Cajas National Park & Hot Springs

This private guided hiking tour will take you to Cajas National Park, a must see if you’re in southern Ecuador, to hike through its breathtaking scenery. After an active morning you’ll visit the hot springs in Baños to relax, soak and enjoy a delicious lunch.


Description

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. We can modify this tour depending on the particular interests and fitness level of participants in order to fill the morning with the perfect hike for you.
 
After an active morning, we’ll drive you to Baños de Cuenca, known for its natural hot springs, where you’ll be able to soak in warm water and enjoy a delicious lunch at Piedra de Agua, a luxury spa complex. Piedra de Agua offers additional services such as volcanic mud baths, steam baths and massages for an additional fee. Let us know if you’re interested.
 

This tour includes

· A bilingual (English/Spanish) guide
· Private transportation
· Pickup and drop off at your hotel or home
· Entrance to Piedra de Agua hot springs
· Lunch at Piedra de Agua
 

This tour does not include

· Travel insurance
· Tips
· Any other service not mentioned herein
 

Packing tips

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
· Swimming clothes
· Flip flops

Highlights

Birds
With over 150 species identified so far, Cajas National Park is a birdwatchers paradise. If you are looking to do some bird watching there are plenty of hummingbirds, including the giant hummingbird. Other birds known to live in the park include the Andean Condor, Curiquinga, the violet-throated metaltail, the great-horned owl, the gray breasted mountain toucan, the powerful woodpecker, turquoise jay, Andean ruddy duck and the caranculated caracara.
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.
Mammals
Cajas National Park is home to a wide range of animals including endemic and endangered species. Within Cajas National Park you might have the chance to see the American rabbit, the common South American fox, white-tailed deer, the domesticated lama and alpaca, different kinds of opossums, cats and bats, pumas, coatis, weasels, skunks, porcupines, shrews and the Cajas water mouse.
Piedra de Agua
Piedra de Agua is a luxury hot spring spa located in Baños, only 10 minutes from Cuenca. Built almost entirely from volcanic limestone, Piedra de Agua combines modern architecture with a series of hot spring baths. There are also additional facilities available including volcanic mud, steam baths, hot and cold baths, massage services and a delicious bar and restaurant.
Polylepis trees
Also known as Quinoa or the paper tree, Polylepis trees grow above 3300 meters and shed their bark in thin layers to prevent growth of parasites.

Rates

# passengers Price (per person)
1 $159
2 $135
3 $99
4-5 $95
6-7 $82
8-9 $78
10-15 $76
16-25 $72
26+ $69

 

Group Tours in Ecuador

We’ve created a selection of group tours with regular departures for those traveling around Ecuador on a budget.