THE SACRED VALLEY OF ECUADOR

The valley of Vilcabamba is located in Loja, Ecuador´s most southerly province on the Peruvian border.  In Quechua, the ancient Inca language that is still widely spoken today, the word “vilca” translates as “sacred” and “bamba” translates as “valley”; Sacred Valley. The valley, at 1500 m, lies in hill country where the peaks generally only rise to 3500 m.  In place of snowcapped mountains, the area offers lush vegetation and a mild, warm climate as well as a highly varied animal population. The sights, sounds and aromas in this highland environment equate those of the teeming jungle but without the humidity.

Aside from its untouched natural beauty, the Vilcabamba Valley is known for the large number of native people who live well past the age of 100, and thus has been studied by many scientists over time. These studies have looked at several environmental and social aspects such as geography, climate, water and soil in the hope of discovering the key to the longevity and lack of disease of it’s inhabitants. Some notable studies have found that the balance of minerals and high content of minerals in the water are partly responsable for this phenomenon. Other important factors that contribute to the longevity of the people are the stable climate, the clean and pure air, the naturally high levels of negative ions in the air and water, the youthful and active lifestyles of Vilcabamba’s residents, the lack of illness, the fertile soil, and the total absence of industry.

Although there have been some disputes about the longevity of Vilcabamba’s residents, especially due to the lack of accurate birth records; it is nonetheless a remarkable and breathtaking place. The serenity of this valley, the constant blue sky, the crisp and fresh air, the lush vegetarion, and the towering mountains will all contribute to one’s well-being.

The Podocarpus National Park is one of the nighlights in the area and is categorized as a megadiverse zone with a high level of endemic species. The park is know for its interesting range of flora and fauna; along with its waterfalls and over 100 glacial lagoons. Other highlights of the Vilcabamba valley are the scenic walks and treks, horseback riding, and bird / wildlife watching.

Trips to Vilcabamba are desgined for the conscious and socially responsable traveler. This is a special place and we would like it to stay that way. Please contact us if you would like more information about tours to Vilcabamba.

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