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Large selection of natural and organic products in Vilcabamba
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Relaxation and massages in Vilcabamba
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La Baguette - French bakery in Vilcabamba
Selection of french bread and delicious pastries
Large selection of organic products in Loja,
Neural therapy, Odontology neurofocal, Vitamin C
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Pharmacy Reina del Cisne
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From supermarkets to law firms
From foodstores to laundrymats to Spanish teachers...
These marked sections contain the facilities that we are personaly reviewing as per 2015/2016.
Besides a roof and a bed the most important commodity we all need is of course food. Since most of us are by no mean self-sufficient, this means "tienda" (grocery store), market or supermarket.
Here in Ecuador, especially in small places like Vilcabamba, it is the local people's custom to do their shopping as close as possible from their home. Call it lazyness or superior intelligence.
This is why we usually find a small grocery store at every corner.
The expats and travelers don't operate the same way at all. They know what they are after and go where they can find it.
One important factor to consider is that what they want is often not what the locals normally want nor are used to shop for, e.g. raw honey, organic cacao powder or tumeric.
The "Supermercado Galtor" in the street 18 de Noviembre almost facing the entrance of the "centro comercial" is a small supermarket where most can be found at an attractive price. The service is first class, the employees always courteous and ready to help.
Many expats go to Supermaxi it is true. It is more convenient to park the car but the prices can be much higher, e.g. extra virgin olive oil: Supermaxi $12.9, Galtor $9 for exactly the same bottle.
To buy organic products there is a nice place in Loja close to SuperMaxi called BIOregenereC. It is a center run by an Ecuadorian couple, Daniel and Claudia. She is odontologist by the way. They offers things like tumeric, amaranth, quinoa, sea salt, quinoa pasta and much much more.
Learn more about them in our review here or watch the video (in Spanish).
Productos de calidad y servicio personalizado
Carnes, Embutidos, Lacteos, Bocaditos y Mas
Somos una empresa, dedicada a la venta de productos de consumo masivo, en especial carnes de res, cerdo y pollo, con cortes especiales que ofrecen la posibilidad de preparlas de manera facil y en poco tiempo.
Nos diferenciamos de los demás negocios porque atendemos a nuestros dintinguidos clientes de forma personalizada, prestamos atención a sus necesidades y sugerencias; además les ofrecemos ayuda con recetas para preparar sus alimentos.
En nuestro local también encontrará mariscos ( tilapia, camarón pelado y desvenado, corvina, trompeta), derivados lácteos ( leches, yogures, quesos), salchichas, mortadelas, jamones, productos ahumados (pollo, chuletas, alas, salamis, costilla) bocaditos de sal y dulce, bebidas (aguas, gaseosas, vinos) y otros productos para preparar las carnes.
Entregamos su compra en su domicilio sin recargo alguno.
Llámenos con gusto le atenderemos.
07 2561432 / 0996600998
One benefit of the concentration of tourists and expats in Vilcabamba is the avalability of a large selection of food that would normally not be found in such a small place.
The "Supermercado Marisol" is an extremely popular place among the expat community and tourists alike.
Many locals also shop there regularly. The place always feels like a beehive. Why is that? Simple. Because she has it all and at the best price.
You want tumeric, she has it, organic cacao powder, ditto, several brands of beer, a large selection of organic fruit and veges, wholemeal flower, maca, you name it... And if she does not have it, she will find it for ya.
Learn more about Supermercado Marisol in our article and review.
by Anita Evans
Vilcabamba Ecuador, August 2010
There is a very good bus service that runs between Vilcabamba and Loja. During the
day it runs every 15 minutes. Depending on traffic and the number of stops they
have to make, the trip can take from 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours. The cost is $1 per person
each way to Loja. After about 7pm the service runs every hour. I come from NZ where
our public transport system is shocking. I have been very impressed with the Vilcabamba
bus service. The buses are pretty clean too.
They have a driver and a conductor who collects the money and ushers people on and
off. If you want to get the bus and are not at the bus terminal then just stand
on the side of the main road (in the direction you want to go) and wave the bus
down as it approaches you. Be prepared to jump on fast!!! These guys are on a tight
time frame and they only just stop to pick up passengers. There are no bus stops.
The bus only travels along the main road. When you want to get off you just let
the conductor know and the bus will stop for you. The locals just yell "gracias"
from their seat and the bus stops there and then. Again be prepared to jump off
The bus goes via Malacatos which is a little longer
than the route that the taxis would take via Taxiche. You can catch it on Sunday
if you want to visit the Malacatos markets and it costs around 30c to 40c per person
each way to Malacatos. Be careful when getting the bus back to Vilcabamba from Malacatos
as they stop in the same place in both directions, not on opposite sides of the
road as you'd expect. For going back to Vilcabamba, make sure the bus you get on
is facing down the hill away from the church
otherwise you will find yourself on your way to Loja as a friend of mine did.
I personally enjoy catching the bus. I meet a lot of interesting local people and
it's a good time to practice your Spanish. Generally I'm the only gringo on the
bus. At times, I appear to be a bit of a novelty to the locals. A gringo taking
the bus. I get nice smiles. I'd like to see more gringos on the bus with me ' so
come ' get out of your cars, forget the taxi, mix with the locals, live dangerously,
take the bus.
