Tag Archive for: Loja Ecuador

Loja Ecuador Pros & Cons for Expats & Tourists

Nestled within the picturesque landscape of Ecuador lies Loja, a city that has increasingly captured the attention of both tourists and long-term residents.

Having lived in Ecuador for several years, we finally made it to the city for a deeper exploration to discover why so many people recommended we spend time there.

In this article, we provide an overview of this beautiful Andes mountain city and cover both its strengths and its areas for potential improvement.

Advantages of Visiting or Moving to Loja, Ecuador

Here are the advantages we noticed that make Loja a compelling destination for both settling down and short-term exploration.

Affordability

Loja Yellow Church and ParkOur experience in Loja underscored its cost-effective nature. Specifically, our centrally located Airbnb and the day-to-day expenses like food and restaurants were similar to Cuenca.

For instance, a typical “almuerzo” or lunch special, encompassing a substantial soup, arroz con vegetales (rice with vegetables), potato, and tea, cost us just $3.25.

Additionally, our visit to the local mercado highlighted affordable prices reminiscent of Cuenca. We purchased several things like regional coffee and fresh produce for less than $8 in total.

Architectural and Natural Beauty

Loja boasts an elegant blend of natural and architectural sights. The streets, adorned with trees, also showcase diverse architectural styles from old colonial to 20s Art Deco and 60s boxy utilitarian.

Historical sites, such as Plaza de la Independencia San Sebastián, commemorate pivotal moments like Loja’s Independence Day in 1820.

Recreational Spaces

Parque Recreacional Jipiro In Loja EcuadorThe city offers an array of recreational spots. The iconic “la Puerta de la Ciudad” stands in proximity to the bustling mercado, while numerous parks pepper the urban landscape.

Noteworthy is the Parque Recreacional Jipiro, which offers serene nature trails and scaled-down versions of globally recognized structures like the Taj Mahal and The Eiffel Tower.

Cleanliness

Loja prioritizes urban hygiene, with the ‘Green Team’ street cleaners ensuring streets and pathways remain pristine.

Buses are not allowed in “El Centro” or the historic center, which not only improves air quality but also reduces noise levels.

Family Orientation

Loja exudes a family-friendly aura. From recreational areas like Pucará to schools catering to various age groups and prominent universities, it’s evident that families are a core consideration in city planning.

Pedestrian Accessibility

The city’s design inherently promotes walking, which might account for the general fitness enthusiasm among residents.

Additionally, amenities such as gyms, dance studios, and public outdoor exercise equipment are easily accessible.

Retail Diversity

Loja Centro MercadoWhether it’s boutique malls, organic stores, or fashion outlets, Loja provides an expansive shopping experience.

The pedestrian-friendly outdoor mall in El Centro is a popular place to shop and hang out.

Healthcare

The city is reputed for its healthcare facilities, with renowned institutions like Solca, specializing in oncology.

There is a public IESS hospital near the park in the center of town, as well as several other general clinics and hospitals located around the city.

Local Hospitality

Engaging with the locals was a heartening experience, marked by their genuine warmth and friendliness.

Downsides of Loja, Ecuador

No place is perfect and Loja has a few drawbacks that might cause some challenges.

Geographical Constraints

At times, natural events like landslides can disrupt connectivity between Loja, Cuenca, and the nearest airport located 45 minutes west of the city in Catamayo.

Limited Options for Special Diets

Restaurants in Loja could benefit from a broader spectrum of dietary options. If you’re plant-based, vegetarian, or gluten-free, you might find it difficult to eat at most restaurants.

Water Consumption

In the video, we talked about tap water not being potable. However, since posting this video, several viewers who live in Loja told us that the water is drinkable out of the tap in most parts of the city.

If you’re a tourist on a short visit or staying in an older building, you might want to err on the side of caution and drink bottled or filtered water.

It Can Be Rainy

Loja Cloudy Sky with Mountain ViewDuring our week in Loja, it rained most days, and sometimes it was a hard rain. As a result, it’s lush and green, and you’re likely to see a rainbow or two.

Lack of English-Speakers

If your Spanish is rusty or non-existent, you may want to start studying or download a translation app because we met very few locals who spoke English during our time there. You’ll find a lot more English speakers in Cuenca.

Final Thoughts…

Loja, with its myriad attractions and minor challenges, is a city that’s worth experiencing firsthand.

Whether you’re considering a short visit or a more extended stay, Loja has its unique charm, echoing the diverse beauty of Ecuador.

We still think Cuenca was the right choice for us, but life in Loja would have been amazing as well.

Watch Our Loja Ecuador Pros & Cons Video

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING WE GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH OUR LINKS. THERE IS NO COST TO YOU AND SOMETIMES YOU'LL EVEN GET A DISCOUNT BY USING OUR LINK. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

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A Week of Wonders: Exploring the Charming City of Loja Ecuador

We arrived in Loja, Ecuador just as darkness was falling. It was cloudy and a light rain fell, forming puddles on the street. We were worried that our first day in Loja would be more of the same, but we were pleasantly surprised when the sun woke us up the next morning.

2 Loja Ecuador MuralThe city was vibrant and full of color, with murals painted on nearly every wall and colonial architecture around every corner.

The beautiful clock tower that stood tall above the city was only two blocks from our AirBnB. It was a true masterpiece, with intricate details and a golden finish that was a stark contrast against the deep blue sky and white billowy clouds.

One of the highlights of our trip was visiting the Loja City Gate, a historic castle-like structure that marks the entrance to the old town. It’s an iconic landmark with the Loja sign and offered a perfect photo op.

Every day, we spent hours exploring the city on foot. We walked through charming neighborhoods and visited local markets, tasting all sorts of delicious foods. We even spent an afternoon hiking up the mountain in Parque Pucará, taking in the stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

Despite the miles we walked, we never tired of discovering all that Loja had to offer. From the beautiful murals to the charming colonial architecture, there was always something new and exciting to see. It was a week we will never forget, and we left Loja feeling grateful and inspired by all the beauty and culture we experienced.

Watch Our Video About Our First Impressions of Loja Ecuador

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING WE GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH OUR LINKS. THERE IS NO COST TO YOU AND SOMETIMES YOU'LL EVEN GET A DISCOUNT BY USING OUR LINK. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

Download the FREE Live Abroad Checklist

Enter your email address to receive helpful and timely information about living abroad, slow travel, having more freedom, and living life on YOUR terms!

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Loja Ecuador First Impressions

After nearly 5 years in Ecuador, we FINALLY visited Loja! You have been asking us to film there for years, and now the wait is over!

We spent a full week in Loja and logged nearly 20 walking miles, so we got a pretty good feel for the city and what it has to offer. We were surprised by a lot of what we saw. Overall, it was not what we expected.

Loja AirBnB

Watch Our Video About Our First Impressions of Loja Ecuador

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING WE GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH OUR LINKS. THERE IS NO COST TO YOU AND SOMETIMES YOU'LL EVEN GET A DISCOUNT BY USING OUR LINK. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

Download the FREE Live Abroad Checklist

Enter your email address to receive helpful and timely information about living abroad, slow travel, having more freedom, and living life on YOUR terms!

You'll also get immediate access to our FREE Live Abroad Checklist, which will help you get focused and ensure you don't miss anything important as you embark on this amazing life transformation!