Loja Ecuador

Loja Ecuador is a perfect place to include in your itinerary if you’re looking to get off the tourist trail. As the capital of the province of Loja, where visitors will find cloud forest, jungle, and more, this city is tucked away in one of the most southern portions of the country. Adventurous travelers who plan Loja Ecuador travel will be rewarded by indigenous markets, colonial architecture, and an incredible national park. If you want to see the oldest city in Ecuador, plan a trip to see Loja during your exploration of this South American country.

Colonial architecture and narrow streets are all a part of this city’s charm. When you arrive it will be hard to believe that the history of Loja Ecuador stretches back more than 500 years. The architecture is only the beginning of the beauty of this city—located in the green mountains of the Southern Andes, the surrounding nature is just as spectacular as the city itself. Many people plan Loja Ecuador travel to seethe magnificent nature that surrounds the city. Breathtaking vistas and excursions to the national park will be the cherry on top of a visit to the oldest city in Ecuador.

Loja Ecuador is located about 6,890 feet above sea level. Travelers who have read about the weather in Ecuador know that elevation can have a significant effect on temperatures. Daily temperatures range from 60 to 70 degrees, giving the city a year-round spring-like feel. This is one area of Ecuador where a variety of clothing is necessary. When you’re planning Loja Ecuador travel, be sure to pack clothes that are appropriate for the warm days, and layers to keep warm on chilly evenings. While October through January is a popular time to visit, some travelers prefer the wetter months of February through May when rainbows at this elevation will make the trip truly memorable.

The oldest city in Ecuador is known for a lot more than rainbows however. Famed for its musicians, you are likely to encounter concerts and musical performances during your visit. Birdwatching is also a popular pastime here, especially in nearby Podocarpus National Park. With more than 800 species of birds living in this park, even the most avid bird enthusiasts will see something new during a visit. The city can also be a base of exploration. There are many charming villages nearby where you can visit indigenous markets and get a true sense of life in Ecuador. After some time exploring these villages, you might want to get back to the more cosmopolitan ways of Quito or Guayaquil, but you will be glad you took the time to get off the tourist path.

Sharing a border with Peru in the South, the Loja province is about as far south as you can explore in Ecuador. Founded in 1548 and named after a town in Spain, this city has stood the test of time. Renovations and construction were carefully done to match the original style of the city, giving even modern buildings a real dose of charm. Visitors will love the small, informal salsa clubs, massive art projects included tilework and mosaics, as well as annual events. Spend your days wandering through museums, gazing at the cathedral, checking out the main city gates, or learning about local history through monuments. This city will expose visitors to a great deal about Ecuadorian culture they wouldn’t have learned only seeing the capital city of Quito.

Image: davidacostasilva (flickr)

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