Loja - Loja - Ecuador
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Loja - Loja - Ecuador
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"Cradle of art, letters and music"
Also known as the "Botanical Garden of Ecuador" for its rare, interesting and high biodiversity.
Loja, located in the south-east of the province, is considered a good example for Ecuador, because in its parks and streets the common denominator is order and cleanliness.
It is one of the most important administrative, economic, financial and commercial centers in southern Ecuador. The development of the industry in the province, in general, was based on the manual skills of its inhabitants. It has a very unique importance for the history of southern Ecuador, since it is a midpoint between the coast and the Amazon, since ancestral time it was established as a meeting place between cultures, merchants and events of religious connotation.
How to get to Loja from Quito?
In the Terminal Terrestre de Quitumbe or Carcelén you can take the following companies that travel directly to Loja: Loja Internacional, Santa, Panamericana, International Travelers, Western Transport, Trans Esmeraldas.
Approximate distance by land 676 km, travel time 11 hours.
How to get to Loja from Guayaquil?
In the Terminal Terrestre de Guayaquil you can take the following companies that travel directly to Loja: Loja Internacional, Panamericana.
Approximate distance by land 405 km, travel time 7 hours.
How to get to Loja from Cuenca?
In the Terrestrial Terminal of Cuenca you can take the following companies that travel directly to Loja: International Travelers, Loja Internacional, San Luis.
Approximate distance via land 213 km, travel time 4 hours.
City of Loja Culture Tradition Tourist Information Vilcabamba Jipiro Park Giraffes Church of Santo Domingo Cathedral El Cisne Photos Travel Art Tour
Climate of Loja
The climate of Loja is temperado-equatorial subhumid. With an average temperature of 16 ° C. In June and July, an eastern drizzle comes with trade winds, and is known as the "wind season." The months of lower temperature fluctuate between June and September, with July being the coldest month.
Flora of Loja
There are between 3,000 and 4,000 species of vascular plants, among which stands out: Romerillos or podocarpus and cascarilla or cinchona, called the national tree of Ecuador. In addition, species such as: cedar, pituca, chilca, laurel, aguacolla, uvilla, black elderberry, pumamaqui, sapan, myrtle, cashoco, acacia, sage, white guato, castor, walnut, yumbingue and cannelloni.
Fauna of Loja
Mammals: spectacled bear, puma, wolf of páramo, tigrillo, tapir, deer, Andean tapir, common marsupial mouse, American tiger, smelly fox, dwarf deer, pudu, cervicabra, preplica, fox, squirrel, chucuri, among others.
Parties and events in Loja
- Border Integration Fair - September 8. - Created by the Liberator Simón Bolívar, in 1 829 by Supreme Decree. On September 8 of each year, trade, industry, crafts, cultural creation of the peoples of northern Peru and southern Ecuador congregate.
- Province Day - September 18. - On September 18 it was declared as Province Day, in honor of the illustrious man of the province of Loja, Don Manuel Carrión Pinzano.
Gastronomy in Loja
Cecina: is an ancient dish typical of the province of Loja. The cured meat is filleted pork, seasoned with salt, garlic and pepper, dried in the sun and finally grilled. It is served accompanied with yucca, mote and a tanned onion and tomato.
Gallina estreda: called cueda thanks to a myth that arose in the Lolita room, a client was the one who said that this hen had the flavor of saying that it is prepared with the condiments of this, but Dona Lolita clarifies the doubt saying that it is not like that, both the hen and the guinea pig have their own seasonings, they are both simply roasted in the breaststroke or in charcoal. A chicken dish with consomme consomme accompanied by canguil and mote, homemade chili prepared with sambo pepa, three salads, rice, potatoes and chicken.
Repe: It is a creamy soup made with dry peas, green banana, onion, garlic, milk, quesillo or cheese and finely chopped coriander. It is usually accompanied with avocado.
