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Here are two short term Ecuador warnings:

First Ecuador warning:  We repeat our October 15 reminder that Ecuador will have a national holiday from November 2/11 to November 6/11.  No public offices will be open and many shops will be closed.

The Ecuadorian government introduced these as new holidays so we changed the dates for the November Export Tour from early November to November 30 – December 1-2-3-4, 2011 which fits well for Christmas shopping also.

See details of the  Ecuador Export tour here.

Second, here is a good Loja Ecuador Airport warning from a reader who was born and raised in Loja.

He wrote in response to our message Loja Airport Closing:   Hi Gary:

Your response is correct.  I spoke to my family and they told me the same.  The Catamayo airport will close in Feb 2012.  However, I will say that flying to Machala is not recommended.  The road is not as good as the one from Cuenca to Loja and it will be a longer trip.  Also, the same taxis that take passengers to the Catamayo Airport normally take passengers to Cuenca when this situation happens and the prices are not bad.  Flying to Cuenca and then by car to Loja or Vilcabamba is a better option.  Regards,

Take road warnings from Ecuador residents seriously.

Ecuador roads can be really beautiful as evidenced by this photo of an Ecuador road south of Loja.

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Yet many off Ecuador’s roads look like this and…

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are subject to landslides and washouts.  Stick with the good roads… especially when you first visit Ecuador.

Loja is worth a visit.

The City of Loja is in the province of Loja. Loja is an ecological city and is known as the gateway to Vilcabamba and was founded in 1548. This is a progressive city and was the first town in Ecuador to have electricity.

Loja Province is quite a mountainous area and it has tendency to be a dry region. If you are looking at real estate there look in the dry season as it looks quite different than during the times of rainfall.

Loja is famous for its music, musical evenings and concerts, the Podocarpus National Park with incredible birdlife of up to 800 species. Plus there is the spectacled bear.  

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Here is a great shot of a Spectacled Bear from the World Wildlife website.  We have some on our hacienda also. What a rare treat to see them since they are an endangered species.
The spectacled bear is the last remaining short-faced bear and the closest living relative to the extinct Florida spectacled bear.

It is native to South America and has black fur and a distinctive beige-coloured marking across its face and upper chest.  They are the only surviving species of bear native to South America.

They are shy and react to humans in a docile cautious way unless with cubs.  They usually attempt to retreat from humans, often by climbing trees.

Spectacled bears are under threat because locals incorrectly believe they eat livestock, plus the gall bladders are seen as powerful in traditional Chinese medicine. Extensive logging and farming has also reduced habitat.

The World Wildlife Association has a program to adopt a Spectacled Bear.

Loja Province has dozens of beautiful little villages to travel around, such us Nambacola, Alamor, Celica, Vilcabamba, Gonzanama, Purunuma, Malacatos, Yangana, Amaluza, Catacocha, Macara, among others.

Gary