Here is an advertisement for an Ecuador Luxury Villa for rent (or sale) in Loja Ecuador.
One of the first cities Merri and I ever visited in Ecuador was Loja, the capital of Loja Province and Loja Canton.
We never had a chance to visit this small town again in the last half dozen years (population about 200,000) which has been to our regret. Loja has a lot to offer… but gringos seem to have missed this. And also we can just imagine how much things have changed and progressed there.
Loja is in the south of Ecuador and is gateway to Vilcabamba and several other valleys of longevity.
This map is from travel.nationalgeographic.com
Vilcabamba has blossomed along with Quito, Cuenca, Imbaura province and Manabi on the coast… but I have not heard much about Loja.
This makes me suspect that this is a great missed opportunity because with Peru near to the south, Loja is rich in tradition, arts, music and hosts two major Ecuador universities.
Loja is also at a lower altitude the Quito, Cuenca and Cotacachi at about 6800 ft. Plus its climate is somewhat milder 64 to 90 degrees F.
Loja is very civilized, was the first city in Ecuador with electricity, yet is near the Cuxibamba valley, Amazon Basin, Peruvian sechura and Podocarpus National Park, which is a huge cloud-forest reserve near Loja.
Two rivers, the Rio Zamora and Rio Malacatos are in Loja.
So I was happy when Dario Espinosa at firstname.lastname@example.org sent this advertisement for a rental (and/or sale) in Loja to me.
Villa Serena is a large, well furnished luxury home with six bedrooms and suites.
All rooms have high-tech LCD TVs, DVD players, safes and iPod docking stations.
All beds are either king or queen size and in all cases, are fitted with comfortable mattresses with high thread count cotton sheets.
Villa Serena can accommodate twelve guests (five couples and two singles with three additional daybeds available for children or single guests).
Each bathroom is utterly unique and several bathrooms have a Jacuzzi as well as shower.
Villa Serena offers style, every modern convenience but is steeped in colonial charm. The villa is built around a magnificent courtyard with a fountain and wide corridors.
There is also a top-of-the-line kitchen with all modern appliances.
There is a formal dining room, bar and comfortable outdoor and indoor seating areas, a three-car garage.
There is another reason to visit Loja beyond just getting to know and looking for value in this city. As mentioned Loja is the gateway to Vilcabamba… which has become popular as a valley of longevity where many expats have settled.
There are several other longevity valleys near Loja that are stunning and have always been even less in cost and less crowded.
Jungilla is an example. I wrote this about Jungilla in 2000:
Jungilla is idyllic…like a Swiss mountain valley covered in Irish emerald green. Explosions of white pampas grass line the road and swaths of forest and cotton wool clouds cover the broad valley floor. Waterfalls spring from the hillsides crashing hundreds of feet. Here, one 30-acre farm with a brand-new, 3-bedroom house had an asking price of only $25,000. Another 3-bedroom house with a central patio (and a tractor) was $30,000.
I suspect that prices are higher now, but bargains there will still abound.
Those who are interested in Vilcabamba but also looking for new places with extraordinary value may want to research and search these other valleys at the same time you go look at Loja.
Loja is the perfect stepping off point for such a venture… a place where you can enjoy the luxury of Villa Serena as you find value in Ecuador real estate as well!
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