The skewers of La Siembra: The skewers are skewers of meat and those of La Siembra have always been my favorites. Apart from serving these delicious skewers, marinated with a secret sauce, they also serve an excellent selection of roast meats, cold beer mugs, and they also have live music during the weekends.
Typical drinks from Loja
Horchata: Formerly known as water to cure, is an infusion made with 22 herbs and medicinal flowers, once prepared is sweetened and added a few drops of lemon. It is the only traditional drink of Loja, and the complement to accompany it may be aloe. Each of the 22 herbs used are attributed medicinal properties for diseases or specific ailments.
Desserts in Loja
Lojas Tamales: traditional product with great recognition in the province, is prepared with dry soaked corn, which is then ground and stirred with pork lard and dressings, this dough is wrapped in achira leaf and stuffed with meat, chicken or pork.
Honey with quesillo: Traditional dessert made with very hot panela honey and tender quesillo.
Other meals: guinea pig roast with potatoes, fried, pepa chili, quesadillas, humitas, empanadas de viento, among others.
Tourist Attractions of Loja
Virgin of the Swan in Loja
Pilgrimage Virgen del Cisne
Romería la Churona: The cult to 'La Churona' starts in May for the month of María and lasts approximately six months between pilgrimages, masses and music festivals.
Thousands of devotees from the province of Loja (south of Ecuador) are preparing to carry out the pilgrimage to the image of the Virgin of El Cisne, one of the largest pilgrimages in Latin America in honor of the saint of this region.
For 424 years, the faithful have traveled approximately 75 kilometers from the Sanctuary to the capital of the province. The parish priest-rector, Armando Jiménez, announced that the pilgrimage represents moments of recollection, long walks and religious celebrations.
According to the story it was Simón Bolívar who arrived at the parish to visit the Image in 1829, where he signed the mandate for the trip to Catamayo and Loja from August 17 to 20, respectively. In compliance with the regulations in 1930 the first largest pilgrimage in the country was fulfilled, with the presence of faithful from the town and other provinces such as Azuay, Pichincha, Azogues, among others.
Feast of the Virgin of El Cisne - Loja
"This event also generates a strong social movement, boosting the economy of the places through which the image passes on the route to Loja, such as the parishes and cantons El Cisne, San Pedro de la Bendita, Catamayo and Loja",
The president of the Parochial Board, Julio Macas, estimates that in the El Cisne parish between August 1 and 15, the 500 merchants who congregate in the place generate a profit of 500 dollars each.
"These data allow us to ensure that religious tourism boosts local economies due to the large number of faithful and devotees who demand lodging, food and trade services, among others," explained Macas.
Veneration to the Virgin
According to the priest Julio Sanmartin, vicar of the Sanctuary of El Cisne, devotion to the image of 'Our Lady of El Cisne', also known as 'La Churona', begins in May for the month of Mary and lasts approximately six months between pilgrimages, masses and music festivals.
Then, the main festival of August, September and November is organized when the Virgin stays in Loja and then returns to the Sanctuary of the Swan in the middle of a big party. On January 1 the devotees return to the Shrine in gratitude for the year that ended, as well as to ask favors for the new one.
According to the rector-rector Jiménez, who is based on historical documents, the first pilgrimage that was carried out by the surrounding parishes dates back to 1830. Upon the 100th anniversary of the first pilgrimage, in 1930, the Holy See ordered that the Virgin of the Swan was crowned as Queen and Lady of all created.
Decree of Bolívar
For the parish priest-rector of the Sanctuary of El Cisne, Armando Jiménez, such was the importance of the dedication to the Virgin of El Cisne that, in 1829, from the headquarters of Guayaquil, the Liberator Simon Bolivar issued a decree indicating privilege granted of the fair from August 10 to September 12 of each year, during the feast of Our Lady of the Swan.
In addition, he pointed out that, according to the ecclesiastical authority of the Diocese of Loja, this festival had to be moved annually to the city of Loja.
