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South America > Ecuador > Andean Highlands (Ecuador) > Loja

Loja

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Loja is a city in the south of the Andean Highlands region of Ecuador.

Get in[edit]

Transportes Loja operates buses throughout Ecuador. Loja is just one hour from Vilcabamba & the Podocarpus National Park, which are popular tourist destinations.

If coming from Cuenca, Ejecutivo San Luis buses are cheaper ($7) and much faster (4 hours) than Viajeros buses. The bus might take some time to leave the city, but then it goes straight to Loja.

Get around[edit]

Taxis cost $1 within town

See[edit]

There are various beautiful squares and churches, with arcades to protect you from the rain. Plaza San Francisco is particularly nice.

  • Pio Jaramillo Alvarado Museum of Music of the Central Culture (Museo de la Música del Centro Cultural Pio Jaramillo Alvarado), Bernardo Valdiviezo (between Rocafuerte and Miguel Riofrío). Inaugurated in 2004, it contains permanent exhibits on lojano music and composers, a concert hall, an area for temporary exhibits, a cafeteria, and a small music shop.
  • Madres Conceptas Museum (Museo de las Madres Conceptas), 10 de Agosto at Bernardo Valdiviezo. Museum housed in the Hermanas Concepcionistas Monastery, the second oldest in the country. It was constructed at the end of the 16th century.
  • Museum of the Central Bank of Ecuador (Museo del Banco Central del Ecuador), 10 de Agosto (between Bernardo Valdiviezo and Bolívar). This archeological museum focuses on the colonial history of the area.
  • Lojanidad Archeological Museum (Museo Arqueológica y Lojanidad), Barrio San Cayetano (on the campus of Loja Technical University - UTPL).
  • Door of the City Museum (Museo de la Puerta de la Ciudad). This museum seeks to recreate the history of the city, but also has exhibits showcasing local painting, sculpture, and photography.

Do[edit]

  • Free Walks Loja. A cultural movement to help visitors know Loja. The creators of Free Walks Loja offer non-traditional tours for everyone. You decide the real value to you of the tour: the tour is entirely tip-based.

Buy[edit]

Eat[edit]

  • Roma Pizza, Av. Cuxibamba y Gran Colombia (frente al puente de Lea), +593 72583520. Very good pizzas and pastas. The salads are amazing. Open until late. Pizzas and pastas $5-7. Drinks $0.50-2.

Drink[edit]

Sleep[edit]

  • Hostal America, 18 de Noviembre entre Imbabura y Quito ($1 by taxi from bus station), +593 72562887. Check-out: 14:00. Modern and very clean hotel in the town centre. Huge rooms with 2 double beds, private bathroom, cable TV and free Wi-Fi internet. Price includes breakfast. $30 for double room with private bathroom.
  • Hotel Londrès, Loja. Probably the cheapest option in Loja. $100/month. Nice place. $5.

Go next[edit]

Cuenca: although guidebooks and the bus companies will tell you that it takes 4 hours to Cuenca, it can take as long as 7 hours on Viajeros International. This bus company may also tell you that the bus doesn't make any stops, but the truth is that they stop a hundred times and sometimes fill up with so many passengers that the bus can hardly struggle uphill. (Cuenca-Loja $7.50, 5-7 hours, no bathroom)

Piura, Peru (Loja International $8, 8½ hours). Departures at 06:00, 13:00 and 23:00. The bus stops at both border posts for immigration formalities and you have to walk across a small bridge (try not to be last in the queue). Although an international service, it does stop in each of the small towns along the way and some people travel standing up. No working bathroom or air-conditioning.

  • Peruvian Consulate, Avda Zolio Rodriguez, +593 72 579 068. 09:00-13:00, 15:30-17:30. A tourist visa costs $30 if you need one (check at visahq.com). You must take your bus ticket, proof of sufficient funds (such as a credit card) and to make a deposit at the Banco de Guayaquil.


This city travel guide to Loja is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.