Mashpi Lodge: Science, Conservation, and Tourism
Mashpi Lodge is a global benchmark for its sustainability policies, responsible tourism model, and engine for local socioeconomic growth. The work of the Mashpi Lodge team is possible thanks to the commitment of everyone involved: employees, shareholders, and guests, who jointly safeguard this biodiversity hotspot in the Chocó-Andean forest.
The Mashpi reserve has expanded from an initial 700 hectares to more than 2,800 today. It extends across an important range of altitudes, from 570 to 1,400 meters above sea level.
Making Biology a Cornerstone
The shareholders implemented a biology program in 2010, two years before the opening of Lodge, and created a pioneer in Ecuador and proof of commitment to conservation and scientific research. Linking science and conservation with tourism has brought great fruits and joy to Mashpi Lodge. In addition to enriching the experience for guests, the Mashpi guides are true naturalists or “parabiologists” who are constantly trained through the studies and discoveries that occur in the Mashpi Reserve. Beginning with one resident biologist who camped across the reserve in a tent over twelve years ago, today, the Lodge employs six full-time parabiologists, a fully equipped laboratory, and a cabin for visiting researchers.
Discovering New Species
Discovering a new species for science ranks among the most longed-for achievements. Seeing something new for the first time and then telling the world about it is a motivation that fuels the Lodge’s team and external researchers alike. So far, the Mashpi team has discovered ten species, but many more await discovery and description, especially plants and insects.
Take a look here.