The pilgrimages have fixed dates from 1830, when the provisions of the Liberator Simón Bolívar are complied with.
Lagunas del Compadre in Loja
In the Podocarpus National Park you can find the famous Compadre Lagoons of incredible scenic value that is the result of ancient glaciers that have left their mark on the land.
In the páramos of the central mountain range of the Andes, in the Sabanilla knot, at 3000 m. n. m., there are 136 lagoons, which are the most valuable resource of Podocarpus.
Origin of its name Lagunas del Compadre in Loja
The name "Lagunas del Compadre" was adopted in honor of Mr. Julio Bustamante, known by that nickname, who promoted and spread his existence. The best known are the Compadre lagoons, Bells, Bombuscaro, Guadalupe, Forestry, Banderillas, Rabadilla de Vaca, Margaritas, among others.
Extension Lagunas del Compadre in Loja
This lacustrine system "Lagunas del Compradre" is made up of 136 lagoons, with surfaces larger than two thousand square meters, here the rivers of the province of Zamora Chinchipe are born: San Francisco, Sabanilla, Bombuscaro, Jamboé, Shaimi, Nangaritza, San Luís , Numbala; in the province of Loja: Campana, Capamaco, Solamaco, Masanamaca and Palmira possess an extraordinary scenic beauty.
Location Lagunas del Compadre in Loja
They are located on the junction of Sabanilla in the region of "Picacho de Cóndor".
Climate Lagunas del Compadre in Loja
The Park is located at altitudes between 1000 and 3773 m. n. m., with an average thermal range, which goes from 8 ºC in the páramo and 22 ºC in the tropical humid forest and maximum precipitations of 4000 mm / year.
Biodiversity Lagunas del Compadre in Loja
The sector presents characteristics of high Andean areas, including moss, lichens, ferns, orchids, scrub shrubs, among other plants, which form a sponge-like layer where water is retained and where ducks, seagulls, hummingbirds, tapirs and the spectacled bear.
The water of the lagoons and rivers, for the conservation of their surroundings, is crystalline and allows a habitat for the trout (Sailmo truta), introduced by PREDESUR, before the establishment of the park.
To the east of these lagoons are immense forests of Podocarpus (millenary trees of 2 and 3 m in diameter), trees of rosemary, mosses, ferns, bromeliads, orchids, herbs, shrubs, among others.
Activities to do in Lagunas del Compadre in Loja
• Hikes: There is a trail of approximately 16 kilometers, the hike is difficult with an approximate duration of 8 hours, the trail crosses a trail through the cloud forest, reaches the Andes Mountain Range and continues along the mountain range in the middle of a vegetation from páramo to the lagoons.
The best time to visit them are the months of October and November because it is the summer season and you can visit the lagoons, take a swim and fish.
• Romerillos y Bombuscaro: In Bombuscaro there is a multipurpose room, regularly used for environmental education activities and two self-guided trails that run through the forest among species of flora and fauna typical of this ecosystem. In Romerillos there is a nursery that controls access to the Park through this sector.
• Cerro Toledo viewpoint, a natural viewpoint from where you can see the forest and the typical topography of the Andes mountain range.
Vilcabamba in the canton of Loja
To the south, in the Province of Loja, is Vilcabamba, the "Valley of the Longevos". Thousands of tourists and pilgrims arrive every year, attracted by the natural beauty of this town and the longevity of its inhabitants.
It has been proven that their life time is superior to that of the rest of the world, many of them exceed one hundred years of age; this is attributed to low rates of disease, climate stability, temperature and water with special properties.
Vilcabamba, which in Quichua means "Sacred Valley", is a place of amazing color and beauty, is bathed by the Chamba and Uchima rivers, has a delicious and cozy climate, with low elevations that make it a suggestive landscape, He considers it a "Paradise Lost" in the mountains.
The history of Vilcabamba begins with the presence of the first Encomendero, Don Pedro de León, who was in charge of the protection of the Indians and lands of Cucanamá, which had no resistance or exerted any pressure on the Indians.
