GPS Track Details
Difficulty: 2/5 - Easy
Track length: 8.46 Kilometers
Total Ascent: 321 Meters
Total Descent: 295 Meters

F-3.4 Sendero Ecologico, Landangui - Vilcabamba, Part IV

Distance         8.5 km

Time               2.5 hours

Altitude          1530 m – 1785 m

Ascent            330 m

Descent          305 m

Rating             Easy 2/5

Start               Landangui intersection

End                 Vilcabamba Tourist office


Whilst the first three legs of the Sendero Ecologico mostly follow the Zamora- or the Malacatos rivers in a shady attractive environment, this last leg follows mainly gravel roads in an open, dry area and is therefore, in my eyes, the least attractive part of the “Sendero Ecologico”. Even though, the hiker gets rewarded with some nice views on the Malacatos- and Vilcabamba-Valleys.

By public transport, the start to this last leg of the trail at Landangui, is best accessed by the “Vilcatouris”-buses on the way to Loja ($ 0.50). Get off at the Landangui Intersection. Else you could use the shared yellow taxis “10 de Mayo”, which could drop you off right at the El Prado trailhead on the Taxiche road. That would save you 1.1 kilometers on the tarmac road, but you have to pay the whole taxi-fare to Loja of $ 2.25.


Route: From the Landangui intersection, hike 1.1 kilometer south along the Taxiche tarmac road to the marked El Prado turnoff on the left. Half a kilometer up this gravel road, gets you to the few houses of the Barrio El Prado bajo. After a steady climb of another 2 kilometers, past a handful of scattered houses and some fincas, you reach the “Portete Cararango”, the highest point of this leg, marked by a 30 meter antenna right at the pass. Then, for ten minutes, the road drops steeply down to the Vilcabamba highway. Here, at the bus stop-shed, turn right and hike the 400 meters uphill along the highway to the shrine at the Gararango-Pass. From the shrine, hike along the gravel road towards the few houses and the church of the Barrio Cararango. 250 meters from the Shrine, you get to a junction with a blue Bike sign, pointing downhill. Following this dropping road for 20 minutes, gets you to the Hamlet of Amala. On this stretch, you’ll come across a prominent Ceibo-tree with its trunk covered with defending spikes. You can also enjoy some nice views on the cozy San Pedro-village down below. 100 meters after the last houses of the hamlet, there is a gravel trail branching off to the right, with a resting bench nearby, from where you can enjoy the nice view on the Vilcabamba Valley. Descending this trail (there is no sign) for 500 meters, you will join the San Joaquin-road near the Hostería Madre Tierra. Now follow the San Joaquin-road to the left for 300 meters to the tarmac highway. Half a kilometer south along the highway, gets you to the cobble stone road, passing the prominent Vilcabamba entrance arch. From the arch, its exactly 1 kilometer along this old road to the town park in the heart of Vilcabamba.   


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