Zumba, Ecuador – The last bastion

The road is getting worse. During the first 30 km concrete alternated with dirt, the following 100 km are just slippery track. We are heading to Zumba and then La Balsa, the border crossing to Peru. Probably due to the road conditions this is the least used border crossing. There is definitely a need of high clearance, in rainy season 4WD. There are lots of slippery slopes and river crossings. Land slides, falling rocks, or subsidence might occur any time.
Zumba is a lonesome town, last city in front of the Peruvian frontier. Here is the only gas station between Vilcabamba and the Peruvian border respectively some miles beyond. Fill up here, since fuel is much more expensive in Peru! The gas station is suitable for overnight (S 04°51’41.4’’ W 79°07’36.2’’), but better and quieter places can be found around the bus station (S 04°52’11.1’’ W 79°08’03.4’’). The Zumba River Camp, a gravel pit south of Zumba, mentioned by earlier travellers, is fenced now and can’t be used any more. Safety doesn’t seem to be an issue in Zumba. There is a small supermarket, but better to stock up already in Loja.

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