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Getting There

By Plane -- The nearest airport to Vilcabamba is Aeropuerto Camilo Ponce Enríquez, outside Loja. Taxis are always waiting for incoming flights. A ride from the airport to Loja costs about $6 (£4). From Loja you can take one of the very frequent buses or minivans to Vilcabamba . A direct taxi ride from the airport to Vilcabamba should cost around $30 (£20).

By Bus -- Vilcabamba Turis (tel. 07/2640-065) and Sur Oriente (tel. 07/2571-755) make the run between Loja and Vilcabamba roughly every 30 minutes between 6am and 8pm. The fare is $1 (65p), and the ride takes about an hour. Both leave from the main terminal in Loja, and in Vilcabamba they arrive at and leave from the corner of Avenida Eterna Juventud and Jaramillo, 1 block south and 1 block west of the central plaza.

By Car -- To drive to Vilcabamba, follow the directions to Loja, and then take E39 south to Vilcabamba. Historically, this road has been in horrendous shape, but it received major refurbishing in 2006-07. Currently, the drive takes around 45 minutes.

Orientation

Vilcabamba is a tiny town. The main downtown area measures only 4 square blocks or so, with a main plaza at its core. The town's principal Catholic church is on the south side of this plaza.

Fast Facts -- There's an information office (tel. 07/2640-090) on the northeast corner of the main plaza, and a small hospital (tel. 07/2640-188) 1 block north of the main plaza. If you need to contact the local police, dial tel. 07/2640-096.

There are no banks in Vilcabamba, but a Banco de Guayaquil ATM lies just off the main plaza, next to the tourist information office. This ATM isn't always dependable, so it's best to come with enough cash to get by. There are a couple of Internet cafes in town. The best option is Vilcanet (tel. 07/2673-124), on the southwest side of town on Huilcopamba near Juan Montalvo. To pick up some good reading material, head to Craig's Book Exchange, about 1km (2/3 mile) out of town toward Yamburara.

Getting Around

You can easily walk anywhere in town. Walking and horseback riding are the main means of transportation here. Numerous vans and shared taxis make the run to Loja, and a few locals with pickup trucks serve as taxis for runs around the valley. Most rides cost $1 to $3 (65p-£2).

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.