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Highly publicized as “the valley of eternal youth” for its sprightly 70 and 80-year-old inhabitants, Vilcabamba is also a hot spot on the Gringo trail. It is a must for anyone keen to hook up with fellow travelers or indulge in home-made hippy treats and pamper themselves with a massage or steam bath. For some time, it was thought that residents regularly lived beyond 100 years, however, it is now thought that this is unlikely. At one time a small, isolated village, Vilcabamba is now more of an expat-haven, rich in gringo-run businesses catering to backpackers, than a place equipped to administer a shot of local culture.
Boasting a warm, pleasant climate, set among spectacular scenery and an agreeable atmosphere, Vilcabamba is popular among Lojano weekenders, as well as foreign travelers. This is the place to head for excellent horseback riding, walking, hiking or just plain hanging out. Just outside of town, the scenic Mandango trail makes a great day-hike, while several private nature reserves and the famed Podocarpus National Park sit just beyond the village, offering even more opportunities to explore the local landscape and enjoy the pleasant climate. Come between June and September when the climate is drier and warmer.
Other places nearby Vilcabamba: Girón, Bulcay, Agato, Chordeleg, Gualaceo, Loja, Cuenca, Sigsig, Baños (Cuenca) and Jima.
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