There are a number of places to explore around Vilcabamba and I have by no means explored them all. Much more to come in this section in the future

There are a number of places to explore around Vilcabamba and I have by no means explored them all. Much more to come in this section in the future.

The map below shows a few of the towns/cities that are close Vilcabamba: Malacatos, Yangana, Zamora and of course the city of Loja

Below is the same map but live. You can zoom it, scroll it, enlarge it ...

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Loja is evidently the biggest place and the place that locals go to for medical services, for shopping and for food and non-food supplies. On the other hand, for the "Lojanos", Vilcabamba is their holiday spot. It is the place that they come to on the weekends to get away from it all or for a holiday. Consequently, Sundays can be very busy in Vilcabamba. The traffic explodes and I’ve experienced Sundays where you cannot get a carpark in Vilcabamba. 

Heading north ...

    ... the closest town (unknown to Google and therefore not on the map above) is San Pedro. This is a beautiful traditional Ecuadorian village, preserved and original in its look and occupants. It has an inviting central square with a good looking church built out of tapia (rammed earth). There are no obvious restaurants or cafes. San Pedro is usually dead quiet unless there is some religious event and then the place comes to life with processions, music and 100s of people. I was told that there is a strong sense of community in San Pedro and one can really sense this when spending some time blending with the locals.

San Pedro
San Pedro de Vilcabamba

The next town heading north is Taxiche, then Malacatos. Malacatos is between Vilcabamba and San Pedro in size. There are a few expats calling Malacatos home, but for the most of it, Malacatos is a traditional Ecuadorian town. Each of these towns is worth a visit, if for nothing else than to absorb the local atmosphere.

Heading South ...

    ... are the towns of Quinara and Yangana

These 2 towns are pretty much at the same distance from Vilcabamba. They look quite different. Quinara is flat and along a river while Yangana is hilly. Quinara has an impressive suspended bridge that appears so out of place considering the small size of the ton itself. 


As far as the villages themselves are concerned,  I personally found Yangana prettier than Quinara.


Along the road to Yangana are these stunning earth columns

on the road to Yangana
On the road to Yangana

These can be found in Vilcabamba itself as well, in Yamburara alto more precisely.

Teenage boys love climbing on these to impress the girls watching.

We also have a few on our property of Uchima in Sacapo. It is a mystery to me how these tall structures made of just earth defy time, wind and rain erosion.