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Monday, 20 November 2017
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Cajas national park

CAJAS NATIONAL PARK

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El Cajas National Park (Parque Nacional Cajas) covers an area of approximately 29,000 hectares (284km2) and is between 3100m-4450m (14,600ft) above sea level. There are 232 lakes and ponds inside the park that provide much of Cuenca’s drinking supply. The park contains up to 125 different species of birds and unique flora.

 

TRIP INFO


Individual (1) and groups (2-40)
Excursion 8 hours – Daily

Included:

Private transportation
Professional bilingual tourist guide
Lunch
Entrance Fee Cajas National Park

Not included:
Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
Gratuities

What to Bring
Weather in the Cajas can be unpredictable, even if it’s nice in Cuenca, dress appropriately for hiking.
Boots or walking shoes
Quick dry shirts and pants
Rain jacket or poncho
Warm sweater or vest
Sunhat
Sunscreen protection
Bottle of water

Prices quoted are in $US (USD) and are subject to change

 

ITINERARY
8:00 am after breakfast, we head out to El Cajas National Park for a hiking and trekking tour of the upper and lower trails and lakes, where a bilingual naturalist guide will explain the unique flora and fauna found along the way. A traditional lunch of local trout is served in a popular restaurant called Las Ollas that is included in the tour, or you can order from the menu.
We depart at 8:00 am for a 30-minute drive west of the city to the Cajas National Park. The area of Cajas has 232 lakes and has a variety of both vegetation and fauna. It contains vestiges of Inca’s Royal Road, where two hundred of its archeological ruins have been discovered. The park covers an area of about 29.000 hectares (71.660 acres) with an altitude ranging from 2700 to 4300 m. (8858 to 14,108 ft.)
Once in the park, we begin a 40-minute walk to the Toreadora Lake, which is one of the biggest in the park. On the route we will see many different kinds of flora like Chuquirahua, Romerillo, Rubra, Chochoandino and Lencetilla de Páramo.
After a brief rest, we walk for about 3-hours (moderate difficulty) from the highest point called Tres Cruces. There you can see both parts of the National Park CAJAS. This is the most popular place to take photos. Then we go to Lake Chica Ilincocha, where we start trekking, continuing on our route, we will find the first polilepis forest, which is a wonderful place. It is unique in the world, and has magic inside this special forest. Later on, we walk to Unites Lakes, where we will have our snack and a little rest in order to keep on going around this beautiful place.
We continue walking and then we find the second and biggest polilepis forest that has an underground river with clean water used for drinking. Here you can feel the peace and tranquility of the natural highlands, which are considered one of the best places to visit in Ecuador and South America.
Taking the smuggler’s route, we can see the different kinds of lagoons that are in this area; like Neotríficas, Oligotríficas y Mesotróficas.
We arrive at Barros and Taquihurcu lakes, and then we head down to the mountain to finish our trek. We then go to the restaurant to eat trout, the typical fish in the area. Then we return to Cuenca to drop you off at your hotel at approximately 4:00 pm (16:00).

Individual (1) and groups (2-40)
Excursion 8 hours – Daily

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