• Mashpi Cloud Forest Reserve

Itinerary Summary

Duration
15 Days
Price From
£6400
When
Year-Round
Destination
Ecuador
Type
Tailor-Made
Duration Price From When Destination Type
15 Days £6400 Year-Round Ecuador Tailor-Made

Ecuador Jungle, Forest & Volcano Adventure

Spot wildlife in the Mashpi Cloud Forest Reserve, delve into the dense jungles of the Amazon and explore the highlands of the Andes on this thrilling trip through Ecuador's most stunning wilderness regions.

Ecuador has the highest level of biodiversity per square kilometre of any nation, meaning your excursions into the wilderness during this thrilling safari are sure to result in sightings of many fascinating animals. Your two-week journey also includes visits to the dense jungle of the Amazon as well as the Mashpi Cloud Forest, while the Andean Highlands are home to a number of indigenous species in addition to rolling hills, mountains and even volcanoes. This trip will allow you to drink in the different yet equally captivating atmospheres of all these environments, all while staying in two brilliant wilderness lodges, a boutique city hotel and a converted 17th-century hacienda.

 

What makes this trip extraordinary

  • Experience the culture of Ecuador's historic capital, Quito.
  • Observe the abundant wildlife of the Ecuadorian Amazon during your stay at the specialised Napo Wildlife Centre.
  • Spend time in the highlands of Ecuador, with a chance to spot the Andean condor and the elusive Andean spectacled bear.
  • Hike on self-guided trails in the shadow of the towering Cayambe Volcano.
  • Enjoy the luxury and remoteness of Mashpi Lodge, one of National Geographic’s “Unique Lodges of the World”.

Embedded Video Overview

An adventurous 14-day safari taking in some of Ecuador's most stunning regions

from $7,616 per person, excluding international and internal flights

Day by day

Day by day

Day 1

Arrive Quito

At the beginning of your safari you'll be welcomed into Quito, the incredible colonial capital city of Ecuador, by your local guide who will take you to your hotel. As Ecuador is located at 2,800 metres above sea level, you may feel light-headed due to the altitude. Make sure to drink plenty of water and avoid heavy foods. On this first evening you can settle in and discover the history of the local area while looking forward to your onward adventures.

Overnight: La Casona de la Ronda

Day 2

Quito City Tour

Enjoy an exploratory half-day tour of Quito, which was the first city declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO back in 1978. The Old Town unquestionably features some of the finest examples of colonial architecture in Latin America and is a beguiling mix of Spanish and Indigenous cultures. You will start your tour at a panoramic viewpoint to enjoy a bird`s eye view of the city. Gain your bearings a little, understanding Quito's layout and fully appreciating this breath-taking valley setting. Strolling through the magical Old Town, you will pause to admire some of the staggeringly well-kept architecture, from the Cathedral to the President's Palace on Plaza Independencia. Many of the colonial buildings were built atop an old Inca settlement and your guide will talk you through the detail, whilst you weave the streets and plazas observing the local way of life.

Overnight: La Casona de la Ronda (B,L,D)

Day 3

Quito - Amazon

This morning, you will be transferred back to the airport for your flight to Coca, located in Ecuador's Amazon region. Upon arrival in Coca, you will be transferred by boat to your lodge in the Amazon Rainforest, approximately two hours upstream. This is an area of primary rainforest and there are many great opportunities for spotting a variety of wildlife, including howler monkeys, sloths, caiman, river otters and an abundance of birds. Settle in for dinner and an introductory meeting, before your guide takes you out by canoe to try to spot caiman at night.

Overnight: Napo Wildlife Centre Eco-Lodge (B, L, D)

Days 4-6

Amazon

Over the next three days, you will be able to choose from a range of excursions to experience life in the jungle and view some of the interesting flora and fauna that live here. According to Napo, over 560 species of bird and around 140 species of mammal can be seen in the area! Optional excursions include visits to the clay licks, which are a vital source of minerals for the many varieties of parrot. There is also a canopy tower which allows you to ascend through the different levels of the forest, as well as various trails that you can explore alongside your guide, who will be on hand to spot the wildlife and teach you about the unique ecosystem of the Ecuadorian Amazon. Each night, return to the lodge for dinner and a nightcap as the sounds of the forest resonate around you.

Overnight: Napo Wildlife Centre Eco-Lodge (B, L, D)

Day 7

Amazon - Zuleta Region

This morning, after an early breakfast, you will travel by motorised canoe and road back to Coca airport in time for your flight to Quito. On arrival, you will be met and transferred for a scenic 2 hour drive through part of the Avenue of Volcanoes until you reach your next accommodation, the stunning Hacienda Zuleta

Overnight: Hacienda Zuleta (B, D)

Days 8-9

Zuleta Region

Your Ecuador adventure continues with an immersive couple of days in the striking landscape and indigenous culture of the Andean Highlands. Otavalo, best known for its 400-year-old market that is the longest continuously operating site of commerce in South America, lies at the hub of this region characterised by lakes and volcanic peaks. Over the next two days you will have access to 60km worth of self-guided walking trails, all with dramatic views of the Cayambe Volcano. Included in your stay at the hacienda is a guided visit of the Condor Huasi Project, a pioneering initiative dedicated to the conservation of South America’s largest bird. Guests have also reported sightings of the Andean spectacled bear in the wild while walking these trails, although these sightings are rare.

Overnight: Hacienda Zuleta (B, L, D)

Day 10

Zuleta Region - Quito - Cloud Forest

This morning after an early breakfast, meet your driver who will take your back towards Quito, before heading west to the Mashpi Cloud Forest, where you'll spend the new few days exploring from the comfort of your unique lodge, Mashpi Cloud Forest Lodge.

Overnight: La Casona de la Ronda (B)

Day 11

Quito - Mashpi Cloud Forest

After breakfast, you will depart Quito and drive approximately three hours to the Mashpi Cloud Forest Reserve. This private rainforest biodiversity reserve is stunningly set, surrounded by forested mountains, with the spectacular Mashpi Lodge at its heart. After checking into the lodge and enjoying lunch you will head out on your first activity in the cloud forest.

Overnight: Mashpi Lodge (B, L, D)

Days 12-13

Mashpi Cloud Forest

For the next two days you will wake to the sounds of jungle while enjoying some of the excursions within the cloud forest. These may include forest walks, visits to nearby licks and leks to view some of the bird species found locally, walks to nearby waterfalls, observation towers and the unique “sky bike”, which allows you to explore the forest from up above – a fantastically unique way to explore the natural splendour of the reserve.

Overnight: Mashpi Lodge (B, L, D)

Day 14

Mashpi Cloud Forest - Quito

Enjoy an early-morning excursion in the rainforest in order to make the most of the spectacular birdlife that this area is famous for. On your return there will be time for a nice breakfast before heading on a two-hour walk to the beautiful Copal Waterfall. Well known for its moss-covered trees, bromelias and orchids, this is a spectacular trail that ends at the spectacular waterfall which cascades over 50 metres to the ground. After this beautiful excursion you will make your way back to Mashpi Lodge in time for lunch before returning to Quito.

Overnight: La Casona de la Ronda (B, L)

Day 15

Depart Quito

It is time for your adventure to come to an end as you check out of your hotel and transfer to the international airport to meet your flight home.

TRIP DETAILS

ABOUT TAILOR-MADE SAFARIS

A tailor-made safari is one designed according to your specific requirements, including budget, dates, personal interests, the number of people travelling, and more. This itinerary is just an example and can be refined and altered to make it perfect for you.

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