GPS Track Details
Difficulty: 4/5 - Hard
Track length: 8.37 Kilometers
Total Ascent: 310 Meters
Total Descent: 680 Meters

E-8.1 Yasanga – Cerro Sananangui - Vilcabamba (Transport & Hike)

Distance          8.4 km      

Time                4.0 hours     

Altitude          1530 - 2270m

Ascent             310 m

Descent             680 m

Rating            Hard  4/5 (Steep climb, fence crossings)

Start                Yasanga end of vehicle road

End                 Vilcabamba tourist office

This is an easier Version of hike E-8.0 with vehicle transport to a  trailhead at 1970 m, what spares you 400 m out of total 700 altidude meters.

Cerro Sananagui, 2270m, in my opinion, marks the most rewarding viewpoint in the whole of Vilcabamba valley, exceeding Cero Mandango-views by far.  360° views on Vilcabamba, San Pedro de Vilcabamba and Malacatos to the north, PN Podocarpus to the east, Piscopamba valley and the distant road to Valladolid to the south, and Filo de Taranza, Mandango, Cerro Colambo and the several ranges of the Cordillera Occidental to the west-northwest, reward the hiker.

By taking a pick up Taxi or any other means of transport ($5.-/$7.- depending on road condition) to the residential area & trailhead at Yasanga, you save yourself 4.9 kilometers of hiking and 400 meters of hard climbing. We start this hike in Yasanga, at 1970 meters.

Route: The hiking trail starts to the left, just 20 meters before the Yasanga vehicle track ends at a yellow metal-gate. For 20 minutes, the trail semi-circles around a ravine up to an unnamed pass at 2000 m. At this pass, at the end of a cattle coral, you have to duck under a barbed-wire fence on your right and follow the ridge uphill trough cow pastures. Skirt the small scrub-forest hill on the right hand-side. Continue up on the ridge. It gets really steep, before this ridge meets the top-ridge at a wire-fence. Cross the fence just at the first one of about a dozen Pine trees, it's the easiest spot do do so. Now just follow the ridge on the right hand side, which eventually levels off and opens up to a meadow, leading to a concrete triangular reverence point, which marks the top of Cerro Sananagui at 2270m.

The intrepid trekker can continue & descend from Cerro Sananangui into the valley of Masanamaca. (See trek N° E-8.2) But the average hiker prefers to return to Vilcabamba valley by the ascending route. From the Yasanga housing project you reach in 15 minutes the blue bike-downhill sign on the road coming from Mollepamba. Here you can follow the more direct downhill trail to Vilcabamba. Heading straight, the level road passes 10 minutes later an exposed house on a little hill on the right-hand side and a white water tank below. Here, the road starts dropping steeply and after 150 meters deviates to the right. But we follow the worn trail going straight down, and after 10 minutes come across a prominent rock on the left, from where we get excellent 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 Chirimoya-farm before joining the Mollepamba-road. 25 minutes along the road gets us back to town.



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