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Sept. 23, 2023

During my travels in Ecuador I visited 36 towns/cities. In Perú, I visited 38; in Chile, only five; and in Argentina, I visited 16. In Uruguay, I visited five, and in Brazil, three. And in Paraguay I have visited 26. In Colombia I've visited 82. That's 211 towns/cities in South America.

I'm in Cartago, Colombia.

Nueva Loja, Ecuador



Nueva Loja (Lago Agrio), Ecuador, has a population of about 58,000 (as of 2010). It is a relatively new town, established by the Texaco oil company as a company base camp in the 1960s and officially founded in 1971.

The town is a bustling large town with nothing historic or interesting architecture. But it has a few nice parks. Due to the oil fields being exploited by Texaco/Chevron, the rainforest outside of town has been heavily damaged and polluted. For some years now, there has been a lot of work on the rainforest environment to restore it. That is an ongoing task.

Tena, Ecuador



Tena (Lago Agrio), Ecuador, has a population of about 80,000, but another site says about 24,000, so take your pick. Tena is located in the central north of the Amazon Region of Ecuador, on the side of the eastern mountain range of the Andes Mountains. The town is crossed by the Tena and Pano Rivers. They merge in the city center. Between the two rivers is a wildlife refuge/park which is nice but old and desperately in need of renovation. There are capuchin monkeys (see the photo album) living in the trees and supposedly a tapir, but I didn't see it.

Macas, Ecuador



Macas, Ecuador, has a population of about 23,000, according to several websites, though I find that hard to believe. The town's city center is much too big for that small population, and it's way out of proportion to 23,000. At any rate, it's a town in central-eastern Ecuador in the Andes Mountains at the edge of the Amazon Rain Forest in the Upano Valley, with the Upano River running alongside the town. Its byline is "Emerald of the East." The town, founded in 1538, was given the name "Sevilla del Oro." Later, in 1599, it was refounded with a new name, "Macas."

Zamora, Ecuador



Zamora, Ecuador, has a population of about 32,000. Zamora is in the southeast of Ecuador, in the mountains, on the side of the Amazon Rain Forest. Zamora is known for its pristine Amazon rainforest and its biodiversity, as well as for ecotourism. There is a lot to explore in the surrounding mountains. There is a trail close to town that crosses along one of the mountains and is supposed to have a great view of the valley and the town, but because of the rain, almost constant for the two days I was here, I didn't hike it because I'm traveling with only one pair of shoes and I don't much care for getting them covered in mud.

Catamayo, Ecuador



Catamayo, Ecuador, is a city in the southcentral part of Ecuador. It is between the larger Eastern Range and the smaller Sub-Andean Belt where it sits in the Catamayo Valley. East of the mountains is the Amazon Basin.