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EL CAJAS NATIONAL PARK
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WILD LIFE WATCHING
CHILDREN - FAMILIES - SENIORS
Within Cajas Massif Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.
Natural National Heritage by the Ecuadorian Government.
National Protected Area.
Municipal Protected Area.
International Important Bird Area (IBA).
RAMSAR World Importance Wetland.
OPENING HOURS (or DATE if it is an event)
Monday to Sunday 08:00 - 16:30
La Toreadora is the most accessible lagoon of the Cajas National Park and is the heart of this protected area. It is located 34 kilometers from Cuenca city, next to the road to Guayaquil city, by Molleturo-Naranjal road and at a height of 3.900 meters above sea level. It is located between the peaks of the southern Andes of Ecuador, the highest mountain range in this area which is a continental watershed. Here, rainwaters begin their journey towards the Pacific Ocean or the Amazon River, depending on which side of these mountains they fall.
For the visitor interested in knowing about the Park, Toreadora is the ideal place as it has an information and interpretation center and a bar-restaurant service to spend a pleasant day observing nature. The polylepis forests (paper trees) are the main attraction in flora and bird watching stands out in the fauna of the site.
The lagoon’s surface has an area of 17.97 hectares and its perimeter is 2.621 meters. Depending on the number of visitors, it is possible to descend to the shore of the lagoon and go hiking around it. It is highly recommended to be accompanied by a guide who knows the area, because due to unexpected weather changes, it is easy to get lost. The approach to the shore of the lagoon to admire it or to practice sport fishing, must be cautious, because it hides areas of marsh.
The temperature varies between -2 to 18 Celsius degrees, without regularity, so that frost, drizzle, fog or days of intense sun are frequent. There are 71 species of Ecuadorian endemic plants in this place. At Toreadora lagoon it is possible to seen some of the 152 species of birds, 43 species of mammals, 15 species of amphibians or 4 species of reptiles that inhabit the National Park.
Cajas National Park has numerous tourist attractions such as the Tres Cruces hill, very close to La Toreadora following the road, with a spectacular panoramic view and the exact point of the continental watershed. The valley and lagoon of Llaviucu are also accessible by car in a lower part of the Park. While lagoons such as Taitachugo, Burines or Luspa, relatively close to La Toreadora, are accessible by trekking routes for which a qualified naturalist guide is required.
The Park where Toreadora is located is called "Cajas" because it is formed by high peaks and in the lower areas between them lacustrine systems are contained, like huge interconnected boxes. Rivers such as Tomebamba, Yanuncay, Mazán or Migüir are born in these lagoons.
ADDRESS OR VENUE
Km 34 Cuenca-Molleturo road, La Toreadora refuge, El Cajas National Park, Cuenca City, Ecuador