Vilcabamba “Playground of the Inca” FAQ

“Vilcabamba is a village in the southern region of Ecuador, in Loja Province, about 45 km from the city of Loja. The etymology of the name “Vilcabamba” apparently derives from the Quichua “huilco pamba.” Huilco denotes the sacred trees, Anadenanthera colubrina, that inhabit the region; pamba is a word meaning “a plain”. The area has been referred to as the “Playground of the Inca” which refers to its historic use as a retreat for Incan royalty. The valley is overlooked by a mountain called Mandango, the Sleeping Inca, whose presence is said to protect the area from earthquakes and other natural disasters” .Wikipedia

Here are a list of questions people often ask me?

What is there to do in Vilcabamba?

So there is shopping and restaurants and massage places. There are healers from every walk of health. Basically, there is a barrage of talented people calling Vilca home both locals and us foreigners.

There is Karate, Reiki, Guitar Lessons, Spanish Lessons, Horseback Riding, Yoga, Meditation, Dance Class, Art Classes, Seed Exchange, A Theatre Group…the list goes on. There is always music either street entertainers or restaurant offerings. There are craft shops in Loja that sell lots of ‘hobby’ things to paint as well as bead shops if you are into beading. There are shops that run crochet and macramé classes in Loja. There is a very good oil painting supply shop too. You could help out with a local horse tour group and learn all the ins and outs about horses if that is what you want to do.

If you have a gift you can take a class and pass on your knowledge too. You can volunteer to teach English at a local school. None of this is ‘advertised’. It is through word of mouth that you find out. So your best bet is to come here, settle and mingle.

What are the locals like?

My conclusion after years of being exposed to the Ecuadorian culture is that there is something deeply genetic that makes the Ecuadorian people who they are.Most people here are “mestizos”, meaning (in Latin America) people of mixed race, especially the offspring of a Spaniard and an American Indian. I am no expert but I guess this would be true about the Colombians and the Peruvians as well. However, there must be something about the specific Ecuadorian mix that makes the people so nice.What I mean by “nice” is that they are a gentle, non-confrontational, non-aggressive and fundamentally happy race. Of course the culture plays an equally important role. It is beyond my skills to make a relevant and accurate analysis of how centuries of culture might have lead the people of Ecuador to be who they are today. I am only a humble observant, living here today and my scope is only to share some of my observations with others who might consider living here and also with the Ecuadorians themselves who often are not aware of these traits of their own culture.

What is a Gringo?

In Ecuador, whoever has fair or fairer skin and does not look Chinese is called a “gringo”. Whether you are Swedish, Australian, Canadian or Russian, you are a gringo. At the beginning when I first arrived in this country, this was a little disturbing to me. But, over time, you take it on as just a nice phrase.

What is the Health System like?

To know more about the health services Vilcabamba this is a great connection:

If you have anymore questions, drop me a line…I am most happy to answer to the best of my ability


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