Two of Ecuador’s leading eco-hotels are introducing a new wellness package called “Forest-to-Coast” which will bring together their unique ecological surroundings with an array of nature-based healing experiences on both land and water.
Sadly, good news has been sorely lacking in very recent times, and the global pandemic has produced a constant stream of nothing but negatives. But if there is anything positive to come from it, it’s people newly found love and rediscovered affection for the natural world.
The constant staring at walls and lack of freedom have caused many to feel far less than their best. It’s odds-on that anyone reading this would jump at the opportunity to go away to an idyllic place where they are surrounded by nature. Somewhere they can experience specialist treatments that will invigorate them and ready them for whatever the future holds.
One of the best places on the planet to do this is Ecuador which is one of only seventeen megadiverse countries on the planet and home to 6.1% of all species reported worldwide.
In what will come as good news for many, two of the country’s most renowned eco-hotels have teamed up to create ‘Forest-to-Coast” which is a brand new nature-based wellness experience encompassing land and sea.
What is the Forest-to-Coast wellness experience?
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 unique backing track 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 parrots; or ethnobotanical hikes along some of the reserve’s unique 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 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, 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 many 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 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 they’ll reside for three nights.
Guests are granted the chance to embrace active exploration 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 most famed residents, including sea lions, Galapagos penguins and marine iguanas.
Come nightfall; local naturalist guides will lead a newly-introduced stargazing session, where guests have the chance to spot an array of stars, nebulae and galaxies in startling clarity, thanks to the archipelago’s minimal light pollution.
Guests can find peace at 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, food fans can opt for a chef-led tour of the pioneering Chakrita Lab, where barrel containers allow for the vertical growth of herbs, leafy vegetables, edible flowers, otherwise unable to grow 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 and mushroom ceviche, cardamom and carrot soup and coconut vegetable stew.
Booking The Forest-to-Coast Wellness experience
The Forest-to-Coast Wellness experience can be booked with Jacada Travel and starts from $7,800 per person.
The package includes three nights’ accommodation at Mashpi Lodge including all meals, activities and one waterfall massage; three nights’ accommodation at Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel including all meals, two massages and stargazing; two nights accommodation at Casa Gangotena in Quito; internal transfers; and domestic and international flights.