Vilcabamba – the ride itself makes the adventure worth it! This downhill trip, which many attempt on bike, offers some of the most breathtaking views in Ecuador. Once in Vilcabamba, you can actively explore the mountains, or revel in the mellow, slow paced atmosphere for which this pueblo is famous. Check withCaballos Gavilan in Parque Central for mountain top horse excursions, climb to the peak of Mt. Mandango looming in the distance, or head to the nearbyHostal Madre Tierra for a decadent afternoon of massage, mudbaths, and facials! Buses leave every hour from the Terminal Terrestre to Vilcabamba or taxi’s leaving from the “taxi ruta station” will cruise you (and four other people) south much faster.
Saraguro – the main attraction of this Indigenous town is the excellent handcrafts found at its Sunday market. Saraguro, located just 2 hours north of Loja, is a small town where the local Saraguros have successfully preserved their Indigenous traditions. Saraguro is accessible by bus from Loja’s Terminal Terrestre.