If you arrive in Vilcabamba between the hours of 7:00 AM - 10:00 PM there will be cab drivers around. The best way to come directly to our place is to find a local cab driver in the central Square of Vilcabamba next to the big church. 90% of them know where Santiagos house is if you just ask for "Casa de Santiago y Ximena in Sacapo". If they seem unsure simply pick another cab driver but make sure they know where the house is before you leave with them. If necessary, you can have the driver call us.

Once you get dropped off at the property there is at a big wooden gate on the right-hand side of the road. The gate goes across a wooden bridge and a beautiful river. There is a footpath on the right that goes to Casa Del Sol, the property straight or to the left is Santiago's Neighbors. So you follow the river downstream. I will be listening for the Taxi to come to greet you.. but in case I don’t, just come on in.

Entering Ecuador by Air

All options assume you enter Ecuador on an international flight. You have two options for airports to land in that receive international flight:

#1 Quito (UIO)

The capital city high in the Andes Mountains in the north,
  • PRO: Many decent hotels and restaurants across the street or a short taxi ride away
  • CON: Hot and humid climate.

#2 Guayaquil (GYE) 

The countries largest city located on the Pacific Ocean in the southwest.
  • PRO: Seattle like mild weather most of the year The city has a softer/gentler feel to it (highly subjective but common sentiment)
  • CON: The first hotel is a 10 min ride from the airport. The next 5 hotels are 20-30 minutes away. In the middle of the night, it takes 45 mins to downtown, with traffic an hour and a half is common
  • I personally prefer Guayaquil because I don't mind the fast-paced hustle and bustle for a few days. I prefer to overheat before freezing. I prefer to walk from the airport to my hotel if it's a daytime arrival and I also prefer to walk to restaurants over taxis. I see more, I experience more. If UIO was near downtown Quito, for me it would be a tossup.



Quito to Vilcabamba

Taxi from Catamayo to Vilcabamba

  • We've paid between $25 to $40. Depends on the season, vehicle and price of gas
  • Duration: 45 minutes to 1.5 hours
  • Either via El Tambo (preferred as it's faster) or via Loja
  • We can recommend several trusted drivers.

By Taxi

  • Tame doesn't allow large dogs on board. We have a friend that took a taxi from UIO to Vilcabamba
  • $500 in July 2017
  • The trip took 12 hours
  • We can recommend several trusted drivers.

By Express Bus

  • Once I took an overnight bus from Vilcabamba
    to Quito.
  • $22 in June 2016.
  • The trip took 14 hours.
  • Do not expect to get much sleep.

By Bus

  • We've never done this
  • Estimate: $15 to $20 pp
  • Estimate: The trip would take at least 20 hours
  • Heavily dependent on times between bus changes in major cities

GUAYAQUIL to Vilcabamba

By Bus

  • GYE via taxi to 'Terminal Terestre'
  • $3 to a hotel 5 mins away (DC Suites) in Sept 2017
  • Any taxi in front of the airport
  • Ask for a price before you leave, more than $3 seems high

Bus to Machala

  • $6 pp in Sept 2017.
  • We've experienced it takes between 3 and 3:45 hours.

Bus to Loja

  • $6 pp in Sept 2017
  • We've experienced it takes between 5 and 6 hours
  • Sometimes they stop for a meal, sometimes they don't
  • If a break is important to you, verify before you pay for the ticket.

Bus to Vilca

  • See "LOJA TO VILCA" section.

CUENCA to Vilcabamba

By Shuttle

  • From downtown Cuenca, you can catch a hotel shuttle direct.
  • $16 pp in Sept 2017.
  • Duration: 3:45 to 5 hours.
  • Call us to schedule this for you.

By Bus

  • Take a taxi to the Cuenca bus station ("Terminal Terrestre")
  • We hear it's $8 pp in Oct 2017
  • Duration: 4 to 6 hours


By Bus

  • $1.75 pp in Sept 2017
  • We've experienced a range of times from 1 to 1.5 hours
  • From the bus station/terminal terestre

By Taxi

  • $20 in June 2017
  • Estimate: 45 minutes
  • From the bus terminal Terrestre, taxis are out front.

CATAMAYO to Vilcabamba

By Taxi (there is no bus)

  • $25 to $40 in Nov 2017
  • Estimate: 45 minutes to 1 hour
  • We can recommend several trusted drivers or schedule a pickup for you


  • $94 pp in Sept 2017
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Only Tame.com.ec flies this route

LOJA to Vilcabamba

By Bus

  • $.125 in Nov 2017
  • Duration: 1:15 to 1:30 hrs.
  • There are 2 companies: Vilcabambaturis (Burgundy buses) and Tur Sur (Blue buses).
  • Aside from the names, there is little difference between them.

By Private Taxi

  • $20 in Nov 2017
  • Duration: 45 minutes to one hour
  • We can recommend several trusted drivers and schedule a pickup for you.

By Shared Taxi

  • In Spanish, this option is called "Taxi Ruta"
  • $2.50 pp in Nov 2017
  • Duration: 45 mins to one hour
  • Find a regular yellow taxi in Loja and ask them to take you to 'Taxi Ruta'
  • Warning: They drive like bats out of hell. If you are in the middle seat, it may not be comfortable.


  • If you aren't flexible on time, don't take the bus option.
  • Ecuador buses are comfy but can be quite loud or the bus itself will play music or a movie in Spanish. Bring earplugs and bring a book or headphones to listen to music.
  • Put luggage below, but keep electronics in a bag with you. They don't like bags in the cabin, so you may have to show them your electronics to get 'permission'. We keep electronics on us, not for security, but to protect them from bumps.
  • The front seats are reserved for elderly, disabled and pregnant mothers. If you are seated in the front when such a rider gets on, they may ask you to give up your seat.