Everything you need to know before visiting Vilcabamba

Almost hidden at the foot of the mountain in the Andean region of southern Ecuador, is Vilcabamba, located in the heart of the province of Loja (on the border with Peru). 45 minutes from the city of Loja, and on a road that It connects with one of the main border crossings of the Amazon of Ecuador with Peru. It is said that the Incas referred to this region as the "Sacred Valley", a name that together with the more recent "Valley of Longevity" are today two of the ways in which that Vilcabamba and its surroundings are recognized. Although the population of Vilcabamba is no more than 6,000, the international community is truly diverse, with a growing population of American, British, Italian, French, Argentine, German, Canadian, and a few other citizens. nationalities that give it a characteristic touch at a cultural, gastronomic level and that is very conjugated with the local ways of life. The peaceful lifestyle, the atmosphere of a small town and the open spaces are precisely some of the characteristics of the region of the Vilcabamba valley that cause that attraction to those who come to these lands that until not long ago were practically isolated from the rest of the world. A few years ago, the existence of unhealthy processed foods was almost nil, there were no vehicles and there was even no television signal, water and air pollution was very little. Although much of this has been changing in recent years, Vilcabamba is undoubtedly still a very healthy place to live and grow. The nearby mountains are virtually uninhabited, and the streams that flow from these peaks bring clean, fresh water.

Vilcabamba is a clean, small and friendly place. Its small central square is neatly cared for and is filled with dreams with the multicultural presence that is also filled with the laughter and games of children that they usually share with their parents in this space where, as by nature, it is usually the obligatory meeting point before mobilizing. to some of the activities that take place in the surroundings of this town in the Sacred Valley.

Surrounded by mountains that seem to choose the shape of their peaks, and from which in some cases crystal clear streams are born that descend from the cloud forest in the Podocarpus National Park, providing the area with clean water.
At an altitude of approximately 1,600 meters above sea level (5,000 feet), and a constant spring temperature of around 21°C (70-80°F), Vilcabamba enjoys a permanent spring climate that enchants those who visit it. who live throughout the year; and that without a doubt it is one of the best climates in Ecuador.

It was baptized as "The Valley of Longevity", since they began to record that the natives of Vilcabamba have the reputation of living more than 100 years. Several studies mention that the combination of a relaxed lifestyle, a healthy diet, aerobic exercise, naturally mineralized waters and a pollution-free environment are the main factors for the health status of residents to be of well-being.

Backpackers and adventure travelers have known Vilcabamba for a long time, this fame grew until other people heard of the benefits of the site and decided to come to the valley to retire or to grow in their life plans.

The population of the urban center does not exceed 3,000 inhabitants, but when adding those who live in the surrounding valleys and hills of the parish, it is estimated that the population is around 6,000 people.

The fact of being a point of visit on the international route of travelers from all over the world has given it a cosmopolitan touch that is perceived mainly in its gastronomy and shops (several of them focused on healthy products).

There are several of the people who come to Vilcabamba who undertake activities related to their knowledge, in many cases related to well-being, natural health, healthy eating and gastronomy typical of each of their countries.

Given the wide distribution where its residents offer their products or services, the Go2Vilcabamba platform has been developing the guide VILCASERVICES to bring producers and consumers together.

How to get to Vilcabamba?

There are several ways to get to Vilcabamba depending on where you are. In most cases it is by land, although very close to the city of Loja (approximately 35 minutes), there is the Catamayo Airport that basically connects with the cities of Quito and Guayaquil.

By landway

Vilcabamba is located on the road that from the city of Loja leads to the border crossing with Peru, known as Las Balsas. From where you can arrive in one of the shifts that several transport companies offer (Transportes Loja, Cariamanga, etc.).

From Guayaquil: You can take any of the buses that, in several daily shifts, the Loja Transport Cooperative. You can also find other options from the Guayaquil Terrestrial Terminal (although they do not have the same number of frequencies as the previous one). The trip takes about 7 hours to the city of Loja where you can make a connection to Vilcabamba on frequencies that you can find every 15 minutes.
From Quito: Comfortable buses also depart with many daily frequencies to and from Loja. Remember that Quito has several land terminals distributed considering the shape of the city, and moving between one and the other can take a long time. Several companies carry out this route, although once again we recommend Transportes Loja due to the number of frequencies and the comfort of the buses (there are even sleeper bus shifts).