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Loja Things to See and Do

Most visitors to the city of Loja are just passing through on their way to peaceful Vilcabamba, which is a pity: Loja is a charming city in its own right, with lots to see and do. If you’re planning on passing through, you should consider spending a day or two checking out what Loja has to offer.

Jipiro Park is located to the north of the city and hugely popular with Lojano families, especially on weekends. The park is low-cost entertainment at its friendly best: check out an ultra-cheesy planetarium show for 25 cents, rent a paddle boat for a dollar or watch the locals play soccer. The park is full of small replicas of famous buildings: St. Basil’s Cathedral has slides for kids, an Arabic mosque hosts the planetarium, and the bathrooms are in the Polynesian Tiki House.

There are several other parks surrounding the city, including Parque Universitario la Arquelia and the Reinaldo Espinoza Botanical Garden.

Loja’s historic downtown, while not as nice as Cuenca’s, is still worth a visit. There are several cathedrals and city squares and a number of interesting museums, including the Music Museum and the Central Bank Museum. You may also want to walk down Calle Lourdes, Loja's oldest street, which is filled with colorful building in their original architectural style; the street is lined with a few small cafés and artisan shops.

By Christopher Minster
I am a writer and editor at V!VA Travel guides here in Quito, where I specialize in adding quality content to the site and also in spooky things like...
17 Jan 2013

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