Loja, a small slow-paced city nestled in the foothills of the Andes Mountains, offers a unique set of lifestyle benefits at an extremely attractive value. The natural beauty of the surrounding area, temperate climate, and its safe, friendly, and relaxed atmosphere make Loja a wonderful place to settle.
Although it is the ninth largest city in Ecuador, with a population of around 200,000, Loja has the feel of a small town where everyone knows each other. One of the aspects that stand out about Loja relative to the other major cities in Ecuador is the feel and pace of life here. It is a place where couples meet each other at home for lunch, where parents drop off their kids at school in the morning and pick up them up in the afternoon, and where neighbors say good morning to one another.
Altitude: 2100 meters (6,890 ft) above sea level
Average High: 24° C (75° F)
Average annual precipitation: 500 mm
Coordinates: 3°59′26″S 79°12′18″O
Airport: Camilo Ponce Enriquez airport is located in Catamayo 38 km from Loja (45 minutes)
Loja is a close-knit community – close friends are like family and people share everything; information, time, even Ice Cream cones! The Expat community is virtually non-existent; as such people are welcoming to foreigners and view them as just another member of the community. With a core that is roughly ten blocks long by eight blocks wide, Loja is an extremely walk-able city. Anywhere that is out of walking distance can be reached by bus or by taxi for a pittance.
Known for its arts and culture, Loja is home to a world-class orchestra, and produces many of Ecuador’s best artists and musicians. It is common for families in Loja to ensure their children participate in art, music, and the performing arts. There is a regular offering of live music, concerts, and shows.
Loja boasts three universities, two private and one public. For children, there are several private and alternative primary and secondary school options, and a wide variety of high quality extracurricular activities available.
Loja has several choices for shopping and entertainment. Theatro Bolivar also known as “Cudic” is a traditional theater for performing arts that regularly hosts plays, musical guests, and dance performances. There is also a six-screen movie theater and a professional soccer team. Shopping options include; large open-air markets, boutique shops, and several modern shopping centers.
Ecuador in general and Loja specifically has many beautiful parks and outdoors spaces. There are several parks throughout the city with areas for play, sports, and leisure activities. There are many hiking trails in and around Loja including those that reside in Podocarpus National Park. As one of ten majestic national parks within Ecuador, Podocarpus is a beautiful 146,280km2 (just over 90,000 square miles) park full of endemic plant and animal species. Loja is also conveniently located within a short drive to the tourist destinations of Zamora and Vilcabamaba.
Although Loja offers some unique lifestyle benefits it is not for everyone. Despite being one of the oldest cities in all of South America, (465 years old) it lacks the colonial charm, aesthetic beauty, and quality of construction of similar cities. Along that same vein, for those who desire an exciting nightlife, or world class dining options, you are encouraged to look elsewhere.
However, if you enjoy being surrounded by nature at every turn, a small town lifestyle with the conveniences of a city, and are comfortable living abroad in the absence of a well-established Expat community, Loja could be the place for you.
Properties in Loja
Houses in Loja
Apartments in Loja
Land in Loja
beautiful lot on the edge of the city: 3,080m2 lot on the warmer north side of the city, lovely views, lots of nature with water and electricity 100m away for easy installation.