San Luis de Pambil

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San Luis de Pambil is a small town in the Guaranda canton of Bolivar Province in the warm Andean Highlands of Ecuador, or at least in the foothills of the Andes mountains as they slope downwards towards the coastal lowlands. The small, laidback town is the main access point to the stunningly beautiful Piedra Blanca region. San Luis is one of many rural agricultural communities in the area, cultivating crops such as plantains, oranges, sugarcane, coffee and cacao (chocolate) in the fertile soil and sub-tropical climate. The area was once all virgin rainforest, which was partly destroyed by the original settlers, around 50 years ago. The remaining forest is threatened by logging, though environmental awareness is gradually increasing and new ecotourism projects are trying to create alternative sources of income and conserve the forests.

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