I just spent two blissful days at the new Mashpi Reserve Lodge in Ecuador, on a huge private nature reserve about three hours northwest of Quito. Part of the area still has original first-growth forest, while other parts are a mad jungle of plants that have sprung up since logging ended a few decades ago.

The animals are coming back as logging and poaching have both slowed and motion-sensor cameras have spotted ocelots and pumas. You’re not likely to see those when you’re out for a walk in the woods. but there’s plenty of wildlife in the form of birds, lizards, butterflies, and interesting insects. Here’s a slideshow of a few scenes and critters I managed to capture with the camera.

(Note that if you’re on an Apple mobile device you may not be able to see it. View it on a device that doesn’t restrict your access to Flash.)

We’ll be posting a video tour of the resort itself and the skybike ride through the canopy next week. Meanwhile, learn more about Mashpi at their website. There you’ll see some better nature shots from photographers with giant lenses and more patience than me.

Update 12/7: you can now see the full Luxury Latin America review of Mashpi Lodge.