The town of longevity Vilcabamba

Town of longevity Vilcabamba in the south of Ecuador is a warm and quiet town. Is located in the valley of the same name, south of the province of Loja at 1700 m (5577 ft). It has an area of ​​157.26 km2 (38,859 ac) and has a dry subtropical climate with an average temperature of 20°C (68°F). Thanks to its location, its lands are nourished by the Chamba and Uchima rivers.

Here in the town of longevity  an interesting event occurs, as people reach 134 years of age, or even older. Therefore, it is said that this place houses the fountain of eternal youth. Their water is magical, which supposedly allows them to live so long and have so much vitality. Vilcabamba is a hidden paradise that you must visit, discover its secrets, appreciate its fauna and flora and enjoy its tourist attractions.

Town of longevity

Vilcabamba began to be known to the world in 1970. When a group of scientists started and published a study on the longevity of the site. Above all, giving it the fame of a magical place where its people lived for more than 100 years. These same people do not go unnoticed. Since they practice organic agriculture, make handicrafts and make up a dance group.

Seniors are a fundamental part of all cultural events. Such as carnival or festivals in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. There are very few records of older people with cardiovascular diseases. Contrary to what happens in the rest of the country.

What to do in Vilcabamba?

Here we have some activities that we recommend you do.

 Cerro Mandango

At 2000 meters high (6561 ft), Cerro Mandango is one of the main attractions of Vilcabamba. As it has the shape of the face of an Inca.
 

“Mandango” means “sleeping god” cause the Incas believed that the world was built by giants. They were the ones who decorated the earth with animals, rivers, plants, etc. When finishing their work, these giants were transformed into mountains to rest. And it is said that the Cerro Mandango is one of them.

In addition, there is a theory about this hill. When visiting it, positive energy is felt that fills those who walk its paths with vitality. Thus the theory is born that thanks to this energy the inhabitants of Vilcabamba can live for more than 100 years.

This hill is located 14 minutes from the Central Park of Vilcabamba. Going on the Vía del Canal, you will find a detour called “Entrada a Mandango”. This path will direct you to the beginning of the trail.

Palto Waterfall

This natural attraction is located 19 minutes from Vilcabamba Central Park by car. You have go straight on the Via a Capamaco. It takes approximately 2 hours to reach the waterfall. And is approximately 40 meters (131 ft) high. Does not go off the trail, you must follow the red marks. Before reaching this waterfall you will find a closed door. The entrance fee is 1 dollar.

 Rumi Wilco Protected Forest

6 minutes by car from the Vilcabamba Central Park, is the Rumi Wilco Protected Forest, on the road of the same name. This is the most biodiverse sector of Vilcabamba and is home to Huilco. One of the most restricted and enigmatic tree species in Ecuador. And 700 other plant species, and 142 bird species. The entry price is $2. Please note that dogs and horses are not allowed, as this ecosystem is very sensitive.

Where to Stay in Vilcabamba?

Madre Tierra Resort and Spa

A 21 minute walk from Vilcabamba Central Park, on the Via al Chaupi, is the Madre Tierra Resort and Spa inn. Which has the services of free Wi-Fi, spa and outdoor pool. Also restaurant, bar, sauna and a privileged view of the valley. So, its price is $14 with breakfast included.

 Hostería Paraíso

Located 8 minutes walking from the Central Park of Vilcabamba. On Avenida Eterna Juventud, is the Hostería Paraíso. The place has an outdoor pool, restaurant and bar, sauna and whirlpool. And the possibility of reserving connecting or adjoining rooms. It is priced at $17 per person with breakfast included. Above all, pets are accepted and it has private parking.

 Kayana Glamping

16 minutes by car from Vilcabamba Central Park, on the Via a Cararango, is Kayana Glamping. Also, this hotel complex offers the services of a barbecue area, parking and green areas. There are also areas for bonfires, a jacuzzi in the rooms, board games, Wi-Fi, and tourist information. The approximate price is $57 per person, including breakfast.

 Kaiwalya Bed & Breakfast

This hotel is located 10 minutes walking from the Central Park of Vilcabamba, on the Via a Yambura Bajo. It is a hotel complex with equipped cabins with kitchen, refrigerator, oven and bathroom with shower. They also have a living area, dining room, patio and wi-fi.  The price is approximately $15 per person with breakfast included. Similarly, this hotel has the option of vegetarian breakfast.

How to get to Vilcabamba?

Quito to town of longevity

You must buy a ticket at the Loja Cooperative located on Calle Juan de Velasco and Avenida Orellana. The buses leave from the Quitumbe or Carcelén land terminals. The average price of the tickets is $ 20 but if you want to buy a ticket on their new buses with bed service the price is $40. The arrival time is approximately 12 hours.

You can get to Vilcabamba by cab, the price is 20 dollars on average. Also at the bus terminal in Loja there are buses that go to Vilcabamba. The ticket costs US$1.70. The trip between Loja and Vilcabamba takes approximately 1 hour

You are going to reach the Catamayo canton, from here you can take a taxi to Catamayo to Vilcabamba. For a price between $ 20 and $ 25 or take a bus to the city of Loja for a price of $ 2. Once there, another to Vilcabamba for a price of $ 1.70. Approximately 1 hour if you take a cab. However, if you decide to go by bus, it will take you 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Guayaquil to town of longevity

You must buy a ticket at Cooperativa Loja for $15 per person. It departs from the land terminal in Guayaquil and lasts approximately 11 hours.

 When you get to Loja, you have 2 options, the first is to go by taxi to Vilcabamba, the price is $20 on average. The second option is to take another bus from the land terminal of Loja to Vilcabamba. This ticket has a price of $1.70. The journey between Loja and Vilcabamba is approximately 1 hour.
 
Unfortunately there are no direct flights from Guayaquil to Loja. However, you can catch a plane from Guayaquil to Quito and, once here, take a flight to Loja. Make sure it’s Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Sunday because these are the only days that Quito flights to Loja.
 

You will arrive in Catamayo, from here you can take a cab from Catamayo to Vilcabamba for a price between $ 20 and $ 25. Also if you want you can take a bus to the city of Loja for a price of $ 2 and, once there, another one to Vilcabamba. For a price of $ 1.70. If you decide to go by taxi, it will take you 1 hour to get to Vilcabamba. If you decide to go by bus, it will take you 2 hours 15 minutes.

Cuenca to town of longevity

You can take a taxi, the duration of the taxi is approximately 4 hours and its price is $ 120. Another option is to take a bus at the land terminal from Cuenca to Loja that leaves every hour. The trip lasts 7 hours and has a price of $ 7.5.

When you get to Loja, you have 2 options, the first is to go by taxi to Vilcabamba, the price is $ 20 on average. The second option is to take another bus from the land terminal of Loja to Vilcabamba. This ticket has a price of $ 1.70. The journey between Loja and Vilcabamba is approximately 1 hour.
 
Airway: Unfortunately there are currently no flights from Cuenca to Loja.

Recommendations town of longevity

Thus, if you dared to visit this little town, i recommend that you do it between June and September. As the weather is warmer and the rains are not very frequent, which allows you to make a quiet visit.

Besides, i recommend that you use sunscreen, sunglasses, a cap, and repellent. Because thanks to its location and its climate, mosquitoes are present and you can get bitten. In the case of planning a visit to any of its natural attractions, try to bring water and food. Since there are no supply points near these. Also, do not forget to wear hiking shoes and comfortable clothes.

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