GPS Track Details
Difficulty: 2/5 - Easy
Track length: 9.6 Kilometers
Total Ascent: 154 Meters
Total Descent: 81 Meters

C-5.0 Santorum - Uruchi - Chinguilamaca – Malacatos

Distance         9.6 km

Time               3.0 hours

Altitude          1515m - 1390m

Ascent           195m

Descent            120m

Rating            Moderate 2/5

Start              Santorum (Volley ball court, Suspension bridge)

End                Malacatos, Vilcabamba road.

 

Have you ever wondered, how the river system around Vilcabamba works? This hike gives you some enlightenment about this question. This geographically very interesting hike takes you through little known territory along the valley of Rio Vilcabamba to the Rio Malacatos valley and follows this valley right into Malacatos town. There is just one drawback which made me reluctant to post this hike earlier. Reaching Malacatos River, this hike follows for 2.5 kilometers the dusty and by mining traffic frequented road, which makes this part quite unpleasant. If you are not in a big group, the dust can best be avoided by hitching a ride by any of the gravel trucks. Usually the Drivers are friendly and willing to give you a ride.

     

Route: To get to the Trailhead, take a pick up Taxi or a Tumianuma/Quinara-bus to the Barrio Santorum, on the Tumianuma-Quinara road. Start the hike at the volleyball/soccer court at the banks of Rio Vilcabamba in Santorum. After crossing the Suspension bridge at the corner of the court, the trail ascends gradually and circles the base of Cerro de las Minas. 50 minutes, or 1.75 km from the start, the trail makes a 90° turn to the north, just above the conjunction of Rio Vilcabamba and Rio Piscobamba. Now it’s called Rio Catamayo, and the trail follows the valley for 25 minutes or about one kilometer to the Rio Malacatos, which joins Rio Catamayo 500 meters downstream. The road bridge which has been washed away in last year’s rains (2016) now has been replaced by a makeshift log bridge. Turn to the right. Here is where the dusty road part starts. As mentioned before, best try to hitch one of the gravel trucks returning from the mine. Let him drop you off after 2.5 kilometers, just before the entrance of “La Hacienda Country Club”, a landmark you can’t miss. Just a hundred meters before this guarded Gate, you’ll find a small log bridge crossing Rio Malacatos. Beyond this bridge starts a gravel road, which leads for 4 kilometers or just over one hour, from this barrio Santa Ana all the way back to Malacatos. Here, you wish you had set out for the hike earlier in the morning. It can be hot in the midday sun. It definitely would be more pleasant on an overcast day. When you eventually pass the blue roofed College complex below, you know you’re nearing the end of the trek. At the point, where this gravel road joins the Malacatos-Vilcabamba highway, you can take any of the frequent buses for a fifty cents fare back to Vilcabamba.

 

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