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There are a number of places to explore around Vilcabamba and I have by no means explored them all. Much more to come in this section in the future
Recently I had the opportunity to hop into an Ecuadorian friend of mine’s car and let myself take on a tour, destination Zaruma in the El Oro province. For those who don’t know, the El Oro province is just next to the Loja province and is one part mountain (sierra) and one part coast. Machala is part of this province and is on the coast whereas Zaruma is in the mountains.
Wandering around downtown Zaruma is fantastic. The buildings, the clocks, the museums, the churches, the streets, the shops, the restaurants, the hotels everything is pretty. One could almost feel as being in Switzerland.
It is extremely easy to go to Zaruma from Loja. Everybody knows how to get to Catamayo which because it is where the airport is located. From Catamayo one needs to drive to San Pedro de la Bendita, then to El Cisne and finally to Portovelo/Zaruma.