The Inca empire was connected by a well maintained road system, most of which has disappeared with the passage of time. These roads were constructed with stones and in some places they were more than seven meters wide. It is still possible to hike along the best preserved parts of this road system, which offers a view of what was Incan country and of the rural Andean life which has remained unchanged for centuries.
“El Cajas” is considered a paradise for hikers due to its ecological conservation and natural beauty. On our trip, we do a moderate hike for about 3 hours through some of its 230 glacier lakes, admiring the moorland vegetation (high Andean grassland, like moors at high altitude) with amazing micro flora, some patches of Polylepis primary forests and spectacular rock formations.
Photo belongs to Delphine Ménard
In the Southern Andes near Cuenca, we find El Cajas National Park, located in the majestic west mountain range. It is one of Ecuador’s natural wonders that must be added to the repertoire of every trekking amateur. Cajas lies at an altitude between 3200 m and 4500 m and boasts 28,544 hectares of numerous species of flora and fauna and impressive rock formations. Its 235 glacial lakes feed into breathtaking waterfalls, as its rivers descend toward the Pacific while others flow through “el Oriente”, ultimately arriving to the Amazon River. In addition to hiking, you can enjoy freshwater trout fishing, while listening to the wild birds singing in the background. There are approximately 125 species of birds inhabiting Cajas which include: the condor, the violet-tailed metaltail, sword-bill, shining sunbeam, sparkling violet-ear, etc.
If you wish to combine culture and nature with active travel, you must do the Inca trail, which takes you along the very same path than the Incas used to follow. This ancient main trail has also been used by merchants and travelers. The trail passes through astonishing natural landscapes, small hidden villages, past Culebrillas Lake, finally arriving at Ingapirca, our most famous Inca ruins. In the area we also find other important ruins such as Colloctor and Cojitambo and the colorful Cañari Indian markets of Ingapirca (Fridays) and Cañar (Sundays). It is also worth mentioning the amazing scenery, formed by farming landscapes of different crops and lots of cattle farming. This photo belongs to Julia Rubinic
The Northern Andes of Ecuador offer beautiful snowcapped mountains and volcanoes for great trekking trips. We must add to any itinerary the highlights of the amazing surrounding area such as lakes, moorlands, forest, Indian markets and villages, haciendas and all the components for a unique trekking experience.
The Central Andes offer excellent trekking options around the Chimborazo (6310m), highest mountain in Ecuador; Carihuairazo (5200m) which requires a moderate effort for a summit attempt and Altar, well known for its amazing landscapes. This photo belongs to Germania Rodriguez
We recommend visitors to have an appropriate acclimatization process for a better adjustment to the altitude. You can enjoy our daily tours or join a moderate trekking adventure of 2 or more days camping in spectacular natural spots.
Choose your preferred tour click here.
El Cajas is considered a paradise for hikers due to its ecological conservation and natural beauty. On our trip, we do a moderate hike for about 3 hours through some of its 230 glacier lakes, admiring the moorland vegetation (high Andean grassland, like moors at high altitude) with amazing micro flora, some patches of Polylepis primary forests and spectacular rock formations. The second walk last about 1 hour in the lower cloud forest zone; rich in plant life and abundant in species of birds. The two walks are in very different environments, showing all the highlights of the park. For lunch we have a box lunch, after morning and early afternoon hikes we will continue to the hacienda Totorillas where we spend overnight and dinner.
- birdwatching tours
- cloud forest lodges
- cloud forest lodges
- Community / Sustainable tourism
- cuenca and surroundings
- easy access jungle lodges
- family trips
- first class lodges
- guayaquil & surroundings tours
- guayaquil and surroundings
- horseback riding
- horseback riding tours
- jungle lodges
- loja & saraguro & vilcabamba
- mountain biking tours
- multi-sport adventures
- multi-sports and adventure
- northern and central andes
- quito & surroundings
- river boats
- southern andes
- tourist superior
- tourist superior lodges
- trekking & hiking tours