Jipiro: Loja's Beautifully Bizarre International Park
On the northern edge of Loja is one of the most unusual parks I've ever seen.
The park, Jipiro, covers some 25+ acres, and looks like the playground for a mad scientist with a shrink-gun and a passion for slides and world monuments.
Scale reproductions of historic and cultural structures from the world over are scattered about the grounds—from Chichén Itzá, to the Eiffel Tower, to a Buddhist pagoda—constructed almost exclusively out of concrete. I personally found the slides coming out the sides of Red Square's St. Basil's Cathedral to be exceptionally entertaining.
The facility is really put together quite well, and is probably the best park I've seen in Latin America. There's paddle boating, pony or horse rides, ostriches, a retired jet fighter, a neat concrete skate park, a swimming pool with retractable glass roof, camping facilities, and plenty of soccer, basketball, and volleyball courts to go around.
Being carnival time, there's plenty of mischief with water and spray foam, but folks were pretty well behaved.
Jipiro is definitely worth checking out when passing from Ecuador to Peru, or the other way around. Take a slide down a monument—it's fun.