Tiny town, beautiful setting. Vilcabamba!

Vilcabamba Travel Blog

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The Parque Central of Vilcabamba.
Hello all,
Today I woke up to the sound of a rooster crowing. Problem is, it was about 4:30am. Thankfully I was able to get back to sleep and pull off a full night's worth. The hotel I'm staying at is beautiful, and the rooms surround a wonderful, mature garden next to a pool and hot tub.

I took the three block walk across town to the small bus terminal.  I bought a 8:15pm bus ticket to Loja, and an 11pm ticket from Loja to Piura, Peru.  So that left the day for me to explore Vilcabamba and the surrounding area.  I went out to ask the Montreal native manager what there was to do around town, and grabbed a Peru tour book to get an idea what to expect when I get there.  The only Peru guide book he had was in German, so I had to flash back about 20 years to my college German courses for the info.
Clouds threaten over the mountains near Vilcabamba.
 Aside from not being positive about the difference between the abbreviations for Saturday and Sunday, the book was still helpful.

Another guest happened to be asking the same question I was about hikes in the area, and we decided to take a hike together.  Brianne is from British Columbia, and is touring Ecuador in the opposite direction as I.  We took a three hour hike up the foothills of a mountain.  After talking to somebody on the trail, we decided our destination was some mineral springs a bit further along the trail.  We got to the spot, and there was a nice fence built, and a sign asking $1 admission.  Problem is, there was nobody there to take the admission fee, or to open the fence.  After testing the possibility of climbing the fence or going around, we headed back towards town.
A local waters his donkeys in Rio Chamba near Vilcabamba.

We stopped by a nice Belgian owned vegetarian restaurant for lunch, and a delicious blended strawberry drink I headed back to the hotel.  It was a perfect time to put some of my good Japanese anti-itch cream on my dozen or so bites.  I then crashed for a few hours of napping.  I woke up to have some dinner with Brianne, the manager, and two other French-Canadians before checking out and wlaking to the bus station.

The two other canucks were also heading to Piura, but they were catching a later bus from Loja.  The bus rides were uneventful until we reached the Peruvian border.  The Ecuadorian exit procedures were easy and quick, although most people in the line were being dive-bombed by june bugs during the wait.  After the exit procedures I walked the bridge over the Rio Macará into Peru.
Alright, where is the guy to take my money?
 The bridge was entirely covered with June Bugs as well.  Every step found nearly 10 of the creatures crunching under foot.  I was very strange.

Upon reaching Peru, I was the third person from the bus to get there.  There appeared to be nobody home at the Peru admisisons building, but the women ahead of me were pounding on the glass of the building tryng to get somebody's attention.  I was amazed to see a flicker of light, and then a woman appeared.  She was carrying a candle and walking over to the window.  I then realized then other then for one street light, this whole area was without electrical power.  I filled out the entry form, and crossed the street to be checked in, by flashlight, by the National Police.  I had never seen anything like this crossing before.
One of the hills near Vilcabamba.

We pulled into Piura, Peru at 7am exactly.  I then began my search for a bus to Tarapoto.  The German guide book I read said that there were only three of them per week, and only one company ran the route.  Piura has no central bus station, and all of the bus companies are spread out on both sides of the street over a three block area.  I found the company I needed, but was upset to find that the building was closed.  I checked a few other bus companies to see if I could get to an intermediate point, but the next open bus was still about 3-4 hours away.

I then saw some life in the Sol Peruano bus company's office.  I ran across the street with all of my gear, and got there just in time to ask about the bus.  There isa bus to Tarapoto today, and the office would open at 8:30am.  I was waiting when the doors opened, and got my $20 ticket.  The bad news...  the bus leaves at midnight, and it's 16-17 hours long.  For the second day in a row, I will check into a hotel for a day, and grab the night bus.

I found a hotel that was more money then I wanted to pay, but the A/C is great, and free wi-fi is always good.

Later, Phil
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The Parque Central of Vilcabamba.
The Parque Central of Vilcabamba.
Clouds threaten over the mountains…
Clouds threaten over the mountain…
A local waters his donkeys in Rio …
A local waters his donkeys in Rio…
Alright, where is the guy to take …
Alright, where is the guy to take…
One of the hills near Vilcabamba.
One of the hills near Vilcabamba.
Brianne says hello to a few horses…
Brianne says hello to a few horse…
The reception and restaurant area …
The reception and restaurant area…
The garden of Jardin Escondido.
The garden of Jardin Escondido.
The pool and hot tub in the garden…
The pool and hot tub in the garde…
photo by: Riz7