The national park Cajas, located in Cuenca, Ecuador, is one of the most visited places by foreign and national tourists, it is famous for its flora, fauna, paramo and cloud forests. To reach this area, it is necessary to take the road that connects Cuenca with the coast: Cuenca - Molleturo - Naranjal.
It has more than 230 lakes and ponds, among the most important are Lagartococha, Osohuaycu, Mamamag or Taitachungo, Quinoascocha, La Toreadora, Sunincocha, Cascarillas, Ventanas and Tinguishcocha.
The name of this protected area in the south of the country comes from the Quechua word "caxas" which means "cold". The temperature of the park can be between -2 to 18 C. Although there is also a version that says that it is known for its geological constitution in the form of "boxes" in which are located the many lakes that are in the park.
Below I will detail some things you can do in the national park Cajas.
- As you explain above this park has more than 230 lagoons that you can visit, the first lagoons that you will be able to appreciate are Llaviuco and the Toreadora. At this point you can see landscape of páramo and quinoa forests. In the place there are guides that you can hire and they will take you to know most of these lagoons.
It may interest you: 5 Tips for traveling alone for the first time
- The national park Cajas, is rich in flora and fauna. Many of the tourists that come to this place, go with the objective of knowing or seeing the emblematic bird of our country, the Andean condor. This bird that little by little its species has diminished in the country, overflies the lagoons of the park of Boxes. You can also observe other types of animals easily such as rabbits, ducks and trout. In addition, there are white-tailed deer, spectacled bear, puma, deer of the páramo, rabbit of the páramo, curiquingues, Andean tapir, Andean gulls and other birds of the páramo.
- You can go hiking freely, inside the Cajas National Park there are some routes where you can go exploring on your own without the need of a guide. There is the Uku trail, which surrounds the Llaviucu lagoon and has a distance of 1.7 kilometers; ideal for bird watching. The Toreadora path that surrounds the lagoon of the same name and measures 2.2 kilometers. And finally the Ilincocha, of 300 meters. It is a path that crosses a small quinoa forest and is also ideal for bird watching.
It may interest you: The Chimborazo volcano, the closest point to the sun
- In some lagoons you can practice fishing, where you can catch especially trout that you can taste. At the entrance to Cajas National Park, in the sector of Dos Chorreras, there are about fifteen businesses dedicated to this activity, which are complemented by accommodation in cabins, delicious cuisine and recreational activities such as: hiking, horse riding or cycling and much more. You can also buy various handicrafts, such as ponchos, toquilla straw hats or figurines made in tagua.
- Although you do not believe in this park you can also camp, you just have to make sure that your tent is safe and can be closed, I remind you that in this place it is very cold. The driest season is between June and August, but you never know when it may rain, hail and even snow during the year.
I recommend that if you decide to visit this wonderful park, bring enough blankets and several layers of clothes, the temperature of the park can be between -2 to 18 C. Tell us in the comments what you think of this blog and if you would like to visit the Cajas National Park, if you have already visited, share your experience with us.