Hiking, Drugs And Inca History In Cajas National Park, Ecuador

Cajas National Park outside of Cuenca, Ecuador, is an idyllic and peaceful park with five ecosystems, over 150 bird species and many exceptional features. For example, Cajas has one of the highest densities of lakes in the world, and is also home to the Quinoa Forest, the world’s highest woodland at 13,124 feet. This area is also full of legends and myths from Inca times. Likewise, the park is a perfect example of an ice age park, as the area was created by glaciers. Cajas National Park is such a unique natural place, it is currently a candidate to be named a World Heritage Natural Site by UNESCO.

During a tour with Gray Line Ecuador, I got the chance to explore the park’s primary cloud forest, the lowest elevation area of the park at 10,171 feet and the Quinoa Forest. I also got to learn about Andean medicine and drugs, trace Inca history and take in great views of jagged mountains and crystal lakes.

For a better idea of the experience, check out the gallery below.