Only 30 minutes from Cuenca, Cajas National Park will be one of the highlights of your travel in Ecuador and is a paradise for both birdwatchers and hikers alike. Our Cajas National Park hiking tour will begin with a 1-hour walk in lower cloud forest which is particularly abundant in birds. This will be followed by a moderate 3-hour hike around a glacier lake. This hike will take you through tundra vegetation and a Polylepis forest which almost feels like a setting from Lord of the Rings
. A packed lunch will be provided. We can modify this tour depending on the particular interests and fitness level of participants. Make sure to let us know if you have any particular requirements at the time of booking.
After an active day’s hiking, we’ll drive you to Hacienda Totorillas where you can spend a relaxing evening in the countryside and enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal in a rustic farmhouse. The next morning you’ll awake in the midst of the mountains of Tarqui to enjoy a full day of horse riding on this charming private farm. All horses used on these tours are gentle and professionally-trained, which means that minimal experience is required. You’ll have the chance to take a ride along local trails through indigenous and private farms, primary forest, part of the ancient Inca Trail and small villages. The old trails from the colonial era follow the top of the mountain ridge, providing amazing views from the saddle. You also have the choice to take part in optional activities such as farming tasks (agricultural, animal raising or dairy processing), rural walks or even kicking back and relax while enjoying the scenery.
This tour includes
· A bilingual (English/Spanish) guide
· Private transportation
· All meals mentioned in itinerary
· Pickup and drop off from your hotel or private home
· Horseback riding equipment
· Optional activities mentioned above
This tour does not include
· Travel insurance
· Any other service not mentioned herein
Day 1 - Cajas National Park - Hacienda Totorillas
Travel 30 minutes from Cuenca to Cajas National Park to enjoy two very different hikes in different sections of the park. After an active day of hiking and a box lunch you will travel to Hacienda Totorillas for a delicious home cooked dinner and a relaxing evening in the countryside. Meals included: -/L/D
Day 2 - Hacienda Totorillas - Cuenca
Spend a full day at Hacienda Totorillas in the mountains of Tarqui, only half an hour from Cuenca. Experience daily countryside life in the southern Ecuadorian Andes on horseback in a unique and memorable setting with a day of horseback riding. Meals included: B/L/-
Cajas National Park
Cajas National Park is located about 33 km west of Cuenca in Southern Ecuador. The park covers about 285 km2 at an altitude of between 3100m and 4450m above sea level. It is famous for its characteristic tundra vegetation covering hills and valleys. There are about 270 lakes and lagoons throughout the park. The name of the park comes from the Quichua word cassia which translates as gateway to the snowy mountains, though some link it to the Spanish word cajas meaning boxes due to the hundreds of lakes.
Hacienda Totorillas is a private farm located in the mountains of Tarqui, only half an hour from Cuenca. A visit to Totorillas will give you a chance to ride gentle and professionally-trained horses, and to experience life on a working hacienda in beautiful surroundings. When staying the night you’ll be in a rustic farmhouse.
The weather can be unpredictable in Cajas with glorious sunshine one minute and sudden mist or rain the next.
· Warm clothes
· Proper hiking boots
· Rain gear
· Sun protection
· Sun glasses
||Price (per person)
This itinerary is designed to give you an idea of the available options for travel in Ecuador. But keep in mind:
- We can tailor this trip to suit your needs, tastes, time frame and budget