The best stop to get off in Loja is the one that is just before the gas station.
This is the stop that most of the people on the bus will get off at. If you head
down the hill from this stop you will come to the river and then to 18 de Noviembre.
This is the closest stop to the Parque Central in Loja.
The next best stop to get off is the bus terminal itself. However, you will have
to get a taxi for $1 to the Parque Central Loja as it's a bit far to walk to from
the bus terminal.
The buses get really full and they'll cram you in like sardines in a tin can.
When leaving Loja on the bus, especially if it is late afternoon, it is advisable
to go to the bus station in Loja and get on the bus there. That way, you have a
better chance of getting a seat. If you get on at any other stop along the route
then you take the chance of not having a seat and having to stand for the entire
ride back to Vilcabamba if you can get on at all. It is a hard, bumpy, twisty trip
to be standing all the way back to Vilcabamba.
I'd recommend you take an experienced bus rider with you the first time you take
the bus so they can show you the stops.
The Trans Vilcamixto Taxi service operates here in Vilcabamba.
They use very tidy comfortable pick up trucks (called "camionetas" here). To get
anywhere within a 1km radius of Vilcabamba is a $1 one way. Izhcayluma for example
is 2kms from the centre and cost $1.50 to $2 one way. They stop operating around
10pm at night. After that you'll have to walk home.
You can use them for longer distances as well. A taxi to Loja will cost you $15
and to the airport will cost you $25 (one way).We have even used them once to go
to Peru (Piura) and it cost us $150 for a one way trip (we paid the driver's lunch
and we ended up having to pay for a room for him as he could not get backl on the
same day because of delays on the road). When you share among 4 to 6 people it is
not so bad and much faster than the buses.
Telephone: (07) 2640 044 Mobile: 093908510
Cooperativa De Transporte Mixto Vilcabamba Experss Taxi service
operates here in Vilcabamba. They use very tidy comfortable ute (flat beds) too.
Their focus is taking people to Loja and back. They charge $3 per person and take
several people in their cabs. There location is marked at T2 on the Vilcabamba
The yellow cabs (no blue stripe) operate diagonally across
the road to the bus terminal. They only go to Loja and do not take people around
Vilcabamba. They charge $15 one way to Loja.
The yellow cabs with a blue stripe. These cabs operate from
the bus terminal. They charge $1.50 per person. You share the taxi with up to 5
people. They only go to Loja and do not take people around Vilcabamba. Don't take
them unless you're desperate. The drivers of these cabs have a death wish. Their
location is marked at T4 on the Vilcabamba Map
At pharmacy Reina del Cisne, you will find something special that has become rare in our modern world: quality service and professionalism delivered by a real human being with a heart who can listen to you and give you sensible advice.
In her Vilcabamba natural treatment center, Salud y Vida SPA, Mariana knows her subject. She has a lot of experience dealing with both locals and foreigners. She works with sweetness, love and respect. The place is cozy and has good energy. We recommend it to anyone who wants to relax, relieve stress and improve his or her physical and psychological health.
Seldom can we see a person who fits so perfectly in her job as Dra. Gina Margot Calva Tapia. To a person like me who has used her services on several occasions and who has watched her attend the many people entering her office every day it is obvious that she was born for what she does, understands it, thrives at it and as a matter of course provides the best possible service to her clients.
We are talking business excellence here !
At Notaria Primera you will find first class service from a very experienced notary public and her dedicated team. Gina is an approachable lady and once you get to know her she is extremely friendly and has a good sense of humor. She is honest and straightforward, tells things like they are and gets the job done fast and without errors.
Going to the notary is serious business. This is where important transactions are irreversibly sealed. Nevertheless, this does not mean that it has to be a scary experience nor that it cannot be done in a relaxed manner and with a smile.
I recently had the opportunity to spend quite some time at one of the notaries in Loja, the "notaria quinta". I had some specific issues that were bothering me and I went "notary shopping" so to speak to see where I got the best attention and the clearest response to my questions.
I found that Dr. Rodrin Palacios at notaria quinta on calle Bolivar was the most approachable and ready to answer questions. So I invited him for an interview. The article below contains my personal observations.
At Notaria Quinta in Loja I found the atmosphere to be both professional and relaxed. The notary is a gentle-spoken and approachable person who will gracefully assist you to the extend he is allowed by the law. The staff is cordial, the service is fast and excellent according to the clients I spoke to. As a plus the space is open and bright, with many windows opening onto calle Bolivar in the heart of the city of Loja. There are many comfortable seats for people to wait while being looked after.
If you are looking for a friendly, relaxed, low key, experienced lawyer in Loja Ecuador to take care of your legal affairs, whether personal or business, EcuadorVIDA could be your choice.
You will be attended by Dr. Ramiro Carrión, a professional lawyer with over 20 years of experience with the Ecuadorian legal system...
The text below is a copy of Jim Braman's and Beatriz Benavides-Hilgert's post in the Vilcabamba Bulletin Facebook Group.
Because they have done such tremendous work and because this post is so comprehensive and contains phone numbers, names and other pieces of information that might be useful in the future (I hope not !), we re-publish it here in seekvilcabamba.com, a more permanent and better searchable place than Facebook
Laundry service is called "lavanderia". You drop your washing off and they wash
and dry it for you. It is ready the next day. Price is generally $1 per kilo.
This is the laundry service that we use. All of our clothes have come back (nothing
has gone missing, not even one sock). The service is open every day. Nothing has
come back a different color. They have even been able to get stains out of my clothes
that I couldn't get out! The service is open every day.
The hospital in Vilcabamba is located on the main road (On your right heading out
of Vilcabamba to Loja). After 4pm you need to ring the number(s) below and enter
extension 111. The hospital has ambulances and an emergency department.
How well equipped they are I do not know. They have the following services/facilities:
X-ray, laboratory (laboratorio), pharmacy (farmacia), emergencies (emergencia),
dentistry (odontologia), echo sound(eco sonografia), hospitalization, intermediate
care room (sala de cuidados intermedias),
I have heard that the food they serve in the hospital is very good. They only speak
Spanish, so if you need medical care you will need to have a translator.
Opening Hours: 8am to 4pm
Address: Corner of Miguel Carpio and Eterra Juventud
Telephone: (07) 2640188 2640128
There is a very good private hospital in Loja called San Agustin
on the corner of the 18 de Novembre and Azuay. This facility is used by many of
the ex-pats living here in Vilcabamba. My 5 year old daughter has visited the dentist
here and had a check up and filling. She felt no pain, was very relaxed and left
with a good dental experience. Total cost $25. The dentist facility was very clean,
professional and was on a par with dentists in New Zealand.
I have been seen by a specialist of internal organs at San Agustin and I found the
doctor to be very professional. I had a physical exam, ultra sound and blood test
and received the results and diagnosis all in one day! Unheard of in New Zealand!
All for only $75. This level of examination would have taken weeks in NZ and cost
upwards of $500+ privately.
San Agustin has an emergency room and is equipped for hospitalization, laboratory,
dentistry, x-ray, ultra sound and many other services. They do not speak English
only Spanish so if you need medical care you need to have a translator.
This is the town vet. They have vaccinations, de-worming medicine, flea control
products etc. They are more like a dispensary then a western vet. They are skilled
enough to provide follow up consultations after you have seen a vet in Loja (i.e.
take stitches out). The service I have received from them has been solely to do
with flea and worm control. I have heard of other people where the vet has come
to their house and inserted and IV into the dog etc and they have been very happy
with the service received. However, quite often the shop is managed by the vet's
son and the vet is away. The son is knowledgeable in dispensing medicines and is
a very nice person to deal with.
Address: On Sucre directly opposite the Square
Telephone: (07) 2640215
There is another vet in Malacatos who appears to be more 'on site' in their shop.
When my bitch was sick after giving birth she eventually (after seeing the vet in
Malacartos) ended up being seen by Scooby, a vet in Loja. Scooby is a very nice
vet who is capable of performing operations. The clinic has consultation rooms,
nurses etc.. I have heard other good reports about them, and upon visiting then
I found the vet to be very pleasant to deal with and efficient. My bitch made a
The premises are not that clean which is a concern for me. There is another vet
in Loja that I will get around to checking up on as soon as I can plus there are
veterinary services offered at the university in Loja but, while their services
are cheaper, I have not heard good reports about them.
In general, I found the cost of vet services to be substantially cheaper than those
in New Zealand for example.
Address: On the corner of Bolivar and Juan Montalivo
Telephone: +593 (07) 573 030
There is no post office as such in Vilcabamba. There is a post collection point
however, located in an unmarked shop opposite from the police station.
To receive post in Vilcabamba, have the sender address the mail
Vilcabamba - Loja
That’s it!!! Very important: make sure your name is in FULL.
What happens is when the mail bag comes they write the name of each person who has
post for that day on a piece of paper with the date the post was received in Vilcabamba
on it and stick it up on the wall.
Then you come in and read the list and say ‘that’s me’ and then they go get your
letter out of the bag of post for that day. So if your name is not in full a) you
may not recognize your name or b) if someone else has the same initials and surname
as you they may take your mail.
Another very important note: do not send anything you can’t afford to lose via this
post system, as I’ve no idea how reliable it is. Use Fedex or UPS or something similar.
Try to use an agency that has offices in Loja and then you can collect your item
To send post in Vilcabamba, go to Rumi Wilco’s shop on Sucre (opposite
the JARDIN ESCONDIDO (Hidden Garden). They take the post to the post office in Loja.
I do not know how often this is done and have never used this service. They have
stamps (but not envelopes).
There is an official post office in Loja. Note: It is expensive to post here.
If you are serious about speaking Spanish there is no better
person to talk to than Catalina.
She is Ecuadorian, certified teacher from the university of Loja and fluent in English.
She will give you a rigorous and structured learning experience and at the same
time she will make it relaxed and fun.
You can visit her at her home in Vilcabamba or she can come to yours. For details and
prices please contact her directly.