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Sept. 22, 2023

During my travels in Ecuador I visited 36 towns/cities. In Per´, I visited 38; in Chile, only five; and in Argentina, I visited 16. In Uruguay, I visited five, and in Brazil, three. And in Paraguay I have visited 26. In Colombia I've visited 82. That's 211 towns/cities in South America.

I'm in Armenia, Colombia.

Ibagué, Colombia



Ibagué, Colombia, has a population of about 507,000, while the metropolitan area increases to about 629,000. The city sits in a valley in the Andes Mountains Central Range on the eastern side. The Combeima River passes through the western part of the city. The valley does not have a flat bottom, and the city is, therefore, quite hilly. They call Ibagué the "city of music." That expression dates back to 1886. A French count was impressed by the musical atmosphere of the city and the fact that it had a music conservatory. At the time, there were many buildings painted with music-related murals. I saw none during my visit.

Neiva, Colombia



Neiva, Colombia, has a population of about 358,000. This small city has the Magdalena River (the second longest river in South America) flowing along the western side, north to south, and the Ceibas River cutting through the northern half of the city from east to west. This area is the Magdalena River Valley, which sits between the Central Range and the Eastern Range of the Andes Mountains.

Mocoa, Colombia



Mocoa (pronounced Mocóa), Colombia, is a city in the southcentral part of Colombia. It sits on the eastern side of the Andes Mountains, where the climate is not terribly hot, but the humidity is always very high, as in 77% is the lowest average, and that is for the month of September, the rest of the year is higher, typically in the mid-to high-80% range.

This was my second visit to Mocoa. I didn't visit because it is particularly special, it's not, but because I want to continue my journey north on the east side of the Andes.

Nueva Loja, Ecuador



Nueva Loja (Lago Agrio), Ecuador, has a population of about 58,000 (as of 2010). It is a relatively new town, established by the Texaco oil company as a company base camp in the 1960s and officially founded in 1971.

The town is a bustling large town with nothing historic or interesting architecture. But it has a few nice parks. Due to the oil fields being exploited by Texaco/Chevron, the rainforest outside of town has been heavily damaged and polluted. For some years now, there has been a lot of work on the rainforest environment to restore it. That is an ongoing task.

Tena, Ecuador



Tena (Lago Agrio), Ecuador, has a population of about 80,000, but another site says about 24,000, so take your pick. Tena is located in the central north of the Amazon Region of Ecuador, on the side of the eastern mountain range of the Andes Mountains. The town is crossed by the Tena and Pano Rivers. They merge in the city center. Between the two rivers is a wildlife refuge/park which is nice but old and desperately in need of renovation. There are capuchin monkeys (see the photo album) living in the trees and supposedly a tapir, but I didn't see it.