the surrounding flora and fauna. This area is dedicated to growing useful plants and beyond, many varieties of bushes and fruit trees, including banana and plantain, manioc, cacao, hot chili pepper, coffee and wild raspberries.

Head back to the lodge for a late evening at leisure. Enjoy lunch on property around 12:30pm before your next adventure. At 3:30pm this afternoon you will trek to Cucharillos Waterfall, named after the endemic Cucharillo tree (Magnolia striatifoliai) which in Spanish means teaspoon, a tree threatened by its value as timber and common on this trail. This trail is of moderate difficulty because of its steep climbing. At the end of the trail is a big waterfall and rocky riverbed with beautiful ponds and little waterfalls.
Head out for an evening hike to witness the transformation of the forest at night, noticing the intensified sounds and smells as your senses are awakened. This overwhelming experience known as a “night safari” is where, unlike others, guests find the beauty in the small details, like the croaking of frogs or the hum of insects. Dinner will be served back at the lodge, where you are free to relax before bed.

Overnight at Mashpi Lodge (B, L, D)


DAY 06 | MASHPI LODGE

Today is a full and fantastic day of excursions! Explore this stunning area with your naturalist guide and fellow travelers. Hop on a Sky Bike, a novel and exciting way of exploring 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 meters (655 feet) apart – while zipping over a beautiful gorge complete with running rivers that flow around the rocks and trees below. It is truly a unique and unforgettable experience. Next. climb the eight storied Observation Tower, ideal for all types of wildlife lovers. Species spotted from here include toucans, woodpeckers, barbets, tanagers and parrots, as well as birds of prey. Enjoy Lunch & Dinner at the Lodge. Your final evening is free to relax and enjoy the property’s amenities.

Overnight at Mashpi Lodge (B, L, D)


DAY 07 | DEPARTURE

After an early breakfast and check out, say goodbye to Mashpi and the Cloud Forest. You will be transferred back to Quito for your departing flight home.

(B)


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