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Piñas:
Overview | Sightseeing | Accommodation | Restaurants | Transport | Money matters | General interest & Services | Other activities | Art Galleries | Excursions around Piñas | Pictures | Write a review about Pinas
© Picture by Francisco Bravo
The following information has been provided By: Robert Coronado. Thanks Robert!

A quiet very pleasant wooden colonial town. Piñas (which translates to “pineapples,” was founded by Juan de Loayza in 1815, and named Piñas to commemorate his birthplace of Piñas, Spain) in El Oro Province, Ecuador. It has a population of 35,000, an elevation of 1,100 meters, a temperature range of 18-21 degrees Centigrade, and is known throughout Ecuador as the “Orchid of the Andes” due to the many wild orchids found in this cloud-forested region of southern Ecuador. Offers a wealth of features for the eco-traveler!

Oro Parakeet
Along the road that leads to Saracay (northwest of Piñas), takes you to Buenaventura, where you'll find an important bird area. Many rare birds have been discovered here such as the Oro parakeet. The area has over 320 bird species and is protected by the Jocotoco Foundation covering 1,500 hectares of forest in this region.
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 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Sightseeing

Village Orchid Garden/”Orquideario”.- (on Ave. Sucre and Jose J. Olmedo). This 1.0 hectare orchid garden contains all of the major orchid varieties found in the region.

Orquideario

The Orquideario is managed by Fundación Piñas Oasis Ecologico, a private, non-profit foundation. The orquideario also contains a variety of bromeliads and heleconias, and has an active tilapia fish breeding pond. Entry fee is charged. A multi-lingual visitor’s guide (Spanish, English, French, and German) to the orquideario is available in the office of the Piñas Municipal Department of Environment (Departamento de Medio Ambiente) and at the Reception Desk, second Floor, on the Piñas Municipal Building (Ave. Sucre and Garcia Moreno), across from the Piñas main square known as “El Parque”. Office Hours 8:00 a.m.-12:00 noon and 2:00-5:00 p.m.; Telephone: (07) 2976-246 / (07) 2976-173. Guides are also available in the office of the federal Ministry of Environment (Ministerio del Ambiente), Ave. 8 de Noviembre No. 25-87 in Piñas; Telephone: (07) 2976-860; Office Hours: 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 2:00-5:00 p.m. M-F (located 2 blocks north of the orquideario)

Orquideario entrance

A photo display of the orquideario’s most popular orchids and other environmental information is available in the Piñas Municipal Building, second floor as well. In addition, the Fundación Piñas Oasis Ecologico, sponsors an annual orchid exposition in the orquideario, please inquire in the federal Ministry of the Environment’s office for the exact dates of the exposition. The 2003 exposition will be held on September 19, 20, 21, 2003; the 2004 exposition will be held September 17, 18, 19, 2004.

Native Tree Walk.- A walking tour of the most common native trees found in Ecuador is located on the local hillside known as Pata Grande or Cerro de Cristo. The entrance to the walk is located on Avenida San Jose on the south side of Piñas. From the Piñas main square “El Parque” follow Avenida Garcia Moreno south crossing Avenida Angel Ochoa and the Piñas River to Barrio San Jose. The entrance to the Walk is near Avenida San Jose No. 26-55 and reads “Ingreso Al Cerro del Calvario de Cristo”. A multi-lingual visitor’s guide (Spanish and English) to the native tree walk that gives information on the trees’ ecology is available in the office of the Piñas Municipal Department of Environment (Departamento de Medio Ambiente), and at the Reception Desk, second Floor, Piñas Municipal Building and in the Tienda San Jose located at Ave. San Jose No. 26-55 (near the entrance to the Walk), where refreshments can be purchased and a display of local art work for sale can be viewed. Entry to the walk is free of charge.
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 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Accommodation

Places to stay in Piñas include:

Capitol Hotel.- Newly opened, clean, modern rooms with cable TV, private bathrooms. $10-17 per night. Address: Ave. Independencia No. 32-66. Telephone: (07) 2976-212.

Las Orquídeas.- Offers single, double, and triple rooms, some with private baths and televisions, also a suite is available with Jacuzzi. Prices: $4.50-$10.00 per night. Address: Ave. Abdon Calderon and Juan Montalvo. Telephone: (07) 2976-355.

