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Cajas National Park is located at the heights of the “Cordillera Occidental de los  Andes”.



In these elevations can be seen wonderful landscapes full of natural attractions such as lakes of various sizes, which add up more than 200, where fishing lovers can enjoy the most representative fish species in the park: trout. Similarly, within the most important scenic beauty in the park, is the lookout Avila Huayco, which presents a wonderful panoramic view downwards the majestic forests.


Among the rural parishes Molleturo  and Sayausí, is the range of "El  Cajas" wich name is argued by two explanations. The first is the word "Caxas", which in Quechua means "cold" and the second  is explained by the geological appearance that the zone presents, where the lagoons are.


Cajas National Park covers an area of ​​approximately 28,000 non-productive hectares, because they represent a category of National Recreation Area, declared on the June 6, 1977, for Ministerial Agreement No. 203 and then by Resolution No. 057, on November 18,  1996. The place was promoted to National Park status for its scenic beauty, archaeological area, rich flora and fauna, in addition to its several water resources.


Cajas National Park is located in the Azuay Province, 34 kilometers west of the city of Cuenca, at the road Cuenca- Sayausí -Molleturo at the head of the river basins of Cañar, Balao and Paute.  The latter has great significance and importance for Ecuador. Its altitude varies between 3,000 and 4,500 m.a.s.l.


Possibly, the first population settled in the area, now Cuenca city,was Guapdondélig, Canari city whose name means "ample flatness like the sky." Cuenca, after the Inca conquest, became the second main city of  Tahuantinsuyo (Inca Empire). By  the sector Cajas National Park passed  a Inca Trail, which linked the Royal City of Pumapungo  with El Tambo de Paredones in Molleturo. This road served as communication channel for the transport and exchange of agricultural products and handicrafts from Cuenca and the coast.


El Cajas National Park has a lake system formed approximately by 235 permanent lakes. The lakes came from the melting of glaciers, but in times of increased rainfall can reach 300 lakes. Among the highlights are: Lagartococha, the largest lagoon in the area ("On its shores you can camp and the place is very popular for sport fishing. By the side of  Lagartococha  lies the" Cave of the Dead " named after this way because travelers for over a century would have died  victims of malaria)", Cucheros, Osohuaycu, Mamamag or Taitachungo ("In Mamamag have been found remains of buildings represented by pre-Inca stone steps and foundations of some building, presumably rooms for overnight stays. More than houses these buildings seem to have served as tambos, travel shelter, becouse the site is a key step towards the coast"), Quinoascocha, The Toreadora, Sunincocha, Cascarillas, Ventanas and Tinguishcocha.


how to get there

In order to access to Cajas National Park is necessary to start the trip from Cuenca by the road to Molleturo-Naranjal. This one goes through the north area of the park where you can access it.

In the lagoon Toreadora there is a tourist information and interpretation center which is accedes by the entry above.


 The main attractions in the National Park are its numerous lagoons and lakes.


Another path is the road Soldados- Angas, at the South of the  Park.


We recommend you to contact your favorite travel agency or tour operator to program preferred route.
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