Loja, Ecuador - Polarsteps
Loja, Ecuador: The full name is "City of the Immaculate Conception of Loja". Loja is known as the Music and Cultural Capital of Ecuador. The population of Loja is around 200,000.
I hiked a trail that was barely visible in the park called "Parque Colinas del Pucará." The trail was quite steep in places and with sneakers it wasn't as easy as it should have been. At the top of the hill, I found what appeared to be an old castle, but in reality, it used to be a cable car station. Sometime between 2020 and 2023 it was closed and the cable car and cable were removed. Now you can go up the smaller tower and get a nice view of the valley. The trailhead starts in Parque Pucará.
The Spaniards first colonized Loja in 1548. Loja is one of the oldest towns in Ecuador and also was the first town to have electricity, provided by a hydroelectric dam that was completed in the 1890s. There are two rivers that flow through the town and there are linear parks along them. There is also a bicycle/pedestrian path that runs from Loja 42 kilometers south to Vilcabamba, along one of the rivers. Near the town is Ecuador's first wind power generator stations. And, Loja is the "capital" city of Ecuador's primary coffee region. Loja is regarded as a seat of Ecuadorian culture. A local saying is: "The one who does not play the guitar can sing a song; the one who does not sing a song can write a verse; the one who does not write a verse reads a book."
The elevation of the city is 2060 meters (6758 feet). On the days I was in Loja it rained every day. The rain usually lasted less than a couple of hours, then there was a couple of hours break, the more rain.
So, my impressions: Too cold and wet. Pretty town, though. So, it's a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live here. (By the way, that phrase dates back to 1907 in a New York Times article.)
My South America Journey