GPS Track Details
Difficulty: 3/5 - Medium
Track length: 84.02 Kilometers
Total Ascent: 2721 Meters
Total Descent: 2631 Meters

D-1  Loop Vilcabamba-Loja "High Rise" - Vilcabamba

Distance         84.0 km

Time               4.00 hours

Altitude          1475 m – 2905 m

Ascent            2350 m

Descent          2330 m

Rating             Medium / Difficult  3/5 (Mostly Gravel road)

Start               Vilcabamba tourist office

End                 Vilcabamba tourist office

This is spectacular ride which leads from Vilcabamba / Malacatos to Loja, on a western ridge high above the sealed highway, with superb views on the Cordillera Oriental and PN Podocarpus.

Route:             Follow the Loja-highway to the north across the Cararango-pass to Malacatos. In Malacatos turn right at the second traffic light towards Loja. 400 m before the petrol station, turn left onto the gravel road to the Barrio Belen. Exactly two kilometers after the Belen Church, just before the Barrio San Francisco,  turn left (north) at the fork. A steep climb on a very rough road leads past the prominent peak of Cerro Yunanga on your right, to the rural school of Palandita. Keep right at the intersection shortly after the school, keep straight at the next intersection, and 2.5 km later, take the switch back to your right.(This one is easy to miss). If you keep straight on, you get to the tiny dead end Village of Pacaypamba. Passing Cerro Toronche at 2850 m, the trail follows for 15 km mostly the main ridge, with impressive views  on Podocarpus to the east and the Loja Highway way below. You pass the school & Barrio La Paz de Bellevista, and six kilometers later, cross the ridge to the Loja side with birds eyes views on Loja town. The road now winds 650 altitude meters down to the University traffic roundabout of the new Via Lateral. Here, follow  the Vilcabamba sign, and 2.8 km later, join the Loja-Vilcabamba road at the Capuli Junction (the one with the famous Speed radar). Back to Vilcabamba is all known territory.





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