GPS Track Details
Difficulty: 3/5 - Medium
Track length: 7.02 Kilometers
Total Ascent: 166 Meters
Total Descent: 168 Meters

E-4.0 San José loop

Distance          7.0 km

Time                1.75 hours

Altitude          1530m - 1680m

Ascent             240m

Descent           210m

Rating             Easy - Moderate 3/5

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, then continue to the Rio Chamba (which we have to ford) and return to town via the Yamburara road.

Route: From the tourist office head 4 blocks south along Calle Bolivar, turn left onto Calle Hatillo, cross the bridge of Quebrada Puliche and head uphill. At the top of the little hill, branch to the right onto the gravel road passing the 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. Keep to the right at the little shrine & concrete Cross in San José, and 5 minutes later, pass the entrance of Montesueño. Continue on the winding road for 15 minutes, until it ends at a graded turning place. Switch back the descending trail past a pig farm (you can tell by the smell) to the Rio Chamba, which you have to ford. This is best done some 20 meters upstream from the spot where you hit the river. At the opposite bank, follow the faint trail downriver for about 50 meters, where it veers inland, past a new carpenter shop and starts climbing. 15 minutes scrambling up the well worn trail, you will arrive at the yellow Yamburara chapel lining the Yamburara-alto road. Turning left onto this gravel-highway, you soon will notice the interesting Estoraques, mushroom-shaped earth-sculptures on both sides of the road. Ten minutes later, you pass an adobe-brick factory on your right. The road skirts the base of the eastern hills and in twenty minutes passes a traditional sugarcane-mill on your left, before the cobble road meets paving at Yamburara School. Heading straight we pass “Craig’s book exchange” and descend the “hotel-mile” down to the Rio Chamba and back up into town.     



display:none display:none display:none