Ecuador: 13 Days in the Valley of Longevity

Tour from Cuenca to Guayaquil, Ecuador

About this activity

Relax off the beaten track

Your Travel Experience with Galapagos PRO

Day 1

Drive Cuenca-Loja-Vilcabamba

Take the intercity bus 180km on the Panamericana to Loja, the capital of the southernmost province of Ecuador, which is one of the most charming cities in the country. On the way you stop in Saraguro, home to one of the most proud Indian tribes, who were once forcibly displaced by the Inca ruler Huayna Capac from the area of Lake Titicaca. From Loja the drive goes on to Vilcabamba.

Day 2 - 11

Stop in the Valley of Longevity

Exploring Vilcabamba in the Valley of Longevity, where some of the inhabitants are said to be 130 years old. The reason for this old age is probably the mild climate, low-stress lifestyle and the balanced organic diet.

The nature is magnificent and invites you to go on a long hike along the river and up to the heights of the surrounding mountains. In the village, many free-minded spiritualists have set up to make spiritual offers. Relaxation is very important here. The hotels offer massages and other wellness treatments. In the area are great excursion destinations like the Podocarpus National Park, the largest undisturbed cloud forest in South America with an incredible diversity of bird wildlife.

Vilcabamba has many very nice hotels, Haciendas and guest houses.

Day 12

Mountaintop village of Zaruma

After a scenic drive along the winding road through the southern Ecuadorean highland, you will reach the small gold mining town of Zaruma, declared by the UNESCO World as a Heritage Site. The houses are built very closely to the mountain slope, and while the abysses are deep, the terrific view is worth every moment. In the afternoon, visit the gold mine.

In Zaruma, you will stay in a small guest house with a garden.

Day 13

Zaruma to Guayaquil

In the morning you take the bus to north to Ecuador's largest city, Guayaquil. It is a breathtaking 6 hour journey over the coastal town of Machala, the mecca of the banana barons of Ecuador, along the fertile coastal region.

You will spend the night in a small guest house in Las Penas.

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