Adding to the dreamlike nature of the park is the absence of almost any tree other than the thick groves of tiny tangled polylepis trees – which grow at the highest elevation of any tree in the world – tucked into sheltered gullies and hillsides. Day hikes of several difficulty levels are easily done from Cuenca, while multi-day treks across the 288 square kilometer park are also possible. The park entrance fee for foreigners is $10.
Cajas National Park Recommended
Some thirty kilometers west of Cuenca – and 1500 meters up in elevation – lays the ethereal paramo (high Andean grassland) of Parque Nacional Cajas. Low hanging clouds and fog, windblown grassy plains, countless shimmering lagoons, and dramatic mountain peaks combine to give the chilly park an otherworldly aura.
Places to stay in Cajas National ParkHostels: No
Mid-range Hotels: No
High-range Hotels: No
Places to eat in Cajas National ParkCamping is allowed anywhere in the park for $4 per person. There is also a refuge at the ranger station with eight cots, though these tend to fill up fast. Wherever you sleep, bring warm clothes and a warm sleeping bag. The cots are just mattresses, and temperatures at the park (with an altitude ranging from 4000-4500 meters) get very cold, especially at night.
Details about Cajas National ParkNational Park
Museum, Climbing, Nature Walks, Biking, Camping, Waterfalls, Horseback Riding
Events in and around Cajas National Park