Vilcabamba & Loja


While Vilcabamba is a small town of perhaps 2,000 people, it has a special charm and is home to an unusually large number of good restaurants and quaint shops. It’s considered a popular tourist destination in Ecuador.

A large foreign population from about 50 countries has settled in and around Vilcabamba; many of these are healers, artists, writers, entrepreneurs and other professionals. Among the local people, too, are a wide range of talented healers and creative people.

Vilcabamba is about 10-12 minutes away from the Garden of Paradise. Twelve buses daily connect us with Vilcabamba and Loja - six incoming and six outgoing. Taxis are easily available.

The Valley of Longevity

The entire river and valley complex that flows westward from Vilcabamba, including our Barrio Uchima and Barrio Santorum, forms Vilcabamba’s famous ‘Valley of Longevity’ or ‘Sacred Valley’.

This valley is famous for the unusually high number of people who live healthy active lives into their 80s, 90s and even over 100. In addition to their active outdoor lifestyle, this longevity may also be due to the wonderful climate, even balance of day and night, excellent water and soil and air, and the low-stress environment. Whatever the reason, we find the Sacred Valley to be an extraordinarily wonderful place to live.


With a population of about 150,000, Loja is the capital of the Loja Province. The city, while characterized by many ‘mom-and-pop’ stores scattered everywhere, is home to three major universities and to a wide range of modern shopping conveniences, clinics and hospitals. Numerous cultural activities abound. Loja is growing quite rapidly and each year has an increasing number of shopping options and cultural opportunities.

Loja is about an hour by car from the Garden of Paradise.

Modern Airport

The small but modern Loja Airport is actually located in Catamayo, a small city that is about 40 minutes by car from Loja and an hour and a half from the Garden of Paradise - all through gorgeous scenery.

The flight on Ecuador’s domestic airline, Tame (pronounced ‘TAH-may‘) takes you from Loja to Quito in about 50 minutes. From Quito you can get connecting flights all over the world.


The larger Patrimonial City of Cuenca is located in the neighboring province of Azuay. From Vilcabamba, a van runs once daily, each way. The trip takes only four hours and is through beautiful country.

Convenient public transit & taxis

Each day, six public buses go each way, to and from Loja, passing through Vilcabamba. They go right past our property and you can catch the bus anywhere along the paved road. Taxis also go to and from Vilcabamba on our paved road and you can usually flag them down if they have space for additional passengers.