On the southern part of Loja, there is a canton called Calvas, where its main city, Cariamanga, is well-known for the marvelous and highly visited mountain, El Ahuaca. This mountain is an isolated granite formation covered by trees, mosses, and lichens that capture the humidity in the air and condense it into water, essential for life in this environment during the dry season. The ecosystem also functions as a lung for all the surrounding areas and is home to some unique wildlife. The Ahuaca mountain is a guardian of Cariamanga, and many people visit it for hiking, camping, rock climbing, and more.
Cariamanga is a town with a long history, dating back to pre-Columbian times when it was a settlement of dierent indigenous cultures and a melting pot of languages. During the time of La Gran Colombia, Cariamanga was formally established as a cantón in 1824. However, in 1863, it was designated as the main city of the cantón of Calvas. The cantón of Calvas borders Peru to the south and boasts a subtropical climate, with warm weather prevailing almost year-round. Its most important economic activities revolve around agriculture, producing crops such as corn, beans, and coffee.
1,200 – 2,000 MASL