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Vilcabamba, Ecuador


The valley of Vilcabamba is about 40 min. from Loca. The elevation is 5,000ft (1500-1600 mts) above sea level It maintains a spring like temperature of 65 to 82 degrees Farenheit (18 to 28 degrees Celsius) year round.

In this climate, papaya, banana and chirimoya flourish alongside blackberries (mora) and oranges.

There are two seasons, the rainy season which lasts from October to May, and the dry season which lasts from June to September. 

Two rivers flow through the valley, the Chamba and the Yambala, and they become the Vilcabamba. These rivers keep parts of the valley green during the dry season.

The mountain peaks surrounding Vilcabamba make for excellent day hikes. 

Vilcabamba is a great place to get facials, massages and other spa treatments. 

A camioneta cooperative is run from the main square. It is 1$ to get around pretty much everywhere in the town.The shared taxis ($1.50 per person) run from the main bus stop to Ruta 11 Mayo taxi co-op in Loja, on Calle Universitad when there are 4 people to fill a car, takes 45-60 mins. Buses ($1-1.30) run every hour, takes about 1-1.5 hrs to the bus station in Loja.

Many visitors find it hard to leave! Some have chosen to make Vicabamba their new home and now own cafés, offer horse-riding tours or own rustic little hotels offering travelers some serious relaxation. 

Vilcabamba is known as "The valley of Longevity". Inhabitants supposedly live to be 100 or more, and some claim to be 120 years old. This has been attributed to their simple, hard-working lifestyle, their diet of non fatty foods and the excellent climate. Scientific investigation has been unable to substantiate these beliefs, but the legend persists.

Vilcabamba has many activities to offer such as: walking, hiking, horse trekking, mountain biking, an ideal location for photographers, painters, biologists and bird watchers.

Be sure to visit the Rumi Wilco Nature Reserve and the Las Palmas cloud forest reserve.

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