Cajas is a popular destination with walkers of all levels, it is on our list of places to visit if you are in southern Ecuador. This guided excursion takes travelers from Cuenca to the Cajas National Park, on an excursion through its impressive landscapes. Make sure your camera is fully charged for this spectacular adventure.
Also known as quinoa or paper tree, Polylepis trees grow above 3,300 meters and shed their bark in thin layers, preventing the growth of parasites.
With more than 150 species identified so far, the Cajas National Park is a paradise for bird watchers. If you are interested in bird watching, there are plenty of hummingbirds here, including the giant hummingbird. Other birds that inhabit the park are the Andean condor, curiquingues, Andean gulls, the great horned owl, the Andean grey-breasted toucan, the woodpecker, the turquoise hurraca, the great pochard duck and the caracara.
El Cajas is home to a wide variety of animals, including endemic and endangered species. Inside the park, it is possible to see the rabbit of America, the South American common fox, the white-tailed deer, llamas, alpacas, different types of opossums, cats and bats, pumas, coatis, weasels, skunks, porcupines, shrews and the Cajas water mouse.
Just 30 minutes from Cuenca, the Cajas National Park will be one of the highlights of your trip through Ecuador, it is a paradise for bird watchers and hikers alike. Our tour of the trails of the National Park begins with a short 1-hour walk in the lower part of the cloud forest. This section is particularly abundant in birds. We will then go on a 3-hour moderate hike around a glacial lake. This hike will take you through tundra vegetation and a forest of Polylepis.
The tour will conclude with lunch at a nice local restaurant to give you the chance to sample locally sourced trout and other delicacies, before taking the van for a panoramic view of the Cajas and heading back to Cuenca. In order to take part in the group trip and avoid being disturbed by others, you must be fit enough to participate in a moderate walk. If you are on a private tour, we can cater to your particular interests and accommodate your level of fitness. Contact us if you have any particular requirements.