The Cajas National Park in Ecuador lies about 30 km from Cuenca in the highlands at 3100 to 4400 m above sea level. At this altitude, it gets rather cold and windy even that close to the Equator, and you better bring appropriate clothing. When we arrived at sunrise, the ice was melting on the grass.
The sun rises over Parque Nacional Cajas, Ecuador
We were lucky with the weather, and the temperature was about 10° C during the day.
Lagoons at El Cajas
The scenery is very beautiful, with many lagoons in with a tundra-like vegetation. There are very few trees, and the ground is very wet in many places so bring good hiking shoes. Trouts live in the cold rivers and lagoons and can be bought in all the restaurants and villages of the area.
Puya hamata at Cajas NP
Many rare and endangered animal species live in the NP, but it is usually very difficult to spot them. The plants are very impressive, too.
Chuquiraga jussieui, Cajas
We started our hike at the pass Tres Cruces at 4,167 m and walked for a few hours, passing by Laguna negra and Laguna larga before we met the street again.
Typical grass in Cajas NP
This really was an impressive hike.