Loja is the most southern province of Ecuador, is located on the border of Peru.
To arrive at Loja we must take the bus from the cooperative Loja which takes us from Guayaquil to the city of Loja, approximately 12 hours of travel. It is best to leave at night so that the trip is not so tiring and you can arrive early in the morning. And enjoy all morning knowing Loja.
When I arrived at the Loja terminal I walked to my hotel, I went to the Expo Hostel a very nice and friendly place, I liked the treatment they gave me at this hotel it is recommended if you ever go to Loja.
My tour starts in the center of Loja, I went to visit La Puerta de Loja is a large portal that resembles a medieval castle, through which you enter the city from the south, passing Colombia Avenue. The door was built as a replica of the city’s coat of arms. Within this grand portal can be found four exhibition halls, a craft store, a cafeteria, and a viewpoint from which you get an excellent view of the city.
The second point to know is the recreational park Jipiro, is called so JIPIRO said in language Palta which means place of rest.
There are 10 hectares of land to enjoy the outdoors, taking photos under the replica of the Eifel Tower, the Bath of the Ñusta (Inca), Shuar Shack, Los Feriantes, Los Saraguros, Arab Mosque, Maya Pyramid, Colonial Bridge, Gate of the Sun, indomalaíco temple, besides you can observe pink flamingos and ducks
You can go horseback riding, they have horses and ponies for rent, it is so great for all family.
The Mercado Centro Loja, also known as “Reina del Cisne”, is a large food market where you can buy all kinds of food, such as fruits, vegetables, meats, and local sweets that are a delight. The market is located in the historic area of Loja, less than 300 meters from Plaza Central.
Another site to visit is the wind farm Villonaco, this place can only be reached by private car, there are no buses to take you to this beautiful place, we have a beautiful view of the city of Loja when you enter the park the guide explains you about the process of building of the park and the energy it produces. There is a lot of wind so you have to go warm.
Vilcabamba is a small village that is located 45 km from Loja, and it’s one of the most popular destinations for backpackers and budget travelers, mainly from the United States and Europe.
Of these same nationalities, there are a large number of retired people who live in this town, which has a reputation for the longevity of its population. I arrived in Vilcabamba on a holiday, there were few people in the village and no places were open.
The buses to Vilcabamba depart every hour from the Loja station for the amount of $ 1. The buses that travel between Loja and Vilcabamba are: Cariamanga, Vilcaturis, and Sur Oriente
Let’s go to Zamora.
To get to Zamora, you have to take a bus from the terminal to Zamora we can take any of these cooperatives of buses such as Cooperativa Loja, Nambija, Yantzaza, Viajeros, and Unión Cariamanga.
After an hour and a half of the trip I arrived in Zamora with a value of $ 2.50, my purpose was to reach the National Park Podocarpus but I am very impressed with the giant clock that exists in the city of Zamora.
At the foot of the Zamora river, there is a beautiful linear park that allows you to rest and to recreate yourself, I walked in the short time that I had. After this, I took a taxi that took me to the National Park Podocarpus after about 20 minutes of travel.
When I arrive at the park, I didn’t know so much about this place. I was very pleased to know that there is an information site that tells you what you can visit, as soon as I arrived a drizzle started to fell then it becomes stronger but I had to walk for a path inside the forest.
When I arrived at the administration, I had to register and indicate where are you from after that they indicated the paths that you could meet. I chose the waterfall La Poderosa, a beautiful waterfall that I loved, I had made a big effort with the rain and the mud to know this place.
After that, I walked along these trails I could get to see the Bombuscaro river that means clear waters, according to the legend who bathes in this river will never forget Zamora or will return and stay in Zamora.
After visiting the national park Poducarpus I had to go back to the entrance as there wasn’t a taxi or transport at that time I thought I was going to touch walking but luckily there was a taxi that I had to ask people traveling in that allowed me to return until Zamora and from there I took a bus to Loja.
This trip was over and it was my turn to go back to Guayaquil again, I would come back to Loja and Zamora there are beautiful places that I need to meet.