GPS Track Details
Difficulty: 3/5 - Medium
Track length: 2.83 Kilometers
Total Ascent: 348 Meters
Total Descent: 10 Meters

B-1.1  Cerro Guaranga via “Agua de Hierro”

Distance          2.8 km             (5.6 km return)

Time                1.25 hours       (2 hours return)

Altitude          1530m - 1875m

Ascent             343m

Descent           22m

Rating             Medium  3/5

Start                Vilcabamba tourist office

End                  Cerro Guaranga (1875m)

Cerro Guaranga (Guaranga mountain) 1875 m, overlooking Vilcabamba on the north east, is the prominent antipole to Cerro Mandango. Although not as nearly as popular with hikers as Cerro Mandango, the views on town and its surroundings are even more rewarding. It can be climbed from different directions. You can combine the two different access trails to form a loop, starting at either side.

This trek describes the ascent from the south east via Agua de Hierro. (Iron water) and the return on the same track.

Route: From the tourist office walk one block north on the cobbled Calle Bolivar, then three blocks east, where you find a dirt trail branching north again towards Rio Chamba. (See Photo 03) The trail crosses the river on a red concrete pedestrian bridge, passes the entrance of Rumi Wilco reserve and continues into the rugged Sunungo valley. In the dry season, cars pass about one kilometer into the valley in order to extract gravel & sands for construction. Then the road narrows to a single trail in the riverbed. About two hundred meters further on, you find a wooden sign, pointing to “Agua de Hierro” on the left hand side of riverbed. A few minutes later this trail gets you to the small mineral spring, dripping out beneath a moss covered rock. Nothing special in its own sense, this spring attracts many locals for its healing properties.

After retracing about hundred meters on the trail you came from, you’ll find the uphill trail to the Cerro Guaranga. From Agua de Hierro it’s a rather steep 200 m ascend to the top. But before reaching the top-ridge, the trail gets lost among the many cattle trails. Ascend further, steering left towards a knob on the crest. From this knob you get the first fine views on Vilcabamba town. Another 100 meters along the ridge with the barbed wire fence, gets you to the top of Cerro Guaranga.

Here on top you will notice some excavated holes, attempts of Huaqueros (grave robbers) who tried to find treasures from ancient cultures. Return by the same route.


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