From forest to coast: nature-based wellness in Ecuador

Calling all wellness warriors… from early 2022, Ecuador’s much-loved hotels, Mashpi Lodge and Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel, will come together to launch a new ‘Forest-to-Coast’ wellness programme. The programme will celebrate the properties’ unique ecological surroundings with an array of nature-based healing experiences, on both land and water. 

Picture this… you begin your 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 unique backing track to the morning routine. Over three days, you’ll recalibrate in nature with knowledgeable Naturalist Guides, through birdwatching excursions where you’ll have the chance to spot hummingbirds, woodpeckers, tanagers and parrots; or ethnobotanical hikes along some of the reserve’s unique nature trails.

Next up is a visit to the Life Centre where conservationists have established an area for growing medicinal plants to be used in herbal infusions, including cacao trees, cassava and heart of palm. You’ll not only learn about the healing qualities of local plant life, but get to taste it all for yourself too.

You’ll also be given the chance to dive into one of the region’s many spectacular waterfalls for a bracing wild swim, followed by an al fresco 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 to the local area including quinoa, spirulina, chillangua and achiote, known for its 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 you’ll reside for three nights. A whole host of active exploration awaits, including expert-led private SUP lessons, surfing, kayaking, mountain biking, scuba diving and excursions on board the hotel’s own Sea Lion yacht, spotting some of the archipelago’s most famed residents including sea lions, Galapagos penguins and marine iguanas.

You’ll find peace at the Finch Bay’s new spa, where unique treatments are inspired by the surrounding landscape. 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.

A truly unique experience not to be missed… where do we sign up?