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Puerto Bolivar (Machala), Ecuador

Located in the fertile lowlands near the Gulf of Guayaquil, Machala is said to be the banana capital of the world. Coffee and cacao are also important crops in the surrounding farmlands. The cathedral is impressive, and the church of Nuestra Señora de Chilla has an impressive depiction of the Virgin and child bedecked in golden finery, attended by a rustic, a dog and a goat. Further afield, the Petrified Forest Puyango is the largest array of fossil trees in the world, with some measuring over six feet in diameter and nearly 50 feet long.