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Lago Agrio

This town pulses with the life of the oil industry, a chaotic market, dusty streets, thick traffic and gritty bars. The first oil workers nicknamed Lago Agrio ‘bitter lake,’ after Sour Lake, Texas, the former home of Texaco, which pioneered local drilling. The city’s official name is Nueva Loja, although no one calls it that. Locals settle for ‘Lago.’ Certain realities exist here, including a high amount of sex work and crime related to the nearby Colombian border: take care at all times, especially after dark. Lago is mainly visited as the entry point to the spectacular Reserva de Producción Faunística Cuyabeno (Cuyabeno Reserve), which offers some of Ecuador's best wildlife-spotting opportunities.

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