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Cajas Plateau | Azuay, Ecuador

Location

Ecuador
2° 49' 27.3072" S, 79° 13' 25.626" W
EC
Cajas Plateau

Cajas Plateau - Photo: Patricio Ordoñez P.

The Cajas National Park (Parque Nacional Cajas) is a national park in the highlands of Ecuador. 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).

The highest point is the 14,596 ft (4450 m) high Cerro Arquitectos (Architect's Hill). About 270 lakes and lagoons can be found in the páramo of Cajas. Luspa is the largest of these lake and extends over 192,66 acres (78 ha) with a maximum depth of 223 ft (68 m) at a perimeter of 16,928 ft (5161 m). Like the other lakes it is of glacial origin and glaciation shaped the landscape of Cajas leaving U-shaped valleys and ravines. Cajas provides about 60% of the drinking water for the Cuenca area. Two of the four rivers of Cuenca originate from Cajas, the Tomebamba and Yanuncay rivers which eventually drain into the Amazon river. Also the Paute river links to the Amazon. As the park straddles the continental divide, its western drainage, the Balao and Cañar link to the Pacific ocean. The modern road crosses the continental divide at the pass "Tres Cruces" 13,668 ft (4,167 m). This section is the most western part of the continental divide of South Americas.

More infos: Wikipedia

Cajas Plateau

Cajas Plateau - Photo: zug55

Cajas Plateau

Cajas Plateau - Photo: cuyabenolodge

Cajas Plateau

Cajas Plateau - Photo