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Hiking In Vilcabamba - Hiking Vilcabamba - Ecuador

Vilcabamba is a great place to hike and there are many marked trails in the area that range in length and difficulty. The Chaupi Loop is the easiest trail and lasts about 3.5 hours, with views of the Vilcabamba River and Chaupi Valley. The Mandango Loop is probably the most popular route: a four-hour hike of medium-high difficulty to the Mandango mountain (2,040 m/6,692 ft), which affords spectacular views of the valley and its surroundings. Due to a slew of robberies on this particular trail, it is recommended that you hire a guide. The Waterfall Hike is a six-hour trail of medium difficulty that follows along the Yambala River to a 15-meter (50-ft) high waterfall under which you can swim, if desired.

Other options include the Forgotten Road Trail, which is the hardest and longest hike, lasting eight hours; the Izcayluma Loop, which is a five-hour hike of medium difficulty that passes through the village of Mollebamba, ascends a ridge from where you can enjoy overhead views of three valleys and sight the Mandango mountain, and descends into a riverbed; and the San José Trail, a three-hour hike of easy-medium difficulty that reveals beautiful views of Vilcabamba and Podocarpus National Park and passes through the nearby village of San José. It is also possible to do a two-day hike through the cloud forest and Podocarpus National Park, with an overnight stay at the park's refuge. Hostería Izhcayluma has a binder with detailed instructions and maps for each hike.

Vilcabamba, Ecuador


Relative price: Free

By Jena Davison

I am a curious, passionate and free-spirited travel writer, currently working as a Staff Writer and Editor for V!VA. Shortly after...

17 Jan 2013

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