GPS Track Details
Difficulty: 4/5 - Hard
Track length: 10.54 Kilometers
Total Ascent: 834 Meters
Total Descent: 881 Meters

D-4 Vilcabamba - Mandango – Tumianuma

Distance          10.5 km

Time                4.5 hours

Altitude          1515m - 2020m

Ascent             713m

Descent           737m

Rating              Difficult  4/5

Start                Vilcabamba tourist office

End                  Tumianuma

This hike traverses the lower and the higher Mandango-mountains, followed by a 1.5 km exposed ridgeline-hike to Cerro Malaca, crossing the Mandango range into the Rio Palmira-valley, down to the hamlet of Tumianuma.  

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. 50 meters after passing the little Shrine on your left, you’ll find a dirt road branching off to your right. Some 100 meters uphill, past a newly constructed house, you’ll find a metal fence-Gate on the left, where the actual hiking trail starts. This trail is easy to follow. After about 40 minutes, leaving the small forest, 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, follow the trail from the cross towards the prominent Mandango cliff-wall, and then follow the base of the wall on the right hand side until you get to a small gully, where the trail starts climbing 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! The hike continues along the ridge in a southwesterly direction. After 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. Past this spot we’re saved. 1.5 Kilometer along the ridgeline we approach the prominent hill of Cerro Malaca. We leave the ridge at the barbed wire-fence at the foot of the hill, traversing bushy pastures towards the adobe farm-shelter of family Granda. Behind the shelter, to the west, there is a fence-gate with a well-defined trail. 15 minutes along this trail gets you to a fork, where you keep left. The trail gradually descends in a semicircle towards a black-metal gate at a trail-intersection. This is the connecting trail between Vilcabamba & Tumianuma, and has been well-traveled in the “old days”. (See also trek D-4.1) Turn right at the intersection, and twenty minutes later, pass a fence gate, which divides the farmlands & pastures of Vilcabamba & Tumianuma. From this gate it’s a 250 meter elevation drop into Quebrada Mosquera. Decades of horse & donkey traffic have worn this rocky downhill trail into corridors up to 3 meters deep in places. From the bottom of the descent, the trail follows the riverbed. Cross the canal road and continue along the riverbed, which you have to cross shortly after. Across the river, you get onto a driveway, which intersects some minutes later with the Quinara-Tumianuma road at a concrete bridge. Turn right at the bridge, from there, its 500 meters to the center of Tumianuma. From Tumianuma get a Bus or shared Taxi ($ 1.-) back to Vilcabamba. Normally there is a scheduled bus at 12 O’clock midday.



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