|Traveling from Loja to the Peruvian border:|
Catamayo | Catacocha | South to Macará | South from Catamayo|
|If you want a second route into Peru with better scenery and less chaotic than Huaquillas market town frontier crossing, then head west following the road to Macará. Along the road you'll find several interesting villages mentioned below as follows:|
|Catamayo is a nice place to visit with many surrounding resorts with pools to cool down in during most of the year. It was also famous for
being the original area where Loja was initially founded in 1546 as well as housing the largest indigenous plants for processing sugar.|
Approximately 42 Km west of Catamayo is an interesting religious site set high in the mountain range called El Cisne, the same name as the village beneath it which has a Gothic French-styled church and small museum containing religious art and sequined clothing to adorn the statue of the "Virgen del Cisne".
The Virgen has also traveled for many years over 70 km from Catamayo on the shoulders of pilgrims towards its final destination "the Loja's Cathedral" where it is annually reinstalled during a main religious festival on the 20th of August.
Accommodation & Restaurants In Catamayo
Hostería Bella Vista.- Reservations: Tel. 962450.
China.- Set meals, located opposite Hotel El Turista.
Hotel San Marcos.- Located on the plaza.
|Located 1,800 m above sea level Catacocha, is the half way point on the journey to Macará and is around 4 hours from Loja. It is also the capital of the Cantón Paltas named after the Palta Indians who reigned even prior to the Incas, their ruins may still be viewed inside the small town.|
The best day to visit and experience a full market day spring to life
is on Sundays, if you wish to stay any longer, there are 4 hotels that provide adequate but basic accommodation.
Pensión Guayaquil, located by the Plaza; Turismo, just behind the church; Buena Esperanza and Mirasol(both located south of town).
| South to Macará|
|After Leaving Catacocha head south to Macará (The border), then in a turnoff (at a Military base), head west to El Empalme,
passing by the villages of Alamor, Celica and the Puyango Petrified forest. |
Southwest from Celica you'll find a well preserved river fronted town called Zapotillo on the Ecuador-Peruvian border with some 5,500 inhabitants. In Zapotillo accommodation is available in the following basic hotels: Pensión Mishel & Hotel Los Angeles. Some 3 1/2 hours away from Zapotillo is Lalamor where you'll find convenient transportation
to the Peruvian villages of Sullana and Lancones.
| South from Catamayo|
|If you have a four wheel drive and it is not in the wet season you can also run through to Macará via Cariamanga. Along the way you'll run into Gonzanamá, famous for its soft cheeses and alforjas which are all-round saddlebags which may be purchased through local weavers. This small town is a quaint stopping off point to your final destination as well as being a very tranquil place to visit for an hour or so.|
leaving Gonzanamá head down to Malacatos and pass through the Purunuma taking in along the way many scenic views. The road continues to Cariamanga a village with some hotels, restaurants and even banks.
Southeast down to the most cut off areas of Ecuador into the southern tip of the country is Lucero, Amaluza and Jimbura. In Amaluza you'll find a couple of hotels and also daily buses to Quito, taking a whole day to travel from this location.
A second road towards Macará heads west towards Colaisaca and heads some 2,100 m downwards to Utuana and onto Sozoranga which is some 35 Km south from Macará. North of Sozoranga lies Nueva Fátima a route rich in nearly
200 types of bird life.
|Traveling from Loja to the Peruvian border:|
| Catamayo | Catacocha | South to Macará | South from Catamayo|
|Excursions around Loja:|
|Vilcabamba | Parque Nacional Podocarpus | South from Vilcabamba | Saraguro | Loja
to the Peruvian border | Macará|
|More about Ecuador Highlands:|
|Carchi | Imbabura | Pichincha | Cotopaxi | Tungurahua | Bolivar | Chimborazo | Cañar | Azuay | Loja|
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