Embracing the Healing Wonders of the Enchanting Mashpi Lodge
In the heart of Ecuador’s lush rainforest lies a hidden gem – Mashpi Lodge, a haven where nature’s healing power intertwines with luxury and adventure. The absolute perfect place for Black women seeking an extraordinary, yet rejuvenating, retreat into nature.
Where is Mashpi Lodge located?
Mashpi Lodge is located in the heart of the Ecuadorian rainforest. Surrounded by lush biodiversity in the Chocó Andean cloud forest, this eco-luxury retreat can be found on the western slope of the Andes.
During our Content Creators trip with the Black Travel Alliance, we took a scenic 2 to 3-hour drive (approximately 62 miles) from Quito to Mashpi Lodge. The ride was smooth with the exception of the last 30-45 minutes which was extremely bumpy! I needed Dramamine to make it through!! There was a mix of newly paved and ‘adventurous’ unpaved roads along the way, so be prepared!
Nonetheless, the ride was beautifully scenic. We stopped briefly at the Equator monument – 0’00’00 (there was a $5 USD entry fee) and continued to drive through stunning views of the Andean mountains. The views felt like a captivating preview of the rainforest’s gorgeous landscapes.
What can you do there?
Mashpi Lodge is not short on fun. We often think that retreats have to be all about those “kum ba ya” moments of sitting still, but Mashpi showed me that relaxation is more than that. While there is a lot of value in learning how to be still, there is also a lot of value in engaging in activities that fill your cup.
Mashpi Lodge encouraged me to be present and connect with nature in a way that made me feel alive. The atmosphere was a gentle reminder that I was part of something much bigger than myself.
At the lodge you can build your own itinerary by letting the staff know what you are interested in. Activities are scheduled a day in advance and can often be affected by the weather, but the staff will keep you informed. We had an itinerary prepared for us that included the Sky Bike (which nearly took me out… LOL!), the Dragonfly Canopy Ride, Birdwatching, and a variety of nature hikes.
How’s the food at the Mashpi Lodge Restaurant?
The food is incredible— so fresh and flavorful. Every dish is created with food that is locally sourced on nearby farms. Lunch and Dinner was a daily experience.
The restaurant’s strategically designed large windows will make you feel like you are having your meal in the midst of the rainforest. The view is simply gorgeous.
There’s a spa too??
There is nothing better than hitting the spa to get a massage or relax in the hot tub after hiking through the rainforest all day. You can also take advantage of the laundry services and free clothes drying services.
A few people in our group enjoyed the spa services. I, on the other hand, spent my down time at happy hour where the drinks were made with fresh ingredients and artistically curated.
What else can I expect?
Expect a visually appealing atmosphere. Mashpi Lodge is truly gorgeous. I felt immersed in the surrounding rainforest with the large floor to ceiling windows. Everything was beautifully designed to complement the vibrant colors of the rainforest. My favorite part was waking up to birds and butterflies fluttering right up to the windows to watch me watch them. That gave me all the feels!
I must also say, the service at Mashpi is impeccable. Every detail is meticulously handled — from scheduling activities a day in advance to the seamless coordination of your stay. They supplied us with bug spray, boots for the hike, raincoats, water bottles, and walking sticks. The staff was super friendly and went above and beyond to ensure that our stay was calm and comfortable. I noticed that they also had a great relationship amongst themselves, which ultimately creates a warm, light atmosphere for everyone.
A visit to Mashpi Lodge is a great add-on before or after a visit to the Galápagos Islands. Our group’s stay of 2 nights and 3 days was just enough time to experience all the lodge had to offer. The activities and time spent in nature set the perfect tone for our following journey to the Galápagos Islands.
I highly recommend Mashpi Lodge for Black women seeking a unique retreat experience.
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