Ecuador’s much-loved hotels, Mashpi Lodge and Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel, are coming together to launch a new ‘Forest-to-Coast’ wellness program. The offering will celebrate the properties’ unique ecological surroundings with an array of nature-based healing experiences on land and water. Guests will begin their journey immersed into the magic of the Ecuadorian cloud forest at Mashpi Lodge, where days start with self-guided sunrise yoga on the open deck, as the orchestra of hummingbirds, monkeys, and cicadas provide a soothing soundtrack to the morning routine. Over three days, guests will recalibrate in nature with knowledgeable Naturalist Guides through birdwatching excursions where they’ll have the chance to spot hummingbirds, woodpeckers, tanagers, and toucans; or ethnobotanical hikes along some of the reserve’s nature trails where guests are introduced to local flora and fauna, from howler monkeys, tree frogs and over 200 species of butterfly, to orchids and bromeliads.
A visit to the Life Center where conservationists have established an area for growing medicinal plants to be used in herbal infusions, including cacao trees, cassava, and heart of palm, allows guests to learn more about the healing qualities of local plant life before sampling the infusions themselves. Guests can also delve into one of the region’s 19 spectacular waterfalls for a bracing wild swim, followed by an alfresco massage as the sounds of the splashing water plays in the background. Meals are taken from Mashpi Lodge’s new wellness menu, which incorporates healing ingredients abundant in the local area, including quinoa, spirulina, chillangua, and achiote, known for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities.
A short flight across to the fabled Galapagos Islands will welcome guests to the secluded Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel on Santa Cruz island, where they’ll stay for three nights. Guests are granted the chance to embrace active explorations of the island, including expert-led private SUP lessons, surfing, kayaking, mountain biking, scuba diving, and excursions onboard the hotel’s own Sea Lion yacht, spotting some of the archipelago’s famous “Big 15” residents including sea lions, Galapagos penguins, and marine iguanas. Come nightfall, local naturalist guides will lead a newly-introduced stargazing session, where guests have can spot an array of stars, nebulae, and galaxies in startling clarity, thanks to the archipelago’s minimal light pollution.
Guests can find peace at the Finch Bay’s new spa, where the surrounding landscape inspires unique treatments: the ‘Sweet Feet’ massage encompasses locally sourced Palo Santo oil, whilst the ‘Lava Meets Water’ treatment alternates hot volcanic rocks and cool marble stones. Meanwhile, foodies can opt for a chef-led tour of the pioneering Chakrita Lab, where barrel containers allow for the vertical growth of herbs, leafy vegetables, and edible flowers, otherwise unable to grow in the Galapagos. Guests can learn more about the healing properties held by each of the plants, later sampling them via the hotel’s new plant-based menu, with signature dishes including palm-heart, mushroom ceviche, cardamom, and carrot soup, and coconut vegetable stew.