Loja is a good example of a small, bustling Ecuadorian city. It’s in a bit of a tight spot though, being inbetween Cuenca and Vilcabamba, both of which are very attractive destinations. I did stay here a few times for a few days, but I include Loja cafes mainly for people staying in Vilca for a while. While there, I was coming into Loja once a week, having lunch, working in a cafe, checking out the place a bit, grabbing stuff from the supermarket, etc.
The distinctive Loja coffee comes from this region. There are some good nomad cafes serving it as well, but they seem to open rather late.
La Mancha de Don QuijoteLa Mancha appears to be very popular with the student crowd. All the outside seats seem to fill up very reliably, but there are inside seats as well. Only thing is the 4pm opening time, which is getting pretty late. Google is saying it’s 4:30 on some days now, but it was 4pm when I was there. And they close at midnight, except for Fridays and Saturdays when they go till 2am. The location is within an inner courtyard. Find it on your phone map, and then keep an eye out for the blue color you can see in the picture. There is also a banner hanging on the second-floor streetside exterior.
Lemon TripLemon Trip seemed to have a really nice place here. Opening at 6pm is pushing it though. It’s saying it’s 4pm on Google now. I guess people can check it out. I went there once at 4:45, and asked the guy if I could buy a drink and work on my computer, and he was cool with it. In other words, if the opening time is still 6pm, you can try a bit earlier as well. Closing time is midnight, and they are closed on Sundays. There are outlets too.
Emporio LojanoLojano would not normally be included. It’s a good place, but I could tell they appeared highly unaccustomed to nomads working there. It’s really more of a restaurant, but they do have wifi and outlets. I include it so that there is somewhere to go in Loja before, lol, 4pm. Hours here are from 9am to various times in the evening, except Sundays when they go from 11am to 5pm. I’ll rate this place for an hour. I normally only include cafes I feel I can rate for at least 2 hours. But since everything else opens so late, I’ll make an exception for Lojano here.
Just a note to folks heading to Quito from these parts, there is an overnight cama bus going out of Loja. For some inexplicable reason, there were not any cama buses going out of Cuenca, which is the larger city.
Alright folks! Enjoy your visit to Loja!