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CAJAS NATIONAL PARK
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ADDRESS & ACTIVITIES
ADDRESS OR VENUE
OPENING HOURS (or DATE if it is an event)
Km 30 Cuenca-Molleturo road, Cajas National Park, Ecuador
Open every day
Laguna Cucheros is 30 km from Cuenca, next to the road to Molleturo. At the foot of the Avilahuaycu hill. At an altitude of 3,950 meters above sea level. Gateway to the interior of the Cajas National Park.
The toponym "cucheros" refers to the breeders of pigs, pigs or "kuchis", as the name is in Quichua. It can be translated as "place with pigs". Ancient place of passage of the traders of pigs between the coast and Cuenca. The "cucheros" spent the night in the lagoon and released their animals to rest. Some specimens escaped and their descendants went wild, giving rise to the name.
As it is so close to the main road, the route through Cucheros is of low difficulty. It is 1.2 km long and takes about 45 minutes. The path that leads to Las Burines and other larger lakes, passes through its vicinity.
A moorland site, the main plant species present in the surrounding area is straw. A number of recreational activities can be undertaken, such as hiking, trekking, sport fishing, photography, bird watching and trekking.
Although it seems to be a low difficulty, in the height it is not advisable to neglect it. The visitor should first get information and advice from the Park's administrators. Due to the topography and variable weather conditions, it can cause confusion and the hiker risks getting lost.
Cajas National Park is a National Recreation Area, a Ramsar site and a Biosphere Reserve. It has an approximate extension of 28,500 hectares, northwest of Cuenca. It has moorland and Andean forest.
There are 235 lagoons in the moor ecosystem. Its flora has wood species, shrubs, orchids, ferns and mosses. The forests of Polylepis, "quinoa" or "paper tree" are the only species of tree above 4,000 masl. There are 500 vascular plants. The fauna component of the Park is made up of 152 species of birds, 43 mammals, 15 amphibians and 4 reptiles.