Vilcabamba to Cuenca Transportation Options + More Vilca Observations (Episode 123)


In this video, we share several Vilcabamba to Cuenca transportation options, as well as a few more Vilca Observations from our week there. You’ll also get to meet a chocolate farmer who uses something other than plastic for his packaging.

Vilcabamba to Cuenca Transportation Options

Aside from driving yourself, here are your four options for Vilcabamba to Cuenca Transportation, or vice versa.

Elite Tours from Loja to Cuenca ($22/person)

We took a taxi from our hotel (Madre Tierra) to the Elite Tours office in Loja, Ecuador. Then we hopped on a van similar to the red one in this photo, and rode back to Cuenca. The taxi from Vilcabamba to Loja cost $20 for both of us (not each) and the Elite Tours Van Service cost $12/ticket. That made the total cost for both of us $44 or $22 each.

Vilcabamba to Cuenca Transportation Elite Tours Loja

The Elite Tours dropoff and pickup location in Cuenca is located on Remigio Crespo close to Avenida de las Americas and Feria Libre. It’s just a few doors down from the OperazuayTur office.

Vilcabamba to Cuenca Transportation Elite Tours Cuenca

Daily Shuttle Between Izhcayluma in Vilcabamba and Cuenca Ecuador ($15/person)

On the day of our departure, the Izhcayluma Shuttle Service that leaves Vilcabamba at 8am every day was undergoing some routine maintenance so it wasn’t running. That’s the main reason we took Elite Tours, instead. However, we also didn’t want to get up so early on our last day in Vilcabamba so it worked out for the best.

The shuttle costs $15 per ticket and arrives in Cuenca between noon and 1pm. It then returns to Vilcabamba leaving Cuenca at 1:30pm and arrives back in Vilcabamba around 5:30pm, depending on traffic.

Public Transportation ($8/person)

The most economical option is to take a bus from Vilcabamba to Loja, Ecuador. This takes 60 to 90 minutes and costs $1.50. Then you’ll need to transfer to another bus that costs between $6.50 and $7.50, and takes about 4 hours to arrive in Cuenca. You can take this route from Cuenca to Vilcabamba, too.

Since we haven’t done this route, here’s a link to more information. At roughly $8 per person, this is the cheapest way to travel between

Private Driver (Like Edwin)

You can also hire a private driver to take you from door-to-door. The cost varies by driver, time of year and distance, so we can’t quote any prices, but $100 and $150 is reasonable for a private driver. If you’re travelling with 4 or 5 people, this will be nearly the same cost per person as taking the Elite Tours Van Service, only it’s door-to-door.

Our Driver Edwin

If you’d like us to connect you with Edwin, please drop us a note through our Contact Form and we’ll send an introduction email. Edwin has been featured in several of our videos.

SuperMercado Patricia Cuenca Ecuador

We also gave a brief tour of SuperMercado Patricia in the video. It’s a small grocery store near our house in El Vergel that we like. It’s convenient, closer than Supermaxi and has a better selection of tools, lightbulbs, paper and other random items.

SuperMercado Patricia Cuenca Ecuador

SuperMercado Patricia Cuenca Ecuador Hardware Store

Vilcabamba Chocolate Farmer

Unfortunately, we didn’t get any contact info for the chocolate farmer we met in Vilcabamba on our last night there. We were impressed that he doesn’t use plastic to package his products. Instead, he uses natural materials like leaves and reeds. His chocolate was pure and delicious, too!

Vilcabamba Ecuador 9 Chocolate

Vilcabamba Ecuador 7 Chocolate

Vilcabamba Ecuador 8 Chocolate

Hopefully you enjoyed our video, and if you did, please LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE it, and SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel. ¡Muchas Gracias y Hasta Luego!

Weekly Newsletter from Ecuador

NEWS from ECUADOR Grab our Ecuador Cost of Living and Moving Calculator so you can more effectively budget for your move. After you sign-up for our weekly newsletter with expat-relevant news from Ecuador, you’ll get the download link.

The newsletter contains the latest information about covid, travel restrictions & guidelines, government actions, volcanoes, flooding, crime, and more. Basically, anything significant from the prior week that affects expats.

We don’t share this information ANYWHERE ELSE!

Download It Now

Follow Us on Social Media

2 replies
  1. david patton
    david patton says:

    november 6 im coming to cuenca, 4th time, want shuttle to vilcabamba, in airport approx 9 am, suggustion please

Comments are closed.