Vilcabamba Survival Guide

An online travel guide to Vilcabamba and the Loja province in southern Ecuador with maps, restaurants, shops, hotels, services, activities and much more...

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.

If you are on a PC or laptop, our Tree Menu Lady on the right side of the screen will guide you through the maze and always show you the context of what you are looking at.

If you are on a small device this menu can be activated at any time by clicking on the Tree Menu button at the top of the screen

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.

Eating Out

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 evening.

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 for them.  


This section covers medical, police, non retail/food business, post (mail), taxis, translators etc.

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.

Neighbouring towns

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.