Tourist Information

Tourism in Loja

The city of Loja was founded by the Spanish Captain Alonso de Mercadillo on December 8, 1546 at the site known as Valle de Garrochamba (currently Catamayo) but, in 1548, under the orders of Gonzalo  Pizarro, the city was moved to the Valley of Cuxibamba that had better conditions for their conquering objectives.

Loja is located at 2,200  meters a.s.l. in an Andean valley with tempered climate all around the year with exception of the months of June and July where continuous precipitations rain forest like appear. At the same time the rain appears, alisios winds  show up. Then the normally tempered climate shifts to tempered sub-humid with temperatures that range between 10 to 30 Celsius degrees.  Despite these, the season of higher water flow is from October to December each year.

Loja is known as the Botanical Garden of Ecuador due to its unique, interesting and varied biodiversity.


  • To the North with the Province of Azuay.
  • To the South and to the East with the Province of Zamora Chinchipe.
  • To the West with the Province of El Oro and Peru.

AREA: 11.063 km2. It is located at the extreme Southeast of Ecuador.

TERRAIN: The province js filled with geographical accidents that turn into valleys and hills; the most relevant are the valley of Jubones, Catamayo, Macara and Puyango.

RIVERS: Loja province has five seven rivers: Jubones, Catamayo, Chira, Zamora, Puyango, Chinchipe and a branch of Macará. Loja city itself is bordered by two rivers: Zamora and Malacatos.

TERRITORY ORGANIZATION: Loja province has 16 districts; 24 urban parishes; and, 74 rural parishes. Loja district has 6 urban parishes: El Sagrario, Sucre, El Valle, San Sebastián, Punzara y Carigán; and, 13 rural ones: Chantaco, Chuquiribamba, El Cisne, Gualel, Malacatos, Jimbilla, San Lucas, San Pedro, Santiago, Taquil, Vilcabamba, Yangana y Quinara.


  • Became a Province in June 25, 1824.
  • Became independent from Spain on November 18, 1820.
  • Was founded by the Spanish conquerors on December 8, 1548.


  • Santuario de la Virgen del Cisne.
  • Casco Colonial.
  • Plaza de San Sebastián.
  • Parque Recreacional Jipiro.
  • Parque Nacional Podocarpus.
  • Museo de la Música.
  • Bioparque Orillas del Zamora.
  • Lagunas del Compadre.
  • Vilcabamba.
  • Miradores.
  • Teatro Benjamín Carrión.
  • Teatro Bolívar.
  • Puerta de entrada a la Ciudad.
  • Santuario de la Virgen del Cisne.


  • Repe blanco.
  • Cecina.
  • Cuy.
  • Gallina Cuyada.
  • Tamales.
  • Fritada.
  • Quimbolitos.
  • Humas.


By plane:
We recommend international participants to arrive the Quito Mariscal Sucre Airport in Tababela or the Simon Bolivar Airport in Guayaquil to make a domestic connection with the flights to  Catamayo. We have included flight times for your convenience. Please note that the only domestic airline that flies to Loja is TAME. This domestic itineraries are also for domestic participants convenience. Flights arrive to  Catamayo that is located 35 kms. away from Loja:

Quito – Loja

M T W T F S S Flight #  Route Departure Arrival
X X X X X X X  145  Quito



X X X X X X X  149  Quito


 15:40  16:50

Loja – Quito

M T W T F S S Flight #  Route Departure Arrival
X X X X X X X  144  Loja



X X X X X X X  148 Loja


 17:40  19:40


M T W T F S S Flight #  Route Departure Arrival
X X X X  143  Guayaquil




Loja – Guayaquil

M T W T F S S Flight #  Route Departure Arrival
X X X X  142 Loja




Once you arrive to Catamayo  the best option is to take an individual or shared taxi to your hotel. It will be a 35 minute ride to the city.

Individual cost in a shared taxi is  $5,00 USD. Taxis  normally will take you to your hotel.

If you want to travel by bus, please consider that the Bus Terminal is located in the center of north town. The terminal offers routes that connect with all parts of Ecuador and Peru managed by the main service providers of the country. Ticket prices in Ecuador are regulated so, here a few insights of costs for your reference.

Costs (for a few suggested routes)

  • Machala – Loja: $7
  • Guayaquil – Loja: Fee 1: $14 – Fee 2: $12
  • Zamora-Loja: $3
  • Quito-Loja: Regular fee: $17; Executive fee: $21; bed included fee: $40; north of Quito, Carcelén fee: $25
  • Cuenca-Loja: $7.50
  • Riobamba-Loja: $19
  • Loja- Piura: $15


Single: $ 113.30
Double: $ 137.20

These amounts include taxes, breakfast and hotel insurance.

Address and Phone: Avenida Zoilo Rodríguez y Antisana esquina- Loja, Ecuador; Phone (593) 7 2589000; Fax (593) 7 2589000, reservations:

For more information please contact:

Mgtr. Karina Chamba Carrillo
Phone (072) 3701444 ext. 2337