GPS Track Details
Difficulty: 4/5 - Hard
Track length: 8.59 Kilometers
Total Ascent: 660 Meters
Total Descent: 658 Meters

D-3.0 Loop Upper Mandango Loma Malaca

Distance          8.6 km

Time                3.5 hours

Altitude          1530m - 2020m

Ascent             540m

Descent           540m

Rating            Hard  4/5

Start                Vilcabamba tourist office

End                  Vilcabamba tourist office

This hike takes us to the lower and the higher Mandango-mountains, followed by a 1.5 km exposed Ridgeline-hike to Cerro Malaca. The descent is via an unnamed creek, back to the Yangana main road and to town.

Be warned!! This hike is not suited for the fainthearted. The narrow ridge-trail has extremely exposed spots, with deep drops on either side. If you’re prone to acrophobia, forget it!

Route: From the Tourist-Office, head to the main road (AV. Eterna Juventud), turn south and follow the road for 800 meters. Some 50 meters after passing the little Shrine at your left, you find a dirt road branching off to your right. 100 meters uphill, past a newly constructed house, you’ll find a metal fence-gate to your left, where the actual hiking trail starts. This trail is easy to follow. About 40 Minutes later, you cross a little forest, then a steady, steep climb in the open begins. At the top of this climb you get to a small knob, from where you have to battle the last, steep 20 meters to the mirror-decorated cross at 1950 meters. (This section recently has been upgraded with wooden rails).To continue, descend from the knob of lower Mandango towards the prominent Mandango cliff-wall, and then follow the base of the wall to the right, until you get to the small gully, where the trail climbs steeply. For a few steps you might even need the support of your hands. The trail then zigzags to the top-cross of the higher Mandango at 2020 meters. Enjoy the superb 360° views from here! Our hike continues along the ridge in a southwesterly direction. About 15 minutes along the ridge, we have to pass the most delicate spot of the whole hike: A few steep steps on the narrow trail with frightening slopes dropping on either side. Most people pass this spot on all fours. The trail after that is quite easy to follow. 1.5 Kilometer along the ridgeline you approach the prominent hill of Cerro Malaca. At the barbed wire-fence at the foot of this hill, we leave the ridge and traverse bushy pastures towards the adobe farm shelter of family Granda. From this shelter, the trail traverses down to the left, through a small forest into an unnamed gully. It’s a bit difficult to find the start of this trail. It leads for about 2 kilometers along the shady, forested gully to the asphalted highway. Just before reaching the highway, beware of the annoying dogs at a house at the gully-entrance. It’s another kilometer along the asphalt-road back to town.



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