GPS Track Details
Difficulty: 2/5 - Easy
Track length: 5.49 Kilometers
Total Ascent: 83 Meters
Total Descent: 41 Meters

B-5.0 Rio Chamba loop, Sendero Ecologico via Rumi Wilco reserve


Distance         5.47 km - loop

Time               1.45 hours

Altitude          1495m - 1580m

Ascent            55m

Descent          55m

Rating             Easy 1/1

Start               Vilcabamba tourist office

End                 Vilcabamba tourist office

The Alcalde (Burgmaster) of the Municipio Loja, José Bolívar Castillo (El Chato) has kept his word, to extend the Sendero Ecologico, which connects Loja with Vilcabamba, along the Rio Chamba from the Vilca Agua plant to the Centro Recreacional / Zoo at Yamburara. Starting at the Vilca Tourist office, this makes a 5.5 km pleasure loop along the cool & shady banks of the Rio Chamba, passing through the private reserve of Rumi Wilco. It can be hiked in either direction. The description here follows the loop clockwise.     

Hiking directions: Starting at the Tourist office by the Park, descend the cobblestone covered Calle Bolivar for 900 meters towards the entrance arch. Just as you pass Breiky’s bar on your left, there is a road branching to the right. Follow this road, which passes the Vilca Agua plant, to the new concrete bridge crossing Rio Chamba. (Just to clarify, this river is called Rio Chamba up to the confluence with the Rio Uchima, only from there downwards it’s called Rio Vilcabamba, even though some signs state otherwise). Cross the bridge and immediately turn right onto the trail following the river. A couple of hundred meters from here, you enter the private reserve Rumi Wilco, where Orlando & Alicia Falco for more than ten years maintain a self-guided nature trail system. Passing the River cabins and the Reserve’s administrative center, you leave the Reserve by its main entrance. Even though the trail is mainly within the newly declared 15 meter public zone, it is highly appreciated if you still contribute the two $ U.S-entrance fee to the Rumi Wilco reserve. From the entrance, cross the gravel creek and follow the trail along the river and shortly after, cross a bamboo bridge. A little further, you get to an open Building demolition depot, which hopefully soon will covered over. Next, you have to cross the Yamburara road and the bridge, to continue on the opposite riverbank. This is the newest section of the river trail and at the time of my research, workers were still clearing and improving the trail. Now you pass a resting place with a bench. Some 800 meters later, you reach the end of the river section of the trail, just near the entrance of the Yamburara Centro Recreational and the Zoo. To get back to town, turn right onto the paved Highway. In half an hour you can cover the 1.5 Km back to town.



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