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Vilcabamba, Ecuador - Valley Of Longevity Live To Be 100 Years Old

Ecuador travel blog by Mark Berman - July 2011   » View Photoset (45 Photos)

Mark Berman, South America backpacker for 10yrs!
Vilcabamba is the valley of longevity where the locals live to be over 100 years old and it's true, I saw many people who were at least in their 90's. There's no
Ecuador Photo - The locals of Vilcabamba enjoy the festival fireworks.
The locals of Vilcabamba enjoy the festival fireworks.
stress in Vilcabamba, just relax, take it easy and have a pleasant time walking, hiking, biking, horseriding and birdwatching, try traditional archery and dream of retiring here one day. There are many hostels in town as well as luxurious hotels and resorts.

1hr Bus from Loja

I arrived here fom Loja, an hour north. I was lucky to be here during the big festival at the end of July 2011 called Fiestas Patronales en honor al Sagrado Corazon de Jesus. It was awesome, the whole town was alive with activity and the happy and friendly locals were having a wonderful time.

Tours and Things To Do

There is a lot to do and see in Vilcabamba including tours of Podocarpus National
Ecuador Photo - Vilcabambas fireworks man charges through the street fully ablaze.
Vilcabambas fireworks man charges through the street fully ablaze.
Park, 1-3 day horse tours, waterfalls, lagoons, the hanging bridge, archeology of Taranza and Pajablanca, trekking in the cloud forest, Mandango Peak (2040m) and the Estoraques pinnacles which are enchanting rock forms created by the wind and rain.

Pacha Fair

On the 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month the central park in Vilcabamba becomes the Pacha Fair, a place of creation with the promotion of local and international handcrafted products. They also have entertainment and environmental education.

Hire a Bike

My girlfriend and I hired some bikes for a few hours and rode around the circuit on the map they gave us. It was a hell of a lot of fun, we crossed the Rio Vilcabamba (river) on the Yamburara loop and cruised around the country roads until we arrived back in Vilcabamba. Then, as the map suggested we took a taxi with the bikes
Ecuador Photo - Park, cafe and mountains in Vilcabamba.
Park, cafe and mountains in Vilcabamba.
in the back 6kms up hill to La Monuma for $3USD and then had an amazing ride downhill all the way with breeze and with the most beautiful scenery of mountain peaks and the whole valley, that was the bomb! We did all that in 2hrs for $8USD and there are more cycle loops to places like San Pedro also.

Festival Fun Day and Night

During the festival in the evenings there were local concerts where performers of all ages sang and danced and the crazy fireworks man would basically set his firework-suit ablaze and walk through the crowd with everyone running for cover, that guy was mad. During the days, every few hours men would let off skyrockets that would let the town-folk know something was about to happen and to come to the central park and then the band would start playing.

Sunday Market

Vilcabambas Sunday market is worth a look, all the
Ecuador Photo - Pacha Fair in Vilcabamba, 2nd and 4th Sunday each month.
Pacha Fair in Vilcabamba, 2nd and 4th Sunday each month.
indigenous people in the area come to sell their produce and to socialize. I bought some extremely cheap fruit and lots of it, I shared it around. The market is beside the bus terminal.

Street Parade and Jesus

After market the grand procession began with the band and all the people surrounding a religious Jesus symbol walking through the streets to the church where they had a sevice. Afterwards began some fun outside the church beside the park with games on horses where they would try to hit things tied up to a rope.

Soccer, Rodeo and Fireworks

There was a special soccer game between Vilcabamba and Zamora going to begin and Rodeo Criollo in the afternoon. The rodeo was great and attracted a lot of people as did the soccer. The grand finale of the 4 day festival would be the Sunday night firework display which was a fantastic way to finish off my 5 night stay in Vilcabamba. I know I will return again, it really is a lovely place.

Cafes and Groceries

The town has a great climate, not too hot or cold, great for sitting in one of the cafes around the central park and have a refreshing beer or fruit juice. There are a couple of small grocery shops near there too and some fruit and vegetable shops on the main road.

Drink the Water!

Make sure while you are in town to drink some local water, you never know, you might live to be 100 years old or more!

Bus to Zumba

From Vilcabamba buses leave regularly to Loja, Quinara and to Zumba. Zumba is near the Peruvian border and this is where I headed to next.

