Zaruma, officially Villa Real de San Antonio del Cerro de Oro de Zaruma is a town in the south of Ecuador, El Oro Province. It is located in the south-east of this province, at an altitude of 1200 metres above sea level, on an inter-Andes route where the Vizcaya mountain range branches off from the Chilla mountain range. It is the seat of Zaruma Canton, one of the oldest cantons in the province, and is considered to be one of Ecuador's most beautiful cities.
Zaruma is famous for its republic-era architecture, gold mines, culture and traditions, art, coffee, friendly people, beautiful women and for having been founded by Spanish explorer Alonso de Mercadillo. These attributes have led to its receiving various titles celebrating both its tangible and intangible aspects, and in 1998 the Ecuadorian Institute for Cultural Heritage submitted it as a candidate UNESCO World Heritage Site