Mashpi Lodgewants you to fly higher – all the way at the top of the Andean Cloudforest, if you’re willing – and it has just the vehicle to do it. It’s the Sky Bike, a human-powered, two-seat tandem, cable-dangled thrill ride that zips through the Mashpi Rainforest Biodiversity Reserve near Quito, Ecuador, where the 22-room Lodge makes its home.
Located near the Lodge, the noiseless, easy-to-use, and full-on exciting for guests of all ages, the Sky Bike rides along a 656-foot cable stretching between two points in the forest. The height tops out at 196 feet on a route that crosses a gorge above a river flowing between rocks and trees. As much fun as it is to put the Sky Bike’s pedals to the metal, many prefer a gentle pace, the better to glimpse flora and fauna of the forest canopy up close. Most importantly, wildlife is much tamer when it encounters humans in unexpected places, such as at the tops of trees.
The Sky Bike is available for every guest to ride as often as they like – including those with limited mobility, as only one rider is required to pedal. The ride takes 15 to 20 minutes round-trip and can be combined with other activities, such as the Walking Palm Trail to the Laguna waterfall or the Capuchin Trail toward the Healing Waterfall (a 2.5-hour physically demanding hike).
Whether seen from the Sky Bike or on foot via trails, the Mashpi Reserve is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream, with over 2,500 acres stretching across lowland floodplain forests and lower montane forest between 1,800 and 4,500 feet above sea level. The Reserve is a haven for biodiversity, with more than 400 bird species of an estimated roughly 450 in the area. Both the Reserve and Mashpi Lodge are deeply committed to bolstering both the importance of research and enriching our knowledge of the lodge’s surrounding ecosystem. This knowledge is then shared with local communities, Mashpi Lodge guests, and the world at large, to underline the importance of conserving this fragile and fascinating bio-region.