     

View all photos in the Vilcabamba Photoset


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Distances & times (if available) from Vilcabamba (Ecuador) to:


Map location: Vilcabamba, Ecuador. Where the locals live to be over 100yrs old in the valley of longevity! We hired bikes and took a taxi 6kms up the hill to La Monuma and rode all the way back down to town!
 A : Loja - Ecuador 28 kms 28 kms straight distance | 55mins 55mins by car (44 kms) | 1hr 6mins 1hr 6mins by bus (44 kms) (44 kms)
 B : Vilcabamba to Zumba - Ecuador 44 kms 44 kms straight distance | 1hr 35mins 1hr 35mins by car (74 kms) | 1hr 54mins 1hr 54mins by bus (74 kms) (74 kms)
 C : Zamora - Ecuador 36 kms 36 kms straight distance | 2hrs 2hrs by car (93 kms) | 2hrs 24mins 2hrs 24mins by bus (93 kms) (93 kms)
 D : La Balsa to San Ignacio - Peru 101 kms 101 kms straight distance | 4hrs 22mins 4hrs 22mins by car (183 kms) | 5hrs 14mins 5hrs 14mins by bus (183 kms) (183 kms)
 E : Cuenca - Ecuador 153 kms 153 kms straight distance | 4hrs 12mins 4hrs 12mins by car (249 kms) | 5hrs 2mins 5hrs 2mins by bus (249 kms) (249 kms)
 F : Huaquillas - Ecuador 142 kms 142 kms straight distance | 4hrs 53mins 4hrs 53mins by car (266 kms) | 5hrs 51mins 5hrs 51mins by bus (266 kms) (266 kms)
 G : Huaquillas to Machala - Ecuador 140 kms 140 kms straight distance | 5hrs 2mins 5hrs 2mins by car (274 kms) | 6hrs 2mins 6hrs 2mins by bus (274 kms) (274 kms)
 H : Ecuador (Macara) to Sullana to Piura - Peru 72 kms 72 kms straight distance | 7hrs 33mins 7hrs 33mins by car (327 kms) | 9hrs 3mins 9hrs 3mins by bus (327 kms) (327 kms)
 I : San Ignacio to Chachapoyas - Peru 163 kms 163 kms straight distance | 7hrs 3mins 7hrs 3mins by car (333 kms) | 8hrs 27mins 8hrs 27mins by bus (333 kms) (333 kms)
 J : Macas to Zamora - Ecuador 249 kms 249 kms straight distance | 6hrs 36mins 6hrs 36mins by car (375 kms) | 7hrs 55mins 7hrs 55mins by bus (375 kms) (375 kms)
 K : Piura to Tumbes - Peru 196 kms 196 kms straight distance | 6hrs 26mins 6hrs 26mins by car (381 kms) | 7hrs 43mins 7hrs 43mins by bus (381 kms) (381 kms)
 L : Mancora - Peru 205 kms 205 kms straight distance | 6hrs 59mins 6hrs 59mins by car (397 kms) | 8hrs 22mins 8hrs 22mins by bus (397 kms) (397 kms)
 M : Alausi - Ecuador 232 kms 232 kms straight distance | 6hrs 48mins 6hrs 48mins by car (403 kms) | 8hrs 9mins 8hrs 9mins by bus (403 kms) (403 kms)
Driving times are accurate but approximate and are listed in the order of driving distance! Drive times are always affected by weather conditions, the terrain, time of day, altitude, dinner and bathroom stops, animals on the road, protests, a fast or slow bus driver, police checkpoints, border and river crossings, dropping off and picking up passengers etc. These drive times are obtained from Google Maps and are meant as a guide. Note however, times quoted in the main text of this page are exactly as the author experienced it.


My Hostel & Hotel Reviews for Vilcabamba, Ecuador:

Hotel Valle Sabrado, Vilcabamba, Ecuador - Large Photo
Hotel Valle Sabrado, Vilcabamba, Ecuador (July 2011 - 5 nights) - Great place on Vilcabambas main road, nice big room with tv. The bathroom is shared but that was fine. Nice big gardens and a bar, the owners offer horseriding tours. Recommended.

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Vilcabamba, Ecuador - Valley Of Longevity Live To Be 100 Years Old. Where the locals live to be over 100yrs old in the valley of longevity! We hired bikes and took a taxi 6kms up the hill to La Monuma and rode all the way back down to town!

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