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Quito, Ecuador
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Mashpi Lodge Quito  Ecuador

Mashpi Lodge

While a lot of peak experiences in Ecuador could be classed as "roughing it," Mashpi Lodge is definitely not one of these. Calling itself a "luxury cocoon in the cloud forest" the lodge is a eco-conscious but sensually decadent refuge of minimalist style within an area of dramatic and delicate natural beauty. The landscape around the lodge is famous for its profusion of rare ferns and orchids as well as fungi that glows at night—a special treat on the lodge's guided night treks. Wildlife you can hear and see in the tree canopy from your suite includes 500 varieties of birds, monkeys, butterflies, and even a puma or two. One of the most memorable experiences the Lodge offers (apart from sliding into Frette sheets in a rain forest) is the Sky Bike, a cabled bike for two that glides silently through the forest canopy—even over a river gorge where the sounds of nature all around you will be competing with the rush of blood through your ears.