VALLEY OF LONGEVITY
The Valley of Vilcabamba has a reputation for being the Valley of Longevity.
Somehow, from the geography to the climate to the soil to the mineral contents of the water to whatever you can dream of, the residents of this village apparently grow to a very old age. But mind you, not that they grow old and frail, I read that some of the bones of these old geezers are nearly as healthy as those of teenagers, or the retinas of a 100-year-old is comparable to that of a 45-year-old (from another town).
Intrigued? Well, it is a very relaxing, sleepy little town in a gorgeous setting surrounded by lovely mountains, with a mild climate all year round. Many tourists, I dare say, come and just stay and do nothing... trying to absorb the essence of longevity, perhaps.
Well, if you must do something, you certainly have a host of activities to choose from... visit the nearby Podocarpus National Park, go hiking, horse-riding and there are many spas with all natural stuff to pamper yourself with.
Throughout the Vilcabamba valley, you can't help but notice the uniquely-shaped peak - the Mandango peak ("Sleeping God" or "Sleeping Inca").
From certain angles, the top of Mandango looks like a face looking upwards to the sky, or presumably 'heaven'. From other areas, it is said to look like a sleeping man or woman, presumably an Inca.
You can climb up the mountain of Mandango. It is on private property, so we had to pass through a gate, pay an admission and fill up a form that asked us for our blood type. I know, blood type, eh? Strange.
Anyway, the girl explained that it will take us 1 hour to reach the first cross and 30 minutes more to reach the second cross.
I took about 45 minutes to reach the first cross. Wow, from there, I could see BOTH sides of the sharp ridge! Amazing view of the valley of Vilcabamba and the green mountains all around.
However, the way onwards to the second cross looked absolutely treacherous! No way I could do it in 30 minutes!
But if you are up for it, do press on as I am sure the views will continue to be stunning.
Climb up the hills - Montez les collines
There are some really nice walks around Vilcabamba. One of them makes you climb up some hills on narrow paths... When on the top of the hills, believe me, you will looove the view and forget all the efforts you made to arrive there...
Il y a de superbes marches a faire autour de Vilcabamba. L'une d'entre elles vous fera grimper des collines sur des chemins sinueux et minuscules... Mais, quand vous serez au sommet, vous adorerez la vue et oublierez les effortsque vous avez fait pour y arriver !!!
Things to do in Vilcabamba
Vilcabamba is a quite little village, were the visitors can relax. You will find some spas, were you can get massages and other treatments for your body. For people who like to walk, there are different hiking routes which you can explore. About 25 Kilometers north from Vilcabamba you will find the National Park Podocarpus. It's worth to explore it. Especially the cloud forrest with lots of different plants and birds is interesting. You can reach the entrance of Podocarpus using the buses from Vilcabamba to Loja, capital of the province. At Vilcabamba you can although observe the work of the locals. In on of the places at the north entrance of Vilcabamba, you will find a little company which is making coffee. If you kindly ask, they will explain the whole process to the visitors. Sometimes you will see the coffee beans geting dried in their backyard. There is another family company which is working with sugarcane. Don't get surprised when you see the donkeys walking alone byside the main street with the sugarcane on their back. Observing how these people press the sugarcane and process it to raw sugar is very interesting. Even if you believe that you've been transported to the 19th century, for the way they process it.
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- Hiking and Walking
vilcabamba un paraiso escondido
Vilcabamba es un lugar muy bonito donde las personas viven muchos años es un pueblo muy tranquilo yo me hospede en la hosteria ruinas de quinara es un lugar muy bonito donde se puede observar la naturaleza uno se despierta con el cantar de las aves yo les puedo recomendar este lugar ya no es la casa de mauricio tien otros dueños son gente muy amable es un lugar para visitara
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