Life health culture art...
Business in Loja
Read our articles
An online travel guide to Vilcabamba and the Loja province in southern Ecuador with maps, restaurants, shops, hotels, services, activities and much more...
Mountain Bike Tours
Walks, horse riding...
Caminatas, caballos ...
Crepes n Coffee - Sweet Temptation
Where to shop, what to buy
Donde y que comprar
Where to eat
Parks, Zoo, Gardens
Large selection of natural and organic products in Vilcabamba
Pharmacy Reina del Cisne
Dumas - A gentle gournmet touch
"Simple clean accomodation on the border with Peru"
Hotel Farallon Dillon (Santa Elena, Coast)
Gateway to the Podocarpus National Park
Puerta del Parque Nacional Podocarpus
Biomagnetism in Loja
La Baguette - French bakery in Vilcabamba
Selection of french bread and delicious pastries
VARADERO PuertoHuaquillasSuperb Seafood
La Ramada de Noe (Jambeli Machala)
"Simple living on a coastal paradise"
Fast, Professional and Friendly
AGAVEBLUVilcabambaHealthy Mexican Food
Large selection of organic products in Loja,
Neural therapy, Odontology neurofocal, Vitamin C
Business Excellence in Loja
A real gem near Loja...
Oriental Therapies in Loja
Expert legal advice in Loja
Salud y Vida SPA
Relaxation and massages in Vilcabamba
Where to stay
Hotel Paris Loja
"Ecuadorian Hospitality at its best"
Hotel Villonaco Loja
"Your home in Loja"
Where to explore...
Fun for kids
Timothy's barVilcabambaHealthy Fast Food
When I first came to Vilcabamba I found it hard to find information about the town, what facilities were available: medical, food, accommodation, activities, etc.
I found that the establishments that were run by ‘gringos’ were well reviewed on the internet, but a lot of the businesses run by locals and the services provided were not found online. So, one of my primary objectives (in order to make this guide as comprehensive as possible) is to include as many of the
local businesses I can as well as the ones run by expats.
This guide was created in 2009. It started as a unambitious web site, the aim of which was to share our own experience as gringos in Vilcabamba and help other expats find their way around the maze.
A lot of water has flown under the bride and I, Pierre Volter, aka "Gringo al SUR" have become more and more integrated in the Ecuadorian society due to a new lifestyle. My wife is from Loja and we have a little daughter, 2 1/2 at the time of this writing. She has kids of her own. they go to school. None of them speak any English. We spend a lot of time in Loja. Our friends are there. I got involved in some TV program on Ecotel TV. I meet with presidentes de junta parroquial and alcaldes. I started composing songs in Spanish and performed them live in Vilcabamba and Loja. My integration has gone from superficial to rather deep indeed.
by Anita Evans
The information contained in this guide is a mixture of my own personal experiences, internet sources (only
used if name of author is available), interviews with business proprietors and feedback
from clients of the businesses.
This guide also contains opinions. We are open to constructive comments and suggestions and invite you to tell us
of your experiences at businesses in Vilcabamba so that we may keep this guide
up to date. Please provide: your name and contact details and the name and contact
details for the business you are referring too.
Any prices quoted in the guide are approximate only. They are subject to change
at any time.
If you wish to send feedback please do so through the contact page.
Where possible I have included the hours that a business is open. Please note that
most places (except food places) close for lunch between 12:30 ish and 2:30 ish.
This is especially applicable for businesses in Loja. Some food places will close
in the afternoon then reopen early evening. Monday sees a lot of food places and
other business closed.
Now, if you find that the place is closed when I say that it should be open, don't
blame me and welcome to Latin America! Sometimes restaurants close for no reason
(maybe the owner does not feel well). If you find that my opening hours info is
completely wrong, please drop me an email using our feedback form and I will endeavour
to correct my mistakes.
Below is a short intro to each section in this guide. If you click on the titles,
you will be taken to that particular section.
For a small town/village, Vilcabamba has an abundance of superb and diverse restaurants.
A number of places will serve a ‘menu de hoy’ (menu of the day). This usually (but
is not always the case) consists of a drink of juice, a soup and a main. Sometimes
a light fresh fruit desert will be included. The ‘menu de hoy’ is usually
very well priced and more local cuisine.
Also, most restaurants don’t start serving until noon and stay open late into the
Also, most restaurants have a vegetarian section on their menu but there is one
fully vegetarian restaurant in Vilcabamba at this time.
Where to Stay
For a pueblo of this size, Vilcabamba offers a range of places, each varying in
style and price, and some of the most scenic and interesting places lie just a short
distance (a few kilometers) outside of the town itself. Depending on your tastes
and wallet size, you can choose from options as diverse as pampering yourself in
a spa to pitching in on a working farm.
What to Do
It is not feasible for me to experience every activity here. For one, I’m too old
for some of them and my body will protest no end if I push it. Having a young family
means I’m a little time strapped. Okay, I admit it I’m not one of these supermoms
and don’t strive to be.
So, I invite you to tell me of your experience of any activity you have done in
Vilcabamba. Please provide the name of the activity operators and contact details
This section covers medical, police, non retail/food business, post (mail), taxis,
Odds and Ends
This section covers topics like water, loo (BTW for US citizens a "loo" is a toilet,
I am a Kiwi and "loo" sounds so much better) paper, money, fruit, insects and animals.
General stuff that you need to know about life here in Vilcabamba.
There are a number of places to explore around Vilcabamba and I have by no means explored them all. This section covers the places that we have been able to get to.
The best time to visit depends on you and your needs: whether you want to party
hard or have peace and quiet, whether you love or hate the rain etc..
July to the second week of September is the summer holidays in Ecuador. Schools
are closed and people take vacations. Vilcabamba is a ‘vacation town'. This sees
it growing to bursting point on the weekends during the holidays especially if something
is on. Last weekend (31 Jul/1 Aug 2010) there was a football event at the local
stadium and the town was packed, though by no means as packed as at Carnival time.
There are festivals celebrating the anniversary of each pueblo during these months
High Season runs from August to February and Low Season from March to July, or so
I have been told.
By the way, there are only 2 seasons in Ecuador: the dry season and the rainy season.
When it rains here, it rains a lot and the kids love it (see below)!
However, as wet as 2009 was, 2010 on the other hand hardly saw any rain at all.
Ecuador's public holidays mostly celebrate historic events and religious festivals. Some public holidays are national and apply to the whole of Ecuador, some are local to a particular city. A public or bank holiday may be applied on a Friday if the actual date falls at the weekend or midweek. In this case it is common for festivities to happen on the actual date and then people have the day off on the official date anyway, thus getting two holidays for the price of one.
Some celebrations are not actually public holidays, but the public stop working and celebrate anyway and there is very little that the government can do about it. In general, if there is an excuse for a party, people in Ecuador will celebrate it.
National Public Holidays in Ecuador