• Altitude meters:
• Min. visit time hours:
LAGOON AND TROPICAL MOUNTAIN FOREST
EL CAJAS NATIONAL PARK
• Altitude feet:
• Max. visit time hours:
CHILDREN - FAMILIES - SENIORS - HANDICAPPED
Part of the Qhapaq Ñan World Cultural Heritage UNESCO.
Within the Macizo del Cajas Biosphere Reserve UNESCO.
National Natural Heritage of Ecuador.
National Protected Area.
Municipal Protected Area.
International Important Bird Area IBA.
Wetland of Global Importance RAMSAR.
OPENING HOURS (or DATE if it is an event)
Monday to Sunday 08:00 - 16:30
Llaviucu ("lock") or Zorrocuho ("fox's den") is a lagoon that belongs to Cajas National Park (PNC), which also holds the UNESCO title of World Biosphere Reserve (WBR). This lagoon is the source of the Tomebamba river that crosses the city of Cuenca, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This beautiful place is located 17 km from the city of Cuenca, on the border of the Park, next to the rural parish of Sayausí. It is the closest lagoon to Cuenca and can be reached by car or by walking along a 2 km long stone path, which deviates from the Cuenca-Naranjal road at kilometer 15.
Llaviucu is an extraordinary example of the biological diversity of Cajas National Park. In its small environment a variety of birds live together, some of them endemic, amphibians, plant species such as the paper tree, the sarar, the pumamaqui, the sigsal, human flesh, the guando, the huicundos, orchids, bromeliads. All of them are plants of the primary forest. In addition, here there are fish, like the trout which is an introduced species, as well as ducks, coots, gulls and Andean toucans, among other animals.
The typical activities in the lagoon are hiking, with at least three routes, sport fishing and photography. It is completely forbidden to hunt animals. Another important feature of the site is its typical glacial formation, that is, a u-shaped valley that was formed when thousands of years ago the ice retreated from the earth's surface.
Near the lagoon there is a unique abandoned building, an old brick house that was the headquarters of the Azuay Brewery in the early twentieth century. It was located in Llaviucu because large quantities of good quality water are required for the production of beer. The economic destiny of Llaviucu is very marked, because in its surroundings there are cattle and milk production enterprises. In the 70's and 80's of the 20th century it was the place of experiment for the introduction of the rainbow trout and the installation of the first farms for these fish.
Today, the purpose of the lagoon is different. Managed by the Potable Water Enterprise of Cuenca. Llaviucu is cared for and the access of visitors and tourists is regulated because it is part of the hydrographic system that supplies and gives water security to the city of Cuenca.
ADDRESS OR VENUE
Cajas National Park, km 15 Cuenca-Naranjal road, Cuenca City, Ecuador