GPS Track Details
Difficulty: 3/5 - Medium
Track length: 5.98 Kilometers
Total Ascent: 208 Meters
Total Descent: 183 Meters

E-9.0 El Infiernillo, Chichilpamba valley, Masanamaca

Distance         6.0 km

Time               2.5 hours

Altitude          1650m - 1845m

Ascent            208 m

Descent          183 m

Rating             Moderate 3/5

Start               Volleyball court Masanamaca

End                 Volleyball court Masanamaca

My discovery of the year, is the hike to the El Infiernillo, (The little hell) a spectacular gorge, only 3 feet wide, with walls of more than 100 feet high in the vicinity of the Hamlet Masanamaca. It is accessed by the 2 kilometer long, wild romantic Quebrada Chichilpamba (Gorge), which on its own merits the trip.

Beware:  Do not enter the valley or the gorge after heavy rains or an upcoming thunderstorm, it could be a deadly trap!!

To get to the trailhead at Masanamaca, take any bus in Vilcabamba, heading south towards Yangana/Zumba. Get off at the Masanamaca Village, just before the Rio Malacatos Bridge.  

Hiking-direction: from bus stop at the highway, cross the volleyball-court at Masanamaca, and continue along the gravel road. After 500 meters, you get to a normally unlocked metal gate. Pass through the gate. The official trailhead to the Chichilpamba valley, you find 300 meters, or 5 min later on your left hand side.  An insignificant trail branches at a concrete trough, ascending the hillside. (A more convenient access to the valley is usually blocked by a locked massif gate and a private property, some 100 meters further on). The actual Chichilpamba valley starts after 300 meters along this dusty trail. For 1.5 kilometers (40 min), follow this wild, varied winding valley until you get to the place where the valley splits into two branches. Follow the left branch and, 100 meters later, you find yourself at the door of the “little hell”. The dark gorge is entered Indiana Jones-style by a narrow gap between overgrown rocks. The gorge is home to a big number of bats and even when you don’t see them, you can smell them. Even though this spectacular gorge is only a hundred meter or so long, it doesn’t fail to impress the rare visitor. At the end of the tunnel you have to climb beneath the roots of another tree wedged between the rocks. After an open space, the gorge continuous, but when you reach the two big white rocks jammed between the rock walls, you would need climbing skills to explore the gorge further. Return by the same route.            




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