GPS Track Details
Difficulty: 4/5 - Hard
Track length: 9.44 Kilometers
Total Ascent: 994 Meters
Total Descent: 216 Meters

A-2.0 Capamaco - Refugio Gavilan 9.4 km

Distance          9.4 km             (18.8 km return)

Time                4.0 hours         (7.5 hours return)

Altitude          1595m - 2400m

Ascent             875m

Descent           100m

Rating             Hard  4/5

Start                End of the vehicle-road in Capamaco

End                  Refugio Gavilan

This Refugio is located in a private nature reserve belonging to Gavin Moore, a New Zealander and longtime resident of Vilcabamba, who is something like a legend among the Horsemen of town.

"A horse that can't take a man up the mountain ain't a horse, and a man that rides a horse down the mountain ain't a man." “Don Gavino”

If you plan to do this tour on horseback or to stay in his Refugio, contact Gavin Moore for the respective arrangements:

 On this hike you can save yourself 1 hour walk by taking a pickup-taxi to the end of the road in Capamamaco-valley, in order to preserve time & energy, since the access to that Refugio is the longest & hardest of any of the Vilcabamba Refugio’s.

Route: The hiking trail starts uphill, where the Capamaco valley vehicle-road ends. It contours for 3.5 km the north bank of the Capamamaco River, passing many little farms, until you get to the spot where you have to ford the river. Fording gets difficult when the river is high after rains. Once you forded the river, a hard, steep 300m climb begins. At the top of the climb you find a metal-gate to a cattle-farm, but do not enter, instead continue on the trail to the right, which skirts the cleared pasture of the farm, slowly turning east. The trail ascends another 160 meters before leveling off, then dipping into & climbing two gullies with little streams. From the farm gate it’s long 3.2 Kilometers to the Refugio. The Refugio is nicely situated in a clearing of the forest and offers great views towards Vilcabamba, Mandango and the Cordillera Occidental & beyond.


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