GPS Track Details
Difficulty: 4/5 - Hard
Track length: 11.42 Kilometers
Total Ascent: 754 Meters
Total Descent: 588 Meters


E-8.2 Vilcabamba - Cerro Sananangui - Masanamaca

Distance         11.4 km

Time               4.5 hours

Altitude          1530m - 2270m

Ascent            770m

Descent          600m

Rating             Hard  4/5 (hard climb, fence climbing)

Start               Tourist office Vilcabamba

End                 Masanamaca (Highway)

Cerro Sananagui, 2270m, offers in my opinion 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.

Hiking-direction: 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. In 5 Minutes you get to the intersection Cuatro Caminos where you head straight. After 10 minutes or 500 meters, branch to the road left, at the corner of the Cherimoya-farm. As this road begins to climb, it becomes a cemented vehicle-track, and where this track ends, it narrows into a worn and washed out horse-trail. Halfway up the ridge, there is a prominent rock on the right hand-side of the trail, from where you get nice views back into Vilcabamba-valley. Near the top of the ridge, the trail becomes a vehicle-road again, and levels off at the white water tanks and the prominent house on a small hilltop above, giving you a brake after the hard climb. 10 minutes later, at the blue bike-sign, follow the Yasanga road uphill. After 20 minutes, you reach the end of this road at the residential-area Yasanga. Our trail branches to the left, 20 meters before the Yellow metal-gate. The trail semi-circles a ravine for 20 minutes, climbing 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 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 barbed wire onto the topridge just by the lone pine tree on the right. Now just follow the ridge, which eventually levels off and opens up to a meadow, leading to a concrete triangulations point, the top of Cerro Sananagui at 2270m.

To continue to Masanamaca, head to the ridge, descending south-southwest. It’s about in a 90° -angle to the ridge you’ve ascended. At first, there are no distinct trails, but it’s all open pasture. Try to stay close to the edge of the ridge, which drops off steeply to the right, with impressive views on the serpentine-highway, way below. You have to cross several barbed-wire fences, which is easiest done close to the edge of the ridge. Follow the ridge for about 45 minutes, to where it starts to descend more steeply. Now head slightly to the left, to join the well-used horse-trail, which comes from the farm, you have seen all along to the left below. This trail zigzags down to a small saddle and a little forest. Soon you get to a metal-gate. Branching right, past the gate, the trail switches back, then skirts & winds down along the hillsides for about 30 minutes. Eventually you reach a dry riverbed at the bottom of the hill. 5 minutes along the river, the trail meets a dirt road. Turn right, and past the few houses of hamlet Masanamaca you get to the Yangana-highway. Here you can wait for a ride back to Vilcabamba, although your chances for a ride are much better, if you walk back the 500 meters to the Quinara-junction to the right.      



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