Vilcabamba, meaning Sacred Valley, is a quiet, scenic, peaceful valley in the Podocarpus National Park in southern Ecuador.
It is a one hour bus ride from the City of Loja. There are international buses from Piura (8 hours US$8) on Peru´s Panamerican Highway 3 times daily. Transportes Loja has buses from Loja throughout Ecuador. Access is also possible from Iquitos & Chachapoyas in Peru via the frontier at Balsas & Zumba 
A camioneta cooperative is run from the main square. It is 1$ to get around pretty much everywhere in the town.
Las Palmas cloud forest reserve 
- Self-guided treks or hire a guide into the surrounding mountains. Avoid the Mandago Peak hike as there have been reported muggings (July 2007).
- Do a 2 hour, 4 hour, or 1-3 day horse-riding trips. There are quite a few reputable tour operations in town. Tours to Las Palmas cloud forest can be arranged through Cabañas Rio Yambala only, 4km's out of town.
- Get a massage, manicure, pedicure or waxi at a few locations in town.
- Spend a bucolic afternoon at one of the restaurants around the main plaza.
- La Terraza: Central Plaza. Serves Mexican and Italian food. Excellent chicken fajitas and nachos. Mains are $3 to $6.
- Shanta's Bar: Calle Diego Vaca de Vaga, passed the bridge. Cool atmosphere with a cowboy vibe. Bar seats are horse saddles and the walls are covered in international money, weird animal hides, and neat photos. Serves pizza, filet mignon, and pasta. Good food. Mains $3 to 6$. Large menu of drinks, including their homemade Snake Drink moonshine (actually fermented Cane Juice).
- Cabañas Río Yambala 
- Hostel Le Rendez-Vous: Calle Diego Vaca de Vega 06-43. Owners are a French couple Isabelle and Serge. Beautiful cabanas around a garden. Very clean, very nice, and lots of hot water. Breakfast is included: home-made bread, eggs, fruit salad, fresh fruit juice, coffee, tea, hot chocolate. 1 person is $11 per night, 2 people is 9$ per person per night, and 3 people is 7$ per person per night. They have a large collection of DVDs with a portable TV/DVD player, hammock, verandah, information booklets on Vilcabamba, Ecuador, and Peru. 
- Hostería Izhcayluma: Located about 2KM out of town. Dormitory style rooms starting at $9 with much nicer private cabins available. A creative pool and spa type services (massages, facials, etc.) are available. Breakfast is included: home-made bread, eggs, fruit salad, fresh fruit juice, coffee, tea. The restaurant is also open for lunch and dinner. They have a large collection of DVDs which can be watched until 6PM since the onsite bar opens at 7PM. There's a great community of international travelers to be found. 
- Warning. Several female travelers have reported being raped by the owner of Hostal Ruinas de Quinara. See http://www.libertadlatina.org/Lat_Ecuador_Vilcabamba_Hotel_Owner_Rapes_Foreign_Tourists_With_Impunity_06-12-2006.htm
This page was last edited at 01:48, on 20 November 2008 by Wikitravel user Sarahecuador. Based on work by Matt Robinson, Wikitravel user(s) Jlemieux and Cacahuate and Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel.