Vilacabamba: The Eco-friendly Valley of Longevity
By Bo Rinaldi
In 1970 I ventured out as a young herbalist to explore South America.My destination was Vilcabamba, Ecuador where I had set up a stay with Dr. Johnny Lovewisdom, hoped to meet the locals that lived to be over a hundred, and the village's renowned curandero (curer). I lived there, and used it as my base camp, for most of the year. I saw two-foot butterflies, the original cherimoya tree, the Incan descendants of the Andes, and Johnny, who had an endless array of unique friends. Being a raw foodist at the time, and a vegan since 1960, I was truly in heaven for the food was the most vital I had ever eaten. My discoveries and personal transformation were so profound that I planned to live there once I retired. Fast forward to 2011 and my very good friend Carl Wescott is one of the major developers of the area, and he has invited me to participate in the Health Spa and Longevity Retreat in Vilcabamba. You see Vilcabamba, Ecuador is nestled in a pristine mountain valley in the Andes Mountains and is the last remaining Shangri-La on Planet Earth.
Vilcabamba is so profoundly beautiful that many artists, spiritual leaders and health seekers value it for its mild year-round climate, lush green scenery, and fresh mountain air. These are the main attractions for the many health seekers, travelers and expatriate retirees who make Vilcabamba their temporary or permanent home, and the main factors which contribute to the long lives of the people from this region. That and all of the many advantages of traveling, living, working or retiring in Ecuador, where an international community of like minded spirits naturally gravitate.