The Parque Nacional Cajas was founded in 1996 in the highlands of the western Cordilleras of the South American country of Ecuador.
A single road travels through the nature park. It leads to a pass and then continues downhill towards the Pacific Ocean. From February to July the highlands are often foggy and rain and snow storms are common along with extremely low temperatures. But it is the mystical atmosphere that creates the special charm of this mountain region.
The landscape resembles a tundra and is mostly located above the timber line. It is a topographically irregular area that measures around twenty nine thousand hectares, an untouched paramo region with cleft mountain ridges and deep lying valleys from which the park’s name of ‘Cajas’ is derived.
The water quality of this region explains the fertile nature of the highlands and why the Canari people, and later the Incas, settled here. There are also traces of pre-Columbian times and the remains of an ancient Inca road of which several kilometres are still in excellent condition.
After negotiating a few more bends, we reach the frontier post that marks the border of this splendid natural habitat, the Parque Nacional Cajas!