Lily Ann Fouts

LojAventura – Outdoor Adventure in Loja and Beyond

“We’ve been told there’s a waterfall up the Zamora Huayco river, but nobody ever goes up there. Do you want to go scout it out with us tomorrow morning?”

Continue Reading
Loja Packing List

What to Pack for a Trip to Loja, Ecuador

Are you planning an exploratory trip to Loja and wondering what to pack?

I’m a nerd when it comes to packing. I’ve honed my skills over the years from my own multiple trips across the globe, beginning early in life as a child fugitive.  I also have many good friends who are avid travelers, and we geek out on this topic.

Continue Reading

Buses in Loja, Ecuador

During our latest trip to Loja, I visited the transportation office and the tourism office, begging for a complete map of the Loja city bus system.

Although the buses run along established routes at regular intervals, no complete map seems to exist outside of an Android app called SITU Loja, but since I have an iPhone I wasn’t able to test it.

Continue Reading
Plaza San Sebastian

33 Things to Do in Loja, Ecuador

I’ve written a lot about Loja as a potential place to live. It’s the main focus of my book on Loja, and will continue to be a major focus in the second edition of the book. But what about the city and province of Loja as a destination for travelers? I’ve explored this theme in more depth in the second version of my book! (CLICK HERE to learn more if interested!)  In this post, I'll share 33 things to do in Loja--both the city and the province (and one thing outside the province, but close to Loja).

Continue Reading
Ecuadorian Residency Header

A Woman Pursues Ecuadorian Residency in Loja

When I found out we would be returning to Loja (unexpectedly, see 2016 Holiday Letter), I downloaded The Visa Chase and Other Fun Stories of Ecuador, by Diana Cevallos to my Kindle.  Diana is an expat from the United States who has been living in Ecuador since 2011 and in Loja since 2012.  She spent the first few years trying to obtain Ecuadorian residency visas for herself and her son.  I had interviewed Diana for my book, Live Like a Local in Loja. She has a wealth of knowledge about the city of Loja and culture of Ecuador. […]

outskirts of baños ecuador

A Unique Adventure in Baños, Ecuador

The bright yellow house down in the green jungle valley below beckoned us. We were in Baños, one of the most popular tourist towns in Ecuador, walking up a dirt road off the tourist radar, beyond all the hostels, tour companies, and restaurants and into the surrounding farmlands.  We had recently left our beloved Loja (where we had been living), spent a week in Cuenca, and now we were making our way north to Quito for the return to the U.S.  We paused in Baños for a few days and felt overwhelmed by all the tourist traps.  We hiked out beyond the town, hoping to catch a glimpse of the local life. […]

Racial Issues in Loja

I’ve recently heard from a couple different African American readers of my book, one of whom asked me about racial issues in Ecuador. I’d like to share our correspondence so that others who have similar questions will have an answer. I hope it helps someone!

My reader wrote…

“While you mentioned a great many things about Loja, you did not address the people’s attitude toward African Americans. I have always been able to get along with most people, but I’ve read (on other sites, books and from expats) that Ecuadorian people don’t care for us and do not trust us…if this is true I suppose I have my work cut out for me….when you have a moment, could you please address this concern?” […]

Cuenca in Photos (…and how it compares to Loja)

What makes Cuenca such a magnet for expats?

Although most of my Ecuador posts and my book are about Loja, where we lived in 2014, Cuenca is by far the more popular choice among expats. I think there are several good reasons for this. We spent nearly a week in Cuenca (though I was out of it with a nasty cold for a couple of those days) and really liked it.

In this post I’ll share some of the photos we took in Cuenca, and provide some commentary on my reactions to Cuenca and how I feel it compares to Loja. […]

Podocarpus National Park, Loja, Ecuador

One of the best things about Loja, Ecuador is the great hiking opportunities nearby.  Here are some photos from Podocarpus National Park, in the section closest to Loja.  Enjoy! […]

Vegetarian Foods in Ecuador

I appreciate learning about local foods from the perspective of fellow vegetarians. While Ecuador and Loja have many unique meat-based dishes, since I cannot eat those I want to know the options for vegetarians such as myself.

Incidentally, I am not a vegan even though I feel better on a vegan diet. I try to limit my intake of animal-based products but do eat eggs and dairy products, especially while traveling. I have tried being vegan while abroad, and while it is possible, it’s much harder. […]