Albergue San Vicente de Paul.- They offer dormitory accommodations for men and women with central bath facilities. Price: $1.00 per night. Address: Avenida Juan J. Loayza No. 25-06.

Residencial Dumari.- Offers single and double rooms, some with private bath and television. Prices: $3.50-$7.00 per night. Address: Ave. Loja and 8 de Noviembre. Telephone: (07) 2976-118.

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 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Restaurants & Bars
Magic Pizza & Heladeria Pinguino.- Excellent pizzas made with a wide variety of toppings and other dishes. Wide variety of ice cream flavors and confections available. Address: Ave. Garcia Moreno and 8 de Noviembre. Tel: (07) 2976-697.

Chesco Pizzeria.- Open daily for lunch and dinner, offers a wide variety of pizzas and other Italian dishes. $1.50-$5.00. Address: Ave. 9 de Octubre and Juan Leon Mera.

Picanteria Pablito.- Open daily for lunch and dinner, offers ceviche and seafood specialties; $2.00-$4.50. Address: Ave. 9 de Octubre and Juan Leon Mera.

La Cañada.- Offers very good traditional Ecuadorian dishes; open daily; $1.50-$3.00. Address: Ave. Abdon Calderon and Juan J. Olmedo.

Central Park.- Offers barbeque chicken and a variety of Ecuadorian dishes; open daily; $1.75-$3.00. Address: Ave. Sucre No. 29-41 (across from the Piñas main square, “El Parque”).

Asadero Mi Pollazo.- Offers excellent barbeque chicken and variety of meals; open daily; $1.50-$3.00. Address: Ave. Independencia and Eloy Alfaro.

New Caribe Bar.- Features wide-screen television and music videos; offers hamburgers, fries, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and other snacks; open daily for lunch, dinner; and after hour drinks on weekends. Address: Ave. Loja (No. 28-02) and Garcia Moreno.

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 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Transport

The provincial capital of Machala (Population 217,000) is 86 km and 2 hours travel time by bus from Piñas. Guayaquil, the largest city in Ecuador (Population 2,118,000) is 285 km, 5 hours travel time by bus from Piñas.

TAC.- Bus service from Machala to Piñas (2 hours: $2.00) hourly from 5:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. Address: Ave. Independencia, Piñas. Telephone: (07) 2976-151 (Piñas) and (02) 2951-913 (Quito).

Piñas Interprovincial.- Bus service from Machala to Piñas (2 hours: $2.00) hourly from 6:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. Address: Ave. Loja, Pinas. Telephone: (07) 2976-167 (Piñas) and (02) 2571-136 (Quito).

Taxi Service.- Cooperativa de Taxi de Piñas. Telephone: (07) 2976-202, offers 24-hour taxi service.

Note: There is no airport or train service in Piñas.

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 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Banks & Money matters

Banco de Fomento.- Located on the first floor of the Piñas Municipal Building. Address: Ave. Sucre and Garcia Moreno, open 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. M-F. General banking services but, no ATM.

Banco del Pichincha.- General banking services available. M-F 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., Sat. 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Sun. 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.; 24 hour ATM available – on the Cirrus ATM system. Address: Ave. Juan J. Loayza and Garcia Moreno.

Banco de Machala.- General banking services available. M-F 8:45 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Sat. 9:00 a.m.–1:30 p.m. Sun. Closed. Address: Ave. Sucre and Juan L. Mera.

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 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel General Interest
Internet Access

Mondo Net.- Address: Ave. Rumiñahui and Garcia Moreno, open 9 a.m.-9 p.m. daily ($1.20 per hour).

Calling Centers

PacificTel.- Open daily for local and long distance calls (7:00 a.m.- 7:00 p.m). Address: Av. Sucre, Local 1 (below 'Parque Central'). Tel. (07) 2977-022.

Movistar.- Open daily for local and long distance calls (8:00 a.m.- 10:00 p.m). Address: Ave. Rumiñahui and Garcia Moreno.

Travel Agencies

Delgado Travel.- General travel services; M-F 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Address: Ave. Sucre No. 29-59. Telephone: (07) 2976-009.

Glendatur CIA.- General travel services; M-F 8:30 a.m.- 6:30 p.m. Sat. 8:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Sun. Closed. Address: Ave. Juan J. Olmedo and Sucre. Telephone: (07) 2976-550.

Medical Services

Hospital Luis Moscoso.- Complete medical services with ambulance available 24 hours/7 days per week. Address: Ave. Angel Ochoa and Gonzales Suarez. Telephone: (07) 2976-168.

Clinica Morales.- Daily, general medical services 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. Address: Ave. Sucre No. 27-26. Telephone: (07) 2976-168.

Clinica Santa Rita.- Daily; 24-hour emergency services available, 7:00 a.m. – 9 p.m. Address: Ave. Sucre No. 25-11. Telephone: (07) 2976-366.

Spanish Lessons

Lingua Franca Language Academy.- All levels of Spanish courses. Address: Ave. Loja No. 25-14. Dir. Elizabeth Romero. Tel: (07) 2976-039; (07) 2976-197.
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 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Activities
Piñas History and Orchid Museum.- Located on the Piñas Municipal Building. Address: Ave. Sucre and Garcia Moreno, open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. M-F. Tel: (07) 2976-105.

Indoor Sports Stadium.- (Coliseo) Indoor basketball and soccer court; open daily 10:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m. Entrance free. Address: Ave. Sucre and 8 de Noviembre.

Public Swimming Pool.- Piscina Municipal Piñas, 25-meter pool; open daily from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.; $0.50 entrance fee. Address: Ave. Sucre and Dr. Miguel Cabrera.

Public Gym.- Escuela Sagrado Corazon, offers a variety of free weights and weight machines; changing rooms available; open 3-6 p.m. M-F; $0.50 entrance fee. Address: Ave. Jose J. Olmedo No. 14-20.

Public Library.- Periodicals and general reference library all in Spanish; M-F 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Address: Ave. Sucre and Garcia Moreno, Piñas Municipal Building (2nd Floor).

Comisariato Melani’s.- (Groceries) Clean, modern grocery store with a large selection of staples and specialty items, wines and liquors; T-Sun 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. Closed on Mondays. Address: Ave. 9 de octubre and Juan Leon Mera.

Public Market.- Fresh fruit, vegetables, flowers, seafood and meat available; open daily; Sunday is the most popular market day. Address: Ave. Juan J. Loayza and Juan L. Mera.
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 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Art Galleries

Arte Moscoso.- Art Gallery, Workshop, and Museum - Artist Luis Moscoso. Address: Ave. Sucre and Bernardo Aguilar (Lower Level). Tel: 2976-867; 2976-449, Mobile: 094582369.

Original oil, acrylic, and water color paintings for sale in a range of subjects including indigenous, historical, and abstract themes. Gallery also displays works by: Fernando Manrique (Chile), Kathleen Walsh (US), Antonio Arial (Quito), Pablo Carrera (Cuenca), Hernan Zuniga (Guayaquil).
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 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Excursions around Piñas
Jocotoco’s Buenaventura Reserve Entrance

Jocotoco's Buenaventura Reserve.- This 1,500 hectare nature reserve is located 9 kilometers west of Piñas and is a major destination for bird watchers largely due to the Oro Parakeet which was discovered in the area in the late 1980’s. Hummingbirds, hawks, and other bird species are common in the Reserve. A multi-lingual visitor’s guide (Spanish, English, French, and German) to the most common bird species found in the Reserve is available in the office of the Ministry of the Environment. Public bus service to the Reserve is available every half hour by ‘Piñas Interprovincial’ and ‘TAC’ bus lines from Piñas. Entrance fee to the Reserve is charged.

Terapal Swimming and Recreational Complex.- Located 5 km east of Piñas on the Piñas - San Roque Road. Elaborate swimming complex with tennis facilities; $1.50 entrance fee.

Sodirec Organic Farming System.- Located 7 km east of Piñas on the Piñas - Zaruma Road; organic farming system demonstrations and orchid garden open for viewing; (07) 2949-232, (07) 2949-233. Contact: factory@sodirec.com.ec.

Zaruma.- Located 20 km east of Piñas, founded in 1580, beautiful colonial town with an excellent municipal museum.
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Piñas:
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