Do you want to know what it’s really like to live in Loja? You’ve probably read articles that make it sound too good to be true. In this post, I’ll give you our honest opinions, facts about the city, and things to do and see. We’ve lived here for 7 months and have enjoyed it.
“Courage is being scared to death…and saddling up anyway” (John Wayne) Not realizing what we were getting into, we went on a 4 1/2-hour trail ride into the mountains close to Vilcabamba, a small town in southern Ecuador. It’s not an adventure for the faint-of-heart, but it was worth every penny!
In southern Ecuador, an awesome phenomenon occurs – the guayacán trees come into full bloom. After a nine-month dry season, the rains begin, and trees that have sported bare branches for most of the year erupt in canopies of brilliant yellow flowers. We had a wonderful trip and enjoyed a local delicacy – “goat-in-the-hole”.
Located in Loja, this fascinating Nativity display is the largest of its kind in Ecuador, and one of the largest in Latin America. With over 1300 figures, it takes over a month to set up, covers an area of about 220 square metres (2400 square feet), and stretches for over 30 metres (100 feet). We were totally impressed!
One of the main entrances to Podocarpus Park is located just south of Loja. After hiking to 2900 meters/9500 feet, we were rewarded with fantastic views of the surrounding mountains, and a wide variety of plant life along the way. Another day well spent!