I write this after nearly one month at Cabañas de Río Yambala, warmly referred to by locals as Charlie's Cabins. It's like camping, as you're staying in the midst of nature, but each cabin is provided with enough modern conveniences to make it comfortable. I call it "comfort camping".
The cabins are in a prime location at one of the entrances to Podocarpus National Park. I believe part of the property actually extends into the park itself.
Cabañas de Río Yambala are owned and operated for 20 years by American Charlie and Sarah, his English partner. They live in a house 20 meters above my cabin with their two kids. Their service style is friendly, familiar, and laid back. They've been most helpful in accommodating every request I've made.
There are four cabins on the property of varying sizes and amenities. All have full size balconies with great views of the river below, as well as the lush green mountain on the other side. All have clean comfortable beds. Furnishings are rustic, but comfortable.
When you stay here, you are on the side of a mountain, in the midst of nature.
Amenities and facilities include:
-Guided horseback tour of Podocarpus National Park at reasonable prices.
-Free use of an excellent spa.
-Wifi internet hotspot.
-River bathing area on the property.
-Home-cooked meals at reasonable prices.
-Hammock provided in your cabin, with hooks so you can hang it on the balcony to lie back and contemplate the universe, or just take it easy.
-"Getaway location" in the Andes mountains, about 4 km upriver from Vilcabamba town in the valley below.
-No cars, no urban noise.
-Hiking and walking in the mountains
-Bird and butterfly watching
-Romantic Travel and Honeymoon
I've got one of the larger cabins, made of wood. My bedroom, is a loft upstairs, sleeping 1-2 people. Downstairs, I have a kitchenette, bathroom, and simple living room with a rustic couch, chairs and a small table. Rustic, but comfortable enough.
Another large cabin is made of adobe, with a spacious vaulted ceiling, a large bed, and a small spare room with a single bed, as well as a bathroom. The adobe cabin is more adorned, called the "honeymoon suite."
Two smaller cabins feature vaulted ceilings, a double bed in each, and a shared bathroom between them. These are an excellent budget travel choice; they're like having a room with a view, in the middle of nature.
It's a peaceful, sublime experience, living out here at Cabañas de Río Yambala. When you stay here, you're in direct contact with nature. Any time I walk down to the rustic kitchen area, I spot 5-10 different species of butterflies of various shapes, sizes, and colors, along the way. One of any number of bird species fly by at any given moment. The owners' horse drops by my cabin from time to time for a friendly visit. The river below provides a constant jazz backdrop, to which birds sing during the morning and day, and crickets chirp in the evening hours. Throw in an occasional mule hee-hawing, and rooster crowing for added effect.
Night and day, the river is your soundtrack, and the Andean views across it are a living, breathing work of art.
I've already put a rape warning in here a couple of month ago. Now it happend again and it is proofed by many other travelers.
I don't understand why tourist still go there with all the bad comments about this place in the internet. Please believe me, this hostel is very dangerous to go. The owner is totaly crazy and well conected to high politics. Please help us to close him down, at least write to your travel guide book to put a warning in it. Many guide books just took him out, not mentioning his hostel, but it isn't enough. They definitly should warn about this hostel to avoid future rapes.
Owner is a proofed rapist
PLEASE do not stay at this hostel, the owner is a monster and a danger to all females.
If you are reading this and have any information that could help with the closure of the hostel
please contact me. We are currently doing what we can to have this man finally charged with the indecent treatment that he has forced upon young woman and travellers.
I have attached a link with more information.
Please keep away from this hostel. The owner is locally well known to be a drug rapist. Last Friday another girl was drugged and raped there while her boyfriend was drugged, but she has been medically examined and reported it to the police unlike the other girls who sadly didn´t.
- Enormous hotel located just out of town, with huge comfortable and very clean rooms
- I really love the room, large bed, wooden floorboards and a giant window with an excellent view of mountains and meadows
- Staff were all very friendly and kind. Although I arrived at a late hour, they whipped out something for me to eat when I told them I was famished
- Swimming pool with hammock area, surrounded by peace and quiet
- None of the annoying 'hippie' backpackers
- Absolutely none
Room: US$5 (2005)
Anyone who read the different recommendations about the hostel "Las Ruinas de Quinara" should visit :
Nestled just outside of the main square is the exquisite Ruinas de Quinara. Upon arriving at the bus terminal I was greeted by a friendly individual who took me to the hotel at no charge. The place was beautiful and surrounded by gorgeous plants and vegetation. The staff was very friendly and my comfort was their number one priority. The was alot to do at hotel as well. They have a ping pong table, three pool tables, sauna, jacuzzi, turkish bath, and a pool with a slide(my favorite!!). They offer excellent massages and facials. Also, they have guided hiking and horse back riding tours. The newly contructed bar/restaurant overlooks the magnificent valley of Vilcabamba. On top of the bar there is another level where guests can take in the breathtaking sunset or stargaze through the telescope. All this starting at $6 in the dorm room with breakfast included is pretty hard to beat.
Great place to stay, this is place is owned by a friendly couple from Argentina (they used to be guides in the Galapagos). It is a great place to relax in nature. There are kitchen facilities so you can cook there, there are also good hiking trails on the site, as well as bathing spot. Very ecologic, you can even volunteer there if you are into that.
When I was in Vilcabamba, I was told about this hotel that was far from being unanismously recommended by everybody around. People from the village itself or other tourism professionals agreed on the bad fame of this hotel, Las Ruinas de Quinara aka Casa de Mauricio. This was mostly a consequence of its owner’s behaviour, who terrorizes the neighbourhood. In order to attract more travelers to his hotel, the owner does not hesitate to lie about the reputation and the quality of the other hotels, who are more than respectable, or, at least, try and do their work with honesty : a lot of people who have been to Las Ruinas de Quinara complained about thefts and struggles, sudden changes in the prices and bad maintenance of the rooms. Everything can be checked in Vilcabamba’s tourist office. The situation has also been described recently in some guidebooks, among which the Lonely Planet Guidebook.
Pour resumer le petit speech ci-dessus, cet hotel descend la reputation des autres hotels pour offrir un service de qualite tres mediocre, sans parler des vols qui y ont lieu, ainsi que les affrontements avec les clients, lies aux intempestifs et soudains changements de prix decretes par l'horrible proprio du coin. Meme le guide du LonelyPlanet a pris note de l'information et l'a a joutee dans sa derniere edition. Un endroit a eviter a tout prix.
Folks, I stayed in Casa de Mauricio (also known as Ruinas de Quinoa), for about $10 USD back in 2001. The place was wonderful and the hospitality was superb.
Time changes and by the time you go there you may experience a totally different place. All I can say before you trust a written review from anyone, such as myself, is to never pay in advance, unless it's not possible. See for yourself in person. If the situation looks good then go for it and stay Why trust what someone says (even a guidebook)? After all, it can be influenced by a greater force, such as money.
***Back in 2001,
-breakfast and dinner included
-all you can use sauna, jacuzzi, pool
-movie room with free movies
-free billiards, ping-pong, and more.
What more can you ask for eh? Paradise!
The hostel consists of several bungalows on different sites. i stayed in the first set of Bungalows, where there are 4 nice rooms (one with a living room!) which share a solar shower, electric shower, toilet and fully equipped kitchen, and another set of 3 which share bathroom and kitchen. there is also 4 more rooms on top of the hill with shared facilities and the "pole house". Each room gives onto a terrace where there are tables, chairs & hammocks.
The hostel is set out of the village on a private nature reserve, it is therefore VERY peaceful while being only 5 minutes walk from the centre of the village. the owners are very friendly and the prices are about the lowest in Vilcabamba.
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