I was chatting with a friend recently who is the owner of a great bar/restaurant in Vilcabamba called Timothy’s (if you’re ever there and get a chance to check it out) and he mentioned a friend of his was selling a Finca and gave me his number.
Normally I don’t pursue listings, our reputation generally brings listings to us. But because the Finca sounded so sweet and this friend of mine provided me with the owners phone number I went ahead and gave him a ring.
A few days later the owner stopped by our office and we got a chance to chat.
As it turns out the Finca is an hour and a half on foot or horseback above and behind (to the east) of Vilcabamba.
I immediately thought, o jeez, this is why I don’t pursue listings. You can imagine the logistical challenges of taking on a property like that. Just to go and take a look at it you need a full day. Getting our photographer out there, potentially having a boundary study done, etc, would be more difficult than usual.
And of course without road access the pool of potential buyers is much smaller.
However the seller asked me to go to take a look at it, and since I had called him, I felt obligated to oblige.
I’m so glad I did. And I think my experience is indicative of some of what’s so amazing about this part of Ecuador.
So here I am, setting out around 10:30am on horseback, on a very narrow and somewhat harrowing (to me, not to any of the others) path heading into to the lush, green mountains of the southern Ecuadorian Andes.
This particular area is up towards Podocarpus, a huge national park, where there is more rain than in the town, where the plant life, soil, and natural beauty take on a new level of richness.
As we ascended, picking wild Guayaba and berries as we went, I couldn’t help but feeling good.
The air is so pure. The mountains so green. I brought a bottle of water, and quickly realized no one else did because you could drink the amazing, crisp, pure water right out of the streams we passed along the way.
At one point, about half way to the property, my horse (2 of us were on horseback, 2 were walking) decided it was time to turn around. This being one of my first times on a horse, I was less than skilled at getting it to do what I wanted. In the battle that ensued as to which way we would go I fell off the horse, and immediately images of people getting trampled by horses flooded my mind. Luckily the horse just stood there and we were able to work it out. Only the screen of my phone suffered any damage. Perhaps there was a message in there somewhere.
After roughly an hour and a half we reached the property. We spent some time walking up a large stream/small river that runs through the property towards one of a few nearby waterfalls.
It was almost tropical or jungle like in that part of the land.
The whole property had a cool, fresh, moist climate, sitting at around 6,000-6,500 feet of elevation.
The growth there was spectacular. The soil an incredible rich, black – supporting lush growth of all kinds, including grass I am told is fantastic for cattle. Literally almost anything could grow exceptionally well there.
Sitting on a flat spot, looking out over the mountains and eating oranges, I thought wow, there is just something so special about Ecuador.
This property is an off grid, self-sufficient wet dream. Or perhaps for a practitioner of meditation, wow.
Close to the famous waterfalls of Vilcabamba, with electricity close by and lots of pure water on the property.
Even the path, as it turned out, could be made accessible via dirt bike or quad for a small sum.
And during this visit, I gained newfound appreciation for people who come and buy land here, accessing their properties via foot or horse. People who transport building materials via donkey. If you want to be close to nature and get back to that amazing connected feeling so inherent in dong so, this is as good an option as I’ve seen.
Arriving back in town around 5pm, after descending a shorter 1-hour, I was so grateful that I had accepted the invitation to go take a look.