Located in southern Ecuador, Zaruma is historically a wealthy gold-mining town founded by the Spanish in 1549. Brightly coloured building facades and winding, narrow streets throughout town give it a labyrinth-like, magical feel. Virgen del Carmen Church is a baroque-style church towering above town in the Independence Plaza, and is a must-see for its lit-up grand tower and vibrant interior design. For mining history don’t miss La Mina El Sexmo, a 500m-long tunnel 10 minutes out of town, open daily from 8am-5pm. If this is too claustrophobic for your taste the Municipal Museum in the historical centre shows various exhibitions and educates visitors on the towns historical mining activities. Before you leave, tantalise your tastebuds and order the towns’ famous dish ‘Tigrillo’ - mashed green plantain with fried onions fried belly pork. To wash it down try the distinctive flavour of Zaruma’s locally produced coffee, with hints of citrus and chocolate making for a unique brew.
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