Family Gale at Tres Cruces (13651 ft)

Cajas National Park is a high-altitude area west of Cuenca, Ecuador. It’s known for trails through evergreen cloud forests and hundreds of lakes, such as Laguna Toreadora, where our second hike began. It’s also home to rich wildlife including Andean condors, giant hummingbirds and raccoon-like coatis. The number of orchids and flowering plants alone make this a destination worth visiting.

The name “Cajas” is derived from the Quichua word “cassa” meaning “gateway to the snowy mountains” or “caxa” (Quichua:cold). It has also been linked to the Spanish word “cajas” (boxes).

Keep in mind that the average altitude during our day exploring the park was around 12,500 feet. Cuenca, where we lived for about 7 weeks, sits at a perfect 8,399 feet. That’s quite a jump. Hiking at that altitude feels like moving through molasses and the air is about as thick. It’s really as if the oxygen disappears.

I wish words could adequately capture the beauty of Cajas National Park. But since they pale in comparison, allow me to take you on a photographic/video journey of one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. Be sure to keep scrolling to see the videos Jeff put together!

First hike around Lake Llaviucu
View from the opposite side
Just one of many orchids
Moss moss everywhere!
I still can’t remember if these are alpacas or llamas…
Big thanks to my man for spending so much time editing together these great videos!
Delicious hot cocoa after Tres Cruces before our long hike.
Just a few minutes in on our second hike.
10 minutes later (already tired and starting to complain – but they both did really great overall)
So perfectly petite
Julia’s favorite plant – Puya clava Hércules
The bloom of the above plant
In the “paper” tree forest.
Tired but happy
Almost done!
Seriously active day

Published by fishinyogini

Mother of 2. Fishin fanatic. Herp Lover. Yoga teacher. Traveling to South America for a year of adventure.

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  1. Those pictures and videos were wonderful. Thank you guys for sharing such an amazing part of your journey. (For some reason I teared up a bit watching those sweet family moments.) Miss you all but love seeing what you’re all up to in Ecuador! 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

  2. To experience the amazing beauty and majestic creations of Mother Nature through the views of most loved family is absolutely priceless. My Littles are getting experiences they will treasure forever. Thank you Gale parents for providing this phenomenal educational adventure.

    Liked by 1 person

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