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SANTA ISABEL CITY
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ADDRESS & ACTIVITIES
ADDRESS OR VENUE
OPENING HOURS (or DATE if it is an event)
Jubones River Basin, Santa Isabel City, Province of Azuay. Southern Ecuador
Open every day
The Jubones River Desert is a place of extremes and contradictions. Aggressive and dry. Located between the provinces of Azuay, Loja and El Oro. Its geography, although mostly free of vegetation, has a special beauty for its brown mountains. Due to the action of the wind and erosion they have pointed or round, thick or thin shapes.
This place, so arid and not very suitable for human life, resembles a landscape of Mars. It has an area of 1,200 hectares, with a dry and warm temperate climate. The altitude between 800 and 1,400 meters above sea level, the topography and the ecosystem of the Jubones River basin, make the winds transport all the humidity to the coastal plain. As a consequence of this natural exchange, the desert is formed.
Tourists with an adventurous spirit who wish to go into the desert have several options. From Santa Isabel, Azuay or Saraguro, Loja, they can start the journey having the prudence of being accompanied by a guide. Hiking, bird watching, photography or simply admiring the landscape are among the activities.
As it is a desert of deep and wrinkled ravines, the level of physical demand is high. Dry slopes, rivers, cliffs, little shade and even poisonous snakes flank the path. A good supply of water must be carried. The most spectacular view is offered by the river, which cuts through the mountains forming high cliffs of pure rock. An extraordinary place. Apart from the landscape it has fauna typical of places with little rainfall: lizards, geckos, spiders, stick grasshoppers, acacias.
The Jubones basin is 4,300 km2. It has a length of 180 km. Its tributaries are the rivers: Leon, Rircay, San Francisco, Minas, Vivar, Mollepungo, Uchucay, Guanacay, Chillayaco and Casacay. It flows into the Pacific Ocean.
The most touristic point of this basin is the Yunguilla Valley. Vacation homes, restaurants and small hotels are everywhere. An oasis of greenery. The hydroelectric projects Minas-San Francisco and La Union are located downstream of Jubones.