Description of Vilcabamba in Loja
Vilcabamba has received appropriately the names of: "Island of Immunity for heart diseases", "The country of the oldest old people in the world", "World center of medical and journalistic curiosity", "Island of Longevity" where the cardiac they achieve improvements in their health and where living for more than 100 years is common.
Most of the houses are built of brick, adobe and wood, with interior patios and extensive portals; His people are very friendly, mostly engaged in agriculture.
On the main street of Vilcabamba the architecture of the 50 still stands. The houses are mostly made of wood and tiles and the cobblestone streets.
Central ParkClose to the Central Plaza of Vilcabamba most businesses meet, from handicrafts to coffee shops. The main craft offer of Vilcabamba is the hand-painted cotton t-shirts with motifs from the Podocarpus National Park.
Attractions of Vilcabamba in the canton of Loja
• Vilcabamba water is packaged and sold inside and outside the country.
• The production of fruit flavored drinks is famous in this valley.
• Vilcabamba has striking neighborhoods such as Chaupi, Cucanamá, Linderos, Santorum, Solanda and Tumianuma.
• As you pass through this place, you can also visit the mills where cane juice and guarapo are processed.
• In the town of Vilcabamba you can enjoy the Yamburara recreation area, which is a small zoo that is 1 1/2 km from the town center, which shows local animals and a large greenhouse with an excellent collection of plants that has around 30 species of orchids.
We found a varied range of birds such as eagles, macaws, peacock parrots among the mammals monkeys and the striking spectacled bear.
• Caxarumi Ecological Trail Located in the extreme south east of the Loja canton, it has a distance of 41 km from the city of Loja to the Vilcabamba valley, was the old road of Loja Vilcabamba and is composed of four sections: Loja (Linear Park la Tabaida) -number of Cajanuma-Rumishitana-Landangui-Vilcabamba.
• Mandango hill rises near the town as a giant, this has always been a sacred site.
History of Vilcabamba in the canton of Loja
Known as the "Valley of the Longevity", has attracted the attention of scientists because a high percentage of the population reaches to live more than 100 years, conclude that lies in five factors, hard or beaten water, low-fat diet, high fiber and magnesium content that protects against cardiovascular complications, exercise and stable weather.
San Sebastian Square in Loja
Without a doubt, it is one of the most attractive elements of Loja. In the center of this square stands a tower 32 meters high, on top of which is a clock with four spheres and at its base we find four reliefs that indicate the most outstanding events in the history of Loja.
The square, located between Simón Bolívar, Bernardo Valdivieso, Alonso de Mercadillo and Calle Lourdes streets, is surrounded by colonial style buildings, with large portals, carved wooden balconies and traditional eaves.
They surround the square, old-style buildings, with large portals, carved wooden balconies and eaves. On the south side is the old church of San Sebastián, the convent house and the south market, where a weekly fair of agricultural products has been held every Sunday.
Address Plaza San Sebastián in Loja
San Sebastian Square is located between the well-known Simón Bolívar, Bernardo Valdivieso, Alonso de Mercadillo and Calle Lourdes streets.
Attractions San Sebastian Square in Loja
• San Sebastián Church: It was built in 1900 and remodeled in 1979, the church is made up of three naves, an altarpiece in each of them, in the upper part there are two handrails that surround the inner part of the church and they are supported by arches of half a point.
• The Park: on November 18, 1820 the town of Loja met in this square to proclaim the independence of the Spanish Crown. In the center of the park stands a tower 32 m high, on top of which is a clock with four spheres and at its base there are four reliefs that indicate the most outstanding events in the history of Loja.
• Glorieta de San Sebastián: for the cultural events a beautiful arbor of traditional architectural style has been built, surrounding the park old-style constructions, with large portals, carved wooden balconies and low eaves, the same ones that are within the regeneration urban development over the past years.