GPS Track Details
Difficulty: 3/5 - Medium
Track length: 6.81 Kilometers
Total Ascent: 320 Meters
Total Descent: 311 Meters

E-3.0 "Montesueño" loop

Distance         6.8 km

Time               2.5 hours

Altitude          1530m - 1850m

Ascent            290m

Descent          280m

Rating             Medium 3/5 (a number of barbed wire fences to cross)

Start               Vilcabamba tourist office

End                 Vilcabamba tourist office

This loop hike takes us to the hills southwest of town. Via the hamlet of San José we pass Montesueños (Mountain- Dreams)   a Guesthouse / retreat of the late Brian O’Leary (ex Apollo astronaut) and artist-painter Meredith Miller. Uphill from Montesueño we can enjoy the excellent views from “Finca Salvaje” (“wild farm” no joke, it’s called like this). At the top of the ridge we traverse to the next ridge trail and descend back to the valley & the town.   

Route: From the tourist office, head 4 blocks south along Calle Bolivar, turn left onto Calle Hatillo, cross the bridge at Quebrada Puliche and head uphill. At the top of the little hill, branch to the right onto the gravel road passing the Club Hacienda El Atillo. At the intersection Cuatro Caminos 5 Minutes later, turn left and follow the undulating road to the hamlet of San José, 30 minutes away. Veer to the right at the little shrine and concrete Cross in San José, and, 5 minutes later you get to the entrance of Montesueño. Just 20 meters to the right of the parking place & entrance gate of Montesueño, you find a wooden fence gate to an uphill trail. Climbing 25 minutes along this trail you will encounter a prominent group of Eucalyptus trees with some Adobe ruins among them, the “Finca Salvaje”. Enjoy the excellent views from this spot to the NP Podocarpus, Rio Yambala valley below, Mandango and the mountain ranges of the western cordillera beyond. Continue on the trail uphill, cross the first barbed wire fence, before you get to a fence corner at a group of Agave plants. Cross the fence to the right, in order to get on the trail on the right hand side of the ridge. Follow the fence, skirting the new houses on the right. Reaching the driveway, pass another fence and turn right. 300 meters later, where the driveway veers uphill to the left, we follow the worn downhill trail to the right and after 10 minutes come across a prominent rock on the left, from where we get nice views on Mandango, Vilcabamba and beyond. 10 more Minutes along that rugged and rough trail, we meet the concrete tracks of a driveway, which eventually levels off and passes a Cherimoya-farm, before joining the Mollepamba-road. Turn right at the intersection, 500 meters later we reach Cuatro Caminos and known territory for the 15 minutes back to town.



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