GPS Track Details
Difficulty: 2/5 - Easy
Track length: 3.46 Kilometers
Total Ascent: 153 Meters
Total Descent: 242 Meters

C-4.3 Cararango viewpoint – San Pedro

Distance         3.6 km

Time               2.0 hours

Altitude          1810m - 1570m

Ascent            135m

Descent          240m

Rating             Moderate 2/5 (short, very steep climb)

Start               Cararango bus stop

End                 San Pedro - bus stop

This easy hike in a little known corner north of the Vilcabamba valley, is one of my favorites due to the variety of excellent views and Landscapes.

Route: Take a “Vilcatouris” – Bus from the Terminal terrestre direction Loja, to the last Bus stop before reaching Cararango pass. The tin shed of the bus stop is located a couple of bends below the actual pass.

From the bus shed follow the very steep uphill gravel road. In 10 minutes you reach the top of the road at the tall communication aerial. Now follow the smaller, level trail to the right, which passes below the aerial. After 200 meters, watch out for a small, black metal gate in the fence on the left, which is easily missed. Entering a steep meadow through the gate, climb the faint trail zigzagging up the hill. Steering to the fence and the hill to the left, you find an opening in the fence and reach the white pilgrims cross on the top of the hill. Enjoy the excellent views on the Vilcabamba valley to the south, Cerro Mandango to the right and into the Uchima valley & PN Podocarpus to the left.

To continue, retrace your steps down to the metal gate, then continue on the trail to the left. After 600 meters on the descending trail, you reach a trail forking to the right, which is a direct trail down to the village of San Pedro. But we continue straight on the level trail, skirting along the left flank. The next half hour you pass many small fincas and orchards and coffee plantations on the shady, descending trail. Eventually you reach the San Pedro-Sacapo road at the San Pedro Graveyard. Turn right and pass the entrance and the little Shrine above the San Pedro College. 20 minutes along the gravel road gets you back to the “Vilcatouris” Bus stop at the main road at San Pedro de Vilcabamba. The buses for Vilca are passing every 15 minutes or so, costing $ 0.50.

If you’re not in a hurry, it’s well worth to pay a visit to the compact and yet unspoiled San Pedro village which, unlike Vilcabamba, managed to preserve its tranquility and rural charm.



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