‘We want to awaken guests’ curiosity and spark their imagination. We want to bring them into close contact with this highly-biodiverse world with its trees, plants, animals and insects, to feel the dynamism of the water cycle in its rivers and waterfalls, and the constant movement of clouds.’ – Roque Sevilla
Economist, environmentalist and the visionary behind pioneering eco retreat Mashpi Lodge, Roque Sevilla has long been motivated by his determination to conserve the precious Chocó bio-region and his admirable appetite to attempt ‘beautiful, impossible projects’. The latest of such projects is his development of Mashpi’s innovative new vehicle of rainforest exploration – the spectacular Sky Bike.
Let’s go fly a bike – The end result of five different prototype designs, the self-propelled Sky Bike takes Sevilla’s dream of ‘sharing this wondrous forest with people from around the world’ to new heights. Aiming to give Mashpi’s guests access to the hidden world of the cloud forest’s canopy, the two-seat tandem bike hangs from a 656-foot cable stretched between two points of the forest. The design allows nature lovers to pedal gently along the cable gaining an intimate view of the inner forest on a fun and easy journey of jungle discovery.
A whole new world of wildlife – The cloud forest’s canopy is a fascinating place rarely seen by human eyes. As sunlight reaches it before any other part of the forest it tends to be warmer and drier than any other area. As such, it is home to an incredible diversity of plants and animals – sometimes species of plant, bird, insect and mammal that will never touch the forest floor. With a ride of the easy-to-use Sky Bike, guest can now discover this new world of wildlife.
Do not disturb – Wildlife is much tamer when it encounters humans in unexpected places (such as at the tops of trees). As the human powered Sky Bike is sustainably designed and totally noiseless so as not to disrupt the animals in their own habitat, it is one of the most effective vehicles of exploration in the reserve.
For some conservation inspiration and to take a closer look at the cloud forest watch this interview with Roque Sevilla.
Rates at Mashpi Lodge start from $1,437 per room per night (double occupancy), including all meals, guided explorations, lectures and transfers from/to major hotels in Quito.