Discover Ecuador | By Ecuador.com
Sierra (Andes)

Loja in Ecuador, Cities, Travel Destinations

The city of Loja is one of the oldest cities in Ecuador and was established in its current location on 8 December 1548. Today, its streets and architecture remind visitors of its 500 year-old past and the fact that Loja was a pioneering city. It was the first city that made use of electricity in Ecuador - something that was quite an achievement in 1897. It went on to grow as any city usually does, but it managed to remain ahead of the times while ensuring the protection of its heritage, culture and natural surroundings. Loja will therefore greet you with all the modern technology you would expect from a city, but with a nostalgic charm that makes this destination in Ecuador spectacular and unique.

Loja has an estimated population of approximately 140 000 people who are proud of their tourist friendly town which draws many visitors each year. It is also the cultural and musical capital of Ecuador. Loja is home to a school of law and a music conservatory. It is said that the best and most talented musicians originate from Loja. The Teatro Bolivar often showcases these talents free of charge. Visitors can also enjoy a movie at the local movie house and, if you would like to join in the fun instead of watching it, the Allianza Francesa can teach you to dance and cook. At night, Loja is one of the more lively destinations in Ecuador, with a range of cozy bars, restaurants and thumping dance clubs.

The Podocarpus National Park is an extraordinary park to visit if you have a love for birds. It has approximately 800 different bird species, of which some have just recently been discovered while still others are waiting to be found. Churches such as the Fatima, San Francisco, Santo Domingo and San Augustin are as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside. Visitors are encouraged to explore these religious institutions as they have many artworks to view. The locals cannot promise anything, but it is said that the undiscovered secret of Vilcabamba Valley is the reason that some people have lived to 100 years of age. Other interesting attractions to visit include the Virgen del Cisne festival and the museums that have beautiful art, historical and craft exhibits available.