Vilcabamba Valley is known in the scientific world for the large number of native people who live well past the age of 100.
Vilcabamba is a Kichwa word that means Sacred Valley. In the language of the Incas, it is composed of two words: Huilco meaning "sacred" or "God" and Bamba meaning "valley"; hence, "Valley of God" or "Sacred Valley".
Luis Fernando de la Vega first established Vilcabamba as a town on September 1st, 1756.
Vilcabamba Valley Main Square
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Vilcabamba is located in the southernmost province of Ecuador in Loja, 42 kms (27 miles) south of the City of Loja
The picturesque valley of Vilcabamba lies in the heart of rural Ecuador at approximately 1500 meters (5000 feet) above sea level.
Being in the center of the world, it maintains a spring-like temperature of 18° to 28° Celsius (65° to 82° F) year-round.
There are two seasons, the rainy season which lasts from October to May, and the dry season which lasts from June to September.
Two rivers flow through the valley, the Chambo and the Yambala, and they join to form the Vilcabamba. These rivers keep parts of the valley green during the dry season.
Vilcabamba valley stretches up through the Podocarpus National Park, the Lake District, and the peaks of the "Cordillera de Los Andes" (Andes Mountains).
The lower Vilcabamba is a quilted patchwork of corn and sugar cane fields, fruit orchards and cattle pastures. Higher up scrub forest gives way to premontane forest entering the Podocarpus National Park.
Throughout this beautiful valley the Mandango peak dominates the landscape.
From some areas of the valley the top of Mandango appears to be a face looking towards heaven, from other areas it looks like a sleeping person. Mandango is also known as The Sleeping God.
Vilcabamba Valley is known as the "Valley of Longevity," due to the long life span enjoyed by the locals, their longevity attributed to low index of heart disease, a stable climate, and the special properties of the valley's hot springs.
Not only has it been included in a group of only three places in the world that have an unusually disproportionate abundance of centenarians per capita.
It has been honored as the "creme-de-la-creme" by dozens of noted and world famous researchers, scientists, medical practitioners, medical experts, and journalists who have visited, lived in and written about its unusual centenarian champions of health.
Vilcabamba valley is an idyllic land of lush, subtropical agriculture where nearly every imaginable grain, fruit and vegetable (and flower) grow.
Known as the Sacred Valley, Vilcabamba has been variously called "The Isle of Immunity for Heart Disease", "The Land of Eternal Youth", "The Valley of Peace and Tranquility", and "The Lost Paradise".
It has been given these labels because of the valley's solitude, serenity, clean air, dazzling sun, nearly constant blue sky, pure mineral drinking water and medicinal herbs.
Also because of its green fields, towering mountains, friendly people, helpful neighbors, lack of illness and a kind of ubiquitous beauty that penetrates one's soul and provides a sense of well-being.
The reason that degenerative diseases are practically unknown in Vilcabamba valley may in part be attributed to the elevated quantity of negative ions that come from the lush vegetation.
Measurements of air quality in Vilcabamba indicate a higher purity than almost anywhere else in the world.
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Compared to longevity in the United States where only one in approximately 1,800,000 people live to the age of 100, in Vilcabamba about one in 60 live that long... and healthfully.
It's a magnificent place to live, retire, have a vacation home, or investment property. About 100 Americans live there including a former astronaut and a retired well known actor.
Hundreds of tourists come here every year, attracted to the area by its peaceful atmosphere and untouched natural beauty. There are many affordable lodgings with lovely views and names like Mother Earth and Hidden Garden.
Enjoy walks and treks, horseback riding, and alternative health options including massage, aromatherapy and other local remedial treatments.
Vilcabamba valley is one of the few remaining paradises on Earth. If you have ever wanted to live in a place of serene and superb beauty in a natural setting, with the best weather in the world, this is the place.
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