GPS Track Details
Difficulty: 4/5 - Hard
Track length: 12.2 Kilometers
Total Ascent: 626 Meters
Total Descent: 582 Meters

D-6.1 Loop Vilcabamba-Mollepamba-Lambunuma-Quebrada Puliche

Distance          12.4 km

Time                4.0 hours

Altitude          1530m - 2100m

Ascent             645m

Descent           595m

Rating             Hard  4/5

Start                Vilcabamba tourist office

End                  Vilcabamba tourist office

This hike is part of the trail system of Hostería Izhcayluma and is partly marked with blue Spray-markers. The hike differs to the Izhcayluma version, in that it starts & ends at the tourist-office in town, instead at the Hosteria. If hiking a deep long river gorge is your thing, go for it. If you prefer a more scenic hike, then I would recommend hike D-4.2 instead. Do not attempt the hike after heavy rains or in wet conditions!

Route: From the tourist office head 4 blocks south along Calle Bolivar, turn left onto Calle Hatillo, cross the bridge of Quebrada Puliche and head uphill. At the top of the little hill, branch to the right onto the gravel road passing the Hacienda El Atillo. 5 minutes later at the intersection Cuatro Caminos go straight. The Hacienda Mollepamba you will pass 15 minutes later. Soon the road starts climbing more steeply, and after 20 minutes, you reach another intersection at the Mollepamba school. Heading straight, the road is getting steeper again and narrows into a trail. In half an hour from the school, you reach a black metal gate near the concrete highway.  Looking back you get some nice views of Vilcabamba-valley. Turning right at the black metal gate and descending the highway for 300 meters, you’ll find the trailhead on the left hand side of the road. The trailhead, as well as the first part of the trail, is marked with blue spray markers of the Hostería Izhcayluma trail-system. Watch out in order not to miss the markers, since there are few. First you have to pass a cattle-fence. Following the markers uphill for 20 minutes, you pass a concrete cattle water tank. Continue uphill along and onto the ridge to your left. There is one spot on the ridge which is quite exposed, but if you don’t suffer of fear of heights, it shouldn’t pose a big problem. 20 minutes after the cattle watering place you reach the lookout at 2100m, which also marks the highest point on this trek. From here you get impressive 360° views to Podocarpus, the winding highway to the south, the Piscobamba-valley and Quinara town to the southwest and the Mandango-massif and Vilcabamba valley to the north. From the lookout, continue 10 minutes along the ridge to the next lookout at 2025 m. After another five minutes along the crest, the trail leaves the ridgeline and dives to the right. For the next half hour the steep, rugged trail drops a 250 meters into Quebrada Puliche (Puliche gorge). If you lose the trail among the crisscrossing cattle trails, just head down to the riverbed at the bottom. Following the mostly dry riverbed downstream, you have to dodge or climb a number of cattle fences. After 45 minutes navigating the never ending gorge, you reach an intersecting gully from the left. The trail along this gully is the Vilcabamba-Tumianuma Trail as described in hike D-4.1 Vilcabamba – Quebrada Puliche – Tumianuma. We follow the river downstream to the right and reach after 20 minutes the tunnel undercutting the highway. The one fed up with riverbeds can return to town via the highway. The nature-oriented can continue along the Quebrada through the tunnel. In 10 minutes the river meets a concret bridge and a gravel road. Follow the road to the left. In another 10 minutes, the road hits the highway at the little shrine and another 15 minutes gets you sitting with a cool drink in the townsquare.  



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