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.