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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.

Armenia, Colombia



Armenia, Colombia, has a population of about 295,000 (as of 2018). Armenia sits at around 5,000 feet on the lower slopes of the central range of the Andes Mountains. The Quindio River runs alongside Armenia at the bottom of a fairly deep canyon. Armenia is not an old city, it was founded in 1889, but it was the first half of the 20th century when therme development really took off because of the coffee industry. Armenia is part of Colombia's Coffee Axis region.

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.