“Vilcabamba – The only place in the world where years are added to your life and life is added to your years.”
The name ‘Vilcabamba’ is derived from Quichua, the language of the Incas. ‘Vilca’ is the Quichua word for the sacred huilco tree while ‘Bamba’ simply means valley, and thus Vilcabamba is often referred to as “La Valle Sagrada” or “The Sacred Valley”. It has a base elevation of 1500 meters, allowing inhabitants and vistors to enjoy a spring-like climate all year long with average temperatures ranging from 18 to 28 degrees Celsius (65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit).
The most striking feature of Vilcabamba’s landscape is Mandango Mountain, which flanks the village like a magnificent natural monument. The Incas and those who came after them perceived the distinctive rock formation as the profile of a sleeping god, and thus Mandango has always been regarded as an especially sacred place within this Sacred Valley.
“The Valley of Longevity”
Vilcabamba was little known by outsiders until scientists discovered that a strikingly large percentage of residents were over a hundred years old. Additionally, no villager has ever died of a heart attack. While the exact reasons for these astounding facts have not yet been conclusively determined, some of the factors suspected of contributing to the remarkable vitality and longevity of Vilcabamba’s residents are:
- The year-round spring climate
- The simple and healthy diet
- The purity and mineral content of the drinking water
- Plentiful exercise
- The clean air
The People, Fiestas & local Holidays
What is there to say about the people? They tend to be very friendly, open and always ready for a conversation. There is always something to talk about, be it the weather or small-town gossip. Just go out and make first contact.
At the end of May, Vilcabamba has its local fiestas complete with the election of the beauty queen, a rodeo, dances and many other activities. Vilcabamba is famous throughout Ecuador for its Carnaval where people come from all over to celebrate in the square, making it impossible to find either accommodation or peace of mind for the wild few days that it lasts. If you are seeking tranquility through this time of the year, we don’t recommend you to visit Vilcabamba. The hotel prices are higher during the 4 days lasting holiday. The same for the 3 days lasting easter holiday.
The beginning of october they celebrate “La novena de la virgen de Fatima” at our neighbourhood. For nine days there will be loud music, dancing and different kind of culture progam just opposite of our hotel entrance. Those days are not the most quite ones at Izhcayluma, but each guest is very invited to join the locals and to get in touch with real “Ecuadorian country side culture”.
From Vilcabamba there is easy access to Podocarpus National Park, which is named after the only conifer native to Northern South America. The park is one of the most biodiverse in the world and in it you can find many plant species including the malaria-healing cascarilla, prehistoric tree ferns, unique orchids and bizarre bromeliads.
Thanks to this abundance of plant life, Vilcabamba has fantastic air quality. Come take a deep breath and see for yourself!
The Izhcayluma Eco-resort is waiting for you!