Sunday, December 15, 2013

Vilcabamba in Pictures

Kitzia Organic Market - our Saturday morning routine!
We are excited to share the lovely pueblo of Vilcabamba, Ecuador with you all!  I'm writing this from Chicago, as we've officially re-patriated and are back in the states for the foreseeable future, but Vilcabamba was so wonderful that we felt compelled to do it justice with one more post. Similar to the Galapagos, Vilcabamba is just so beautiful that it's best shared in pictures, so I'm including lots of our favorites here.

Nestled in southern Ecuador far from many of the major tourist attractions, Vilcabamba is not on every traveler's itinerary, but we think it should be!  Out of all the amazing places we've seen in Ecuador, it's our favorite place to relax.  If we are luckily enough to return to Ecuador some day, Vilcabamba will be on our list, hands down.

Vilcabamba is known among Ecuadorians for the health and longevity of its people.  As such, there are all sorts of products marketed around what makes it such a healthy place - Vilcabamba bottled water, spice mixes, etc.  After spending a month here, we suspect it's more the relaxed pace, abundance of organic/local food, and tons of walking/hiking that makes the locals here live so long.  

Some visuals of our cabin in Vilcabamba - a perfect place to relax!
One of our favorite local hiking trails
Over the past decade, there's been a huge influx of foreigners to this little village, and the ratio of foreigners to locals is higher than anywhere else we've experienced in Ecuador.  The vibe is an ever-interesting blend of hippies, yuppies, and locals - and we discovered that to be a good fit for us!  There is a huge raw food movement here, our favorite manifestation of which is the Vilcabamba Juice Factory, which we are convinced has the best smoothies in the world. The "Goji Gone Wild", with Goji berries, Inca berries, black raspberries, cacao, natural yogurt, and spirulina gets the blue ribbon.

We spent our month in Vilcabamba in a cabin in the mountains with an open air kitchen and a porch with a view.  After two months of constant travel in and out of noisy and hectic Quito, we were excited to slow our pace and relax a bit.  We gratefully welcomed hiking, swimming, yoga, sunsets, and lots of reading into our daily routine.

Me taking a dip in our favorite swimming hole
Our cabin was literally steps off one of the more popular hiking trails in the area, which leads to a waterfall and a mountain eco-farm.  Our porch faced west, overlooking the valley and the farm that sources our beloved Juice Factory, and providing for stunning sunsets.  It was an hour-long walk into town and we're proud to say that the whole month we lived there, we never took the option of a $3 cab ride, favoring the exercise we got from the walk instead.

We hope that these pictures convey the beauty of Vilcabamba.  Despite how much we loved our travels, we are thrilled to be home for the holidays and back with friends and family.  Missing everyone back home was definitely the toughest part of our trip, and while we're sad to leave Ecuador, we're happy that part is over!

Our cabin in Vilcabamba was next to a beautiful river where we've fallen in love with a few swimming holes.  Freezing but completely refreshing after a hike in the Vilcabamba heat and humidity.


  1. I've enjoyed your blog so much. Thanks for sharing your travels! And welcome back.

  2. Thank you so much - and happy holidays!

  3. I am so glad you two are doing well and married!!! I have no idea how I stumbled onto your blog. Happy travels!!

    Ginger Snap

  4. Ginger Snap! Great to hear from you! Hope all is well with you!