Parque Nacional Cajas

Southern Highlands

Only 30km west of Cuenca, Parque Nacional Cajas encompasses 2854 sq km of golden moor-like páramo (high-altitude grassland) dotted with hundreds of chilly lakes that shine like jewels against a bleak, rough countryside.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Southern Highlands attractions

1. Orquideario

7.99 MILES

If you've any interest in the world's most outrageous and beautiful plant species, you'll love the Universidad de Cuenca's Orquideario. With over 400…

2. Church of San Sebastián

9.72 MILES

The 19th-century Church of San Sebastián stands on beautiful Plaza de San Sebastián, on the western edge of the historical center.

3. Museo de Arte Moderno

9.74 MILES

On the south side of Plaza de San Sebastián, this fun museum was once a home for the insane. It now houses a highly regarded collection of Ecuadorian and…

4. Church of San Cenáculo

9.95 MILES

Two blocks east of Plaza de San Sebastián, this bare 19th-century church is worth a quick look if you happen to be passing by.

5. Prohibido Museo de Arte Extremo

9.96 MILES

El Vado, an up-and-coming area, has some unusual establishments, such as this Grim Reaper–themed gallery, bar and nightclub. Find it on the upper …

6. Church of Santo Domingo

10.07 MILES

This church, two blocks northwest of Parque Calderón, sports some fine carved wooden doors and colonial paintings. Although it looks older, the church was…

7. Church of San Francisco

10.11 MILES

Resplendently colonial, yet curiously ramshackle, plaza San Francisco's set-piece is the 19th-century Church of San Francisco, which features an…

8. Church of El Carmen de la Asunción

10.13 MILES

The stark, white church just around the corner from Plaza de San Francisco was founded in 1682 and contrasts beautifully with the colorful flower market…