Once a retreat for Incan royalty, Vilcabamba gained fame in the 1970s after researchers claimed that local inhabitants tended to live to a very old age, up to 135 years old in one case, giving the area the nickname the Valley of Longevity. But soon enough it was discovered that ages had been exaggerated and the researchers not very painstaking in their fact checking.
Still, what was said to have caused the longevity of residents, mineral-rich waters, the ideal climate, exercise, and healthy diet, are all very appealing and a big draw for foreign newcomers looking for a better lifestyle as they age. It stays in the 70s and 80s F year-round, and the views of the hills and mountains, where you can hike or horseback ride, are glorious. And far from a simple country village, its status as a stop on the international backpacker circuit and low-expat haven means good restaurants, live music, and other “modern” offerings.
A two-bedroom home a few minutes from the town center features citrus trees in its attractive landscaped garden area. Set on a hillside, there are panoramic views from the terrace.