Blogs from Vilcabamba, South, Ecuador, South America


South America » Ecuador » South » Vilcabamba July 19th 2019

Vilcabamba was strangely empty in mid-July. It felt like the whole town - the hostels, taxis, and even the trails - were waiting for more tourists to show to enjoy the dry season while other parts of the country were cold and wet. After reading about its growing popularity in old guide books and websites, I expected it to be peaking by 2019, but people I asked said that tourism has abated and land prices are actually dropping. That was fine by me, since we felt like we had the area to ourselves. Other than hiking the impressive and varied series of trails, most of which are strung together to include dirt roads and drainage ditches, there wasn't much else to do but try out the few restaurants that were actually open and watch the expats ... read more
Goats in Tumianuma

South America » Ecuador » South » Vilcabamba April 1st 2019

Hello Blog Readers - thanks for being here! Some of you have been following my blog since I first began in 2006. Thanks, Madge, for insisting that I keep folks in the loop of my life in Ecuador. Here I am, twelve and a half years later with 145 published entries. I'm still at it...and you're still reading! To explain the title of this entry I need to tell you that the past month's activities and travels were overlaid on a backdrop of recovery from cataract surgery. There were complications and it's been a journey. My experiences during recuperation had me looking at the semantic and more esoteric connotations of the words SIGHT and VISION. Allow me to start by saying that, for my part, I am eternally grateful to the visionaries who had the foresight ... read more
Jessica and family
Exploring New Roads
My Sleeping Quarters

South America » Ecuador » South » Vilcabamba November 28th 2018

One whole year in hardly seems possible! Admittedly we have only travelled through 4 countries during this whole year, and one of those was the US, but that's beside the point. Moving so slowly has allowed us to get to know certain places really well, and evaluate their livability potential, instead of having to rush through them to stay on a faster and more distance-covering schedule. When we left Colorado last November we really didn't know what to expect. Would we survive Mexico, despite all the disconcerting security warnings? (well we're still alive!) How would it feel driving a relatively large vehicle through a bunch of developing countries? (ask Ken!) Would we really go through the hassle and expense of shipping Tortuga all the way down to South America? (yes!) And, most importantly, would we ... read more
Sunset at the house
Hiking with the lovely Roxy
Hiking to the Palto waterfall with Jen

South America » Ecuador » South » Vilcabamba October 6th 2018

Our last blog entry saw us in Quito, finishing off the sale of our Colorado home, which, we are pleased (and a little surprised) to report, went off without a hitch and officially made us homeless again! There was one moment of tension, when we were at the DHL office trying to send off the closing documents, which included the signed and notarized deed, to the title company in Colorado, and noticed that the employee assisting us had not entered the destination address in the correct US format, and had recorded the recipient's phone number without the area code on the mailing label. When I tactfully pointed this out, she assured me that that was the way it was always done in Ecuador. We went round and round this issue for a minute or two before ... read more
Ruminahui hike in Cotopaxi National Park
Baños central plaza
Roasted guinea pigs (cuy)

South America » Ecuador » South » Vilcabamba June 22nd 2018

I'm told that after the rainy season comes the windy season here in southern Ecuador. The wind can blow a lost of leaves and dust onto the patio. Things don't seem to be "as I would like them". But wait; why IS that? It is important to bend with the wind and not to be broken by it. Broken in spirit; Bummed out. That now seems to be illogical and stupid thinking to me. Weather just is. It doesn't mean that I don't care about it; some is more or less pleasant. Pleasant is nice! Where happiness is determined or even influenced by external conditions we are primed for unhappiness. I think it's great that things don't always happen as we would wish them to. Where else can we find the impetus for personal growth? I ... read more

South America » Ecuador » South » Vilcabamba November 20th 2016

Wow, must be time to update this blog! It has been a long six years. Recently returned from a four week trip to Europe where I broke my leg on the second day. Hanging out all day in the adobe house at San Jose. Wheelchair, walker, elbow crutches. Can't wait until my tibia top fracture is a distant memory and I can use my left leg, both to walk and to drive again. Dreaming about driving to the northern coast of Peru some time in the new year. Looks like about a five or six hour (read whole day) drive. So, please visit if... you know the way to San Jose.... read more

South America » Ecuador » South » Vilcabamba July 29th 2016

On advice from Alba and Tom, I went to Vilcabamba just for the amazing hostal izcayhuluma. It was like a retreat, where stress does not exist. I stayed two nights but had time to take the morning yoga classes, it is much harder than it looks! Tried the swimming pool but it was freeeezing and did a little hike for the viewpoint. Read a lot, just a nice relaxing time before the long journey to Peru.... read more

South America » Ecuador » South » Vilcabamba March 18th 2016

The devil is in the details so they say, but in Ecuador’s case, the devil is in the mountains and in the waterfalls. It is also in the weather at the moment. It changes as rapidly as the convictions of a politician. It’s devilish hard to dress appropriately. One minute you are freezing in your fleece, the next you are sweating in your t-shirt. It’s no wonder my mum caught a cold. The day of rest in Otavalo wasn’t enough for her to recover, nevertheless she decided to ‘woman’ up and we left for Latacunga the next day. Latacunga wasn’t our destination though, it was just a stop-over. It’s neither ugly, nor pretty. It has its charms, some cobbled-stoned streets, a few churches and plazas and some nice buildings. But the reason for coming to Latacunga ... read more

South America » Ecuador » South » Vilcabamba April 27th 2014

Vilcabamba Known as the ‘Valley of Longevity’, Vilcabamba is a small town in Southern Ecuador famous for the age and health of its residents with one resident reportedly being 120 years old. Situated about a 90minute drive from the nearest airport of Loja (“Loha”), Vilcabamba is nestled in a valley surrounded by gorgeous Ecuadorian mountains, with clear springs and crisp mountain air. The town has become a mecca for Western health enthusiasts worldwide and attracts thousands of tourists each year looking for respite from the 9-5 daily grind. As I don’t mind a bit of meditation and yoga, I decided to spend a week in Vilcabamba before heading to the Galapagos Islands. To get there, I left the hustle and bustle of Buenos Aires at about 5am, to fly to Loja airport via Guayaquil, Ecuador where ... read more
Bernie, banana hunting
These guys were EVERYWHERE
Persian restaurant - delicious food!

South America » Ecuador » South » Vilcabamba February 24th 2014

Je passe donc la frontière vers l'Equateur, pays que j'ai déjà visite durant près d'un mois et demi. J'arrive a Tulcan, ville de frontière et je prend un bus vers Otavalo. 3 heures de bus, 3$, 1$ l'heure pour tous les bus du pays. Je me retrouve dans un petit hostal qui porte le nom de La casa del Che. En effet, le monsieur en charge se prénomme Che et accueille des jeunes qui tentent de révolutionner le monde a travers le voyage, la musique, l'artisanat, etc. C'est un endroit merveilleux ou j'ai rencontré des gens tout aussi merveilleux d'un peu partout dans le monde. Nous dormions presque sur le plancher et la douche était glaciale, mais c'est un des endroits les plus chaleureux ou j'ai mis les pieds depuis le début de mon voyage. Notre ... read more
Los locos de la casa del Che

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