Garden of Paradise

Located in south-central Ecuador at 4 degrees south of the equator, the Garden of Paradise has an elevation of 5,000 feet (like Denver, Colorado) and enjoys a year-round spring-like climate. The average range of temperatures is 60-80 degrees F., with low humidity most of the year. Thus, despite being near the equator, we enjoy a very pleasant climate that’s between semi-tropical and temperate.

The Garden of Paradise lies in an exceptionally beautiful natural setting. We border the lovely Vilcabamba River, a year-round river fed continuously by waters originating to the east in the Podocarpus National Park. The Podocarpus is a massive protected cloud forest that’s called the ‘Crown Jewel’ in Ecuador’s national park system. Unlike many places in South and Central America that rely for water on rapidly disappearing glaciers, our water supply is considered to be far more secure.

The Vilcabamba River flows over rocks and boulders on a gentle downhill slope. The river forms the southern border of the Garden of Paradise, providing us with ample water for wells and irrigation, as well as the potential for a future micro-hydro system for electricity. The river also forms a rare natural privacy barrier between us and the outside world.

Both bridges have an immediately adjacent river ford that allows larger, heavier vehicles to enter the Garden of Paradise when we wish to bring in large amounts of building materials and earth-moving equipment.

The Garden of Paradise is blessed with clean air, water and excellent soil that yields a great abundance of healthy organic food, as we have been demonstrating on the Downstream Farm (click here).

and (2) by a footbridge at our western (downstream) border, near where our house and Café Cosmos are located.

To enter the Garden of Paradise from the main (paved) road, you cross the river in two places:

(1) by our newly constructed private small-vehicle bridge near the upstream end of the property. This connects into our private internal roadway that goes all the way to the far downstream end of the Garden of Paradise.

A two-lane paved road runs just south of the Vilcabamba River and the Garden of Paradise. It runs roughly parallel to the river and conveniently connects us with Vilcabamba, Loja and the world beyond....

Our immediate neighborhood

The Garden of Paradise is located within Barrio Uchima, a beautiful rural agricultural sector that is just across the river from the small village of Santorum. The photo below shows Santorum in the foreground and part of Barrio Uchima in the background.

A network of trails connects the lower portions of the Garden of Paradise to the mountain tops, via a surprising variety of delightful micro-climates and one year-round spring. Since we came here in 2007, we’ve located two other wet-season springs (there may be more) and around them, we’ve begun planting trees that are known to ‘draw up’ the water toward the surface.

The photo below shows the main entrance to the trail system.

Vilcabamba, Loja and the world beyond....

While enjoying great privacy in the Garden of Paradise, we also enjoy very convenient access to the charming tourist town of Vilcabamba and the prefectural capital of Loja. Vilcabamba is only 10 minutes away by car from the far western end of our property and Loja is 45 minutes away by car - all through lovely scenery.

For more about VIlcabamba and Loja, (click here).

And, thanks to the internet, we’re connected with the whole world, even while living in the Garden of Paradise!

We came to Ecuador on a vacation at the beginning of 2007. Near the end of our trip, we went out to take a look at a property that was for sale - described as ‘in disrepair but in a pretty location’. We were just curious and had NO intention of buying land in Ecuador. ZIP.

Within 30 seconds of being on this land, however, we realized that we’d just been ‘spiritually hijacked’. We both had an enormously powerful feeling that ‘Something Beautiful’ wanted to happen here and that ‘it’ had our names on it.

And so, we bought the farm. A year and a half later, we bought the neighboring farm. Gradually, the land has been revealing her vision to us.

For more about the Garden of Paradise, click here.

For more about Vilcabamba & Loja, click here.