Amazon & Cloud Forest
our destination expert
Amazon & Cloud Forest
Imagine a place where land and sky merge, where deep mist rises from the jungle canopy stretching towards the heavens and concealing the peaks of huge mountains. Welcome to Ecuador’s Cloud Forest, one of the most enigmatic rainforests on Earth.
The heart of the rainforest – including the incredible Mashpi Lodge, where you’ll be staying – is around a 2-hour transfer from the capital, Quito. The Cloud Forest is ‘accessible wilderness’ at its very best. We always find it extraordinary how quickly you can be transported to an entirely different world when we visit.
Part of the Andean Cloud Forest Belt, the rainforest itself is a really remarkable place. Entering into this green and lush moss-covered realm, alive with sound and flora and fauna of manner of classification, it can almost feel like the jungle has a persona of its own. And it’s a testament to its extravagant biodiversity that new flora and fauna are discovered with astonishing regularity.
In the midst of this eco-paradise lies the luxurious cocoon, the Mashpi Lodge – simply one of the most stunning properties we’ve stayed at. Set in a vast 2,500-acre conservation reserve, Mashpi Lodge is fusion of floor-to-ceiling widows, natural light and amazon timber. The minimalist and highly unusual design of this eco-lodge allows you to feel fully immersed in the Cloud Forest with just glass separating you from the dense jungle itself.
The point at which the snowcapped mountains of the Andes descend into dense steamy jungle and snaking rivers marks the beginning the Ecuadorian Amazon, a nature lover’s paradise of epic proportions.
Once of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth, exploring the Ecuadorian Amazon falls into the category of ‘once in a lifetime’ experiences, no matter how many times we visit! We’re always stunned by its seemingly-never-explored rainforest and spectacular National Park hiking trails. As well as its remarkable roll call of wildlife, which includes tapirs, all manner of monkeys and the elusive jaguar. One of our favourite luxury eco lodges here, Sacha Lodge, houses a butterfly farm, a jungle canopy walk and the Kapor Tower, perfectly perched to view some of the 1,600 birds species native to Ecuador.
Clients looking for a more immerse experience and meet the Huaorani people, who have lived here for more than a thousand years, but only made contact with the ‘outside world’ in 1956. In the heart of their territory is the remote, luxurious Huaorani Lodge – featured on both the BBC and National Geographic –only reached by flying deep into the jungle before floating down the Amazon River in a dugout canoe! We also regularly send our clients to the renowned Napo Wildlife Center, built by the indigenous Añangu people and set in a Unesco Biosphere Reserve.