The hot, humid capital of the Zamora-Chinchipe province is part Oriente and part Sierra. Perched between these regions in the Andean foothills, it attracts settlers from the high-altitude communities of Saraguro and the Amazon Basin Shuar. Zamora bills itself as the ‘City of Birds and Waterfalls’ and whilst none are evident in the somewhat-bland city itself, tourism here is all about nearby Parque Nacional Podocarpus.
Decades of colonization by miners and growth into a provincial hub have created a city center of unremarkable, concrete structures. Zamora has, however, experienced a bit of a revival, with renovations to bridges, a spruced-up bus station and a beautiful malecón (waterfront) along the Río Zamora. And if you need to know what time it is, just look up: the big hill above the bus station sports a ginormous clock.