El Cajas National Park, Cuenca

4.8
#1 of 70 in Nature in Ecuador
Journey through winding ravines and over jagged peaks at El Cajas National Park. Known for its many glacial lakes and lagoons, the high-altitude national park offers excellent trekking through a chilly, tundra-like landscape. Take it easy while you walk--with altitudes between 3,100 m (10,170 ft) and 4,450 m (15,600 ft) above sea level, the air gets thin, making trekking much more difficult than you might be used to. Set off on the two-hour trek around Lake Toreodora for a relatively gentle, but still incredibly scenic hike. You can easily make a day-trip to the national park from nearby Cuenca. Use our Cuenca travel itinerary planner to visit El Cajas National Park on your trip to Cuenca, and learn what else travelers and our writers recommend seeing nearby.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
1,790 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • August 14, 2017
    I love boxes, has wonderful landscapes. See loose flames walking out there gives it a special charm. The lagoons are mirrors of water where the sky is reflected. A stop that is really worth
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  • August 13, 2017
    We were staying in Cuenca and found out to take a local bus from the Main Bus Station to the "La Toreadora" entrance for only $2.00 each where we got off on the highway. The trail was well marked and ...  more »
  • August 12, 2017
    As we have seen in various internet pages, I had to pay $10 in inlet, but not so. All they ask is that you register (name, nationality, passport, age...). We did route 1, very difficult. Some areas were more complicated by previous rains, that waste had been the beaten path and you had to find an alternative. But it is a very nice place. The walk lasted about 2-3 hours, stopping to take photographs and to rest. It is a must if you go to Cuenca.
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  • August 3, 2017
    Cajas National Park is amazing! Easily accessible from Cuenca via public bus. Truly a gem.
  • January 9, 2017
    I loved it. Free entry park, the guides show you the trails you can follow depending on how prepare to walk/climb you are. The trails are signposted properly. The landscape is incredible. Absolutely recommend it.
  • May 28, 2017
    It's a beautiful hiking area that surrounds several lakes in the moor, a few minutes from Cuenca.
  • June 1, 2017
    Beutiful sites, great out doors, good for treking.
  • June 14, 2017
    amazing beautiful…! however, notice that it's high, so it's cold…!

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Where to stay in Cuenca

Extremely popular with international visitors and expats, Cuenca features the sizeable range of hotel options you might expect from a renowned tourist destination. Scores of hotels and bed and breakfasts line the streets of the city's old town, many of them occupying historic mansions and homes restored to their former glory. The larger, more upscale hotels in the city center tend to offer onsite restaurants and other amenities, while cheaper hostels feature little more than bunk beds in exchange for much lower rates. However, keep in mind that Cuenca's popularity has a flip side, as the large foreign presence makes for higher prices than elsewhere in Ecuador and also large fluctuations in cost depending on the season.
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