Loja is modern, convenient, and has full-city services. Yet it retains the full cultural richness that’s made it unique in Ecuador. The countryside surrounding Loja is dramatic and beautiful, with green mountain peaks, idyllic valleys, and rushing rivers. There are a number of attractive areas for owning a larger tract of land or a farm.
The city of Loja lies in Ecuador’s Southern Sierra region. Loja is capital of Loja province, which is one of Ecuador’s two southernmost provinces, bordering Peru.
It has a noteworthy indigenous presence, although it’s not as omnipresent as in Cuenca or even Quito.
Music is a big part of the Lojano culture, and, in fact, Loja is the undisputed music capital of Ecuador. Many of the country’s best musicians and composers came from Loja, and the city currently boasts two orchestras and a noted music conservatory.
You can budget for living and retiring in Loja for less than US$1000 per month. To settle into a comfortable life in Loja, you can plan on spending US$1,100 per month if you’re renting and US$800 per month if you own your property. You could live for less but at these levels you’ll be able to enjoy life in Loja.
|Gas||US$3||Used for hot water and cooking.|
|Water||N/A||Included with electricity.|
|Telephone||US$56||Claro package includes 4Mb Internet, local phone, and 157 cable TV channels.|
|Internet||N/A||Included with telephone.|
|Cable TV||N/A||Included with telephone.|
The city of Loja itself is completely walkable, and anyone who can walk a couple of blocks will not need a car for day-to-day life. When you need a taxi, you’ll find them plentiful and cheap. Most rides around town are only a dollar.
And for further travel, including interprovincial travel, the public transportation is excellent. You’ll enjoy a modern bus system, jet transport to other major cities, and a fleet of inexpensive taxis to every corner of Ecuador.
The city has a number of attractive town squares, which serve as the classic city social centers that the Spanish intended them to be. They’re a great place to relax, people-watch, get a shoeshine, have a coffee, or meet friends.
The average high temperature in Loja is 73 degrees Fahrenheit, with a seasonal variation of only one degree. Nights are always cool, with an average low of 45 degrees. So you don’t need heat, you don’t need air conditioning, and you can retire your winter clothes and your snow shovel.
The people of Loja are friendly and welcoming, and it’s easy to become a part of the community. Loja has virtually no expat community. So, today, you will still be accepted into the local community on your own merits rather than being stereotyped as part of the American enclave. Of course, lack of a large expat community is a deterrent to some people, while it will be a blessing for others. It depends on the lifestyle and level of cultural immersion that you’re looking for.