Vilcabamba, Run by Foreigners Seeking Eternal Youth / by Bear Guerra

Vilcabamba, the dreamy little town in the mountains of southern Ecuador, is run by foreigners seeking eternal youth -- Americans, Dutch, Israelis, French, Chileans, Argentineans. Young, long-haired, barefoot, vegan couples, well-to-do retirees, massage therapists, former cops who can live here on $600 a month. Then, there are the locals, and the old-timers, who've sold much of their land over to them and can't always make sense of their lifestyle. This was once part of the Inca trail; now I hear they call it the "Gringo Trail". This feature will be published by Smithsonian Journeys Magazine later this Spring, in collaboration with Ecuadorean photographer, Santiago Arcos.

Don Segundo Timoteo Arboleda. Photo by Ruxandra Guidi.

Don Segundo Timoteo Arboleda. Photo by Ruxandra Guidi.