Travel to Loja and Southern Ecuador – Episode 556

categories: south america travel

Travel to Loja and Southern Ecuador (Podcast)

Hear about travel to Loja and Southern Ecuador as the Amateur Traveler talks to Lily Ann Fouts about her visit to this lesser known region of Ecuador.

Lily says of the area, “It’s beautiful. It’s a wonderful destination for people who are into hiking and bird watching. The city of Loja is considered the cultural capital of Ecuador so there’s a lot of music and arts going on there. It’s a wonderful destination for people who are interested in arts and the natural world.”

Lily first directs us to some of the touristy and non-touristy activities in the city of Loja, including the cathedral and some of the other churches, the parks, the market, and hikes into the nearby Podocarpus National Park. She directs us to the Museum of the Culture of Loja and the Museum of Music. She particularly recommends to be in town on a Thursday night when there is always some sort of free concert or cultural event.

After visiting Loja, Lily directs us to make 5 different side trips in the region: Cuenca, El Cisne, Vilcabamba, Zamora, Saraguro.

The old historic center of Cuenca is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its colonial architecture. It is a larger city so it also has a great number of cultural events. She recommends a stop at the Central Bank Museum and at the near by ruins of Tomebamba. Tomebamba used to be the northern capital of the Inca.

El Cisne is a much smaller town which is dominated by the large church El Santuario de El Cisne which is dedicated to the Virgin of El Cisne. A pilgrimage starts from this city every August and continues to Loja.

Vilcabamba is more of an expat community with a bit of a new age vibe. It has another entrance to Podocarpus National Park as well as the Rumi Wilco nature reserve. Your English will get you a bit further in Vilcabamba than in Loja.

Zamora is just 90 minutes away from Loja by bus but is on the edge of the Amazon rain forest. It has a more tropical climate. From the near by entrance to the Podocarpus National Park you can enjoy trails, waterfalls, orchids, birds, butterflies and swimming holes.

Lilly recommends a stay in Saraguro with an indigenous family as part of a community based tourism effort in the town.

Take a trip along the road less traveled in Southern Ecuador.

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Show Notes

Lily Ann Fouts
Loja Province
Loja, Ecuador
33 Touristy (and not-so-touristy) Activities in Loja, Ecuador
Matilde Hidalgo de Procel
Mama Lola (restaurant)
Vegetarian Foods in Ecuador
Pucará de Podocarpus (restaurant)
Cafetería El Tamal Lojano (restaurant)
Podocarpus National Park, Loja, Ecuador
Masked trogon (bird)
Motmot (bird)
El Cisne
Vilcabamba, Ecuador
Rumi Wilco nature preserve
Copalinga lodge
Turismo comunitario Saraguro
Cuenca in Photos
Cajas National Park
Amaluza and Yacuri National Park
LojAventura (facebook group)
Trip to Yacuri National Park and Amaluza in Espíndola
Live Like a Local in Loja 20% off



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November 2017 – India Amateur Traveler Trip

Travel to Loja and Southern Ecuador (Podcast)

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by Chris Christensen

I am the host of the Amateur Traveler. The Amateur Traveler is an online travel show that focuses primarily on travel destinations and what are the best places to travel to. It includes both a weekly audio podcast, a video podcast, and a blog.

One Response to “Travel to Loja and Southern Ecuador – Episode 556”



Your articles are amazing!
I just love Ecuador. I made my trip with the tour operator Gulliver Expeditions from Quito, they were amazing.
If you love nature, adventure, mountains, animals and the Galapagos Islands, I recommend you to go to Ecuador.

Greetings from Germany

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