GPS Track Details
Difficulty: 2/5 - Easy
Track length: 10.84 Kilometers
Total Ascent: 64 Meters
Total Descent: 605 Meters

F-3.2 Sendero Ecologico, Cajanuma – Rumizhitana, Part II

Distance         10.8 km

Time               3.0 hours

Altitude          1770m - 2380m

Ascent            65m

Descent          605m

Rating             Easy

Start               Cajanuma (Entrance Sendero Ecologica Caxarumi)

End                 Rumizhitana


This easy downhill trek follows the old road connecting Loja with Rumizhitana, which was replaced more than half a century ago by the present main-road. Part of the old road has been washed away by the Malacatos-river and has been replaced by a small trail instead. Starting in early 2015, the Caxarumi trail has been generously upgraded and furnished with new bridges as part of the Sendero Ecologico-Project, which connects Loja town with Vilcabamba.     

Access from Vilcabamba to the trailhead at Cajanuma is by shared taxi “11 de Mayo” ($2.25) or by the slower “Vilcatouris” bus ($ 1.25)


Route: The trail begins at its highest point at 2380m, next to the Cajanuma entrance to the Parque National Podocarpus, at a colorful bamboo decorated entrance, marked Sendero Caxarumi.   In a couple of switchbacks, it winds down past some chicken farms, to the still small Rio Malacatos to the long spread Barrio “Pueblo Nuevo” with its own church & the rural school, named “Lindemberg”. Shortly after the Barrio church, the vehicle-road ends and gives way to a smaller trail, which crosses a small tributary of Rio Malacatos on a new bridge. The formerly dangerously exposed trail high above the river, has been widened and equipped with rails. The trail between Pueblo Nuevo and the Barrio Tres Leguas has been equipped with about half a dozen new bridges, one of them replaces the interesting roofed Puente Ermita, which recently has been washed away. All along the trail you find the scattered houses of Pueblo Nuevo, many of them abandoned and in ruins. Eventually you reach the Barrio “Las tres Leguas” with its church spectacularly suspended high above a gorge. From “Las tres Leguas” it is another 2.5 level kilometers to the end of that part of the Sendero Ecologico at Rumizhitana. You could continue to the next leg of the trail, another 8.5 km to Landangui, or you can ascend to the Malacatos-Loja highway, in order to catch a “Vilcabambatouris”-bus back to Vilcabamba, ($ 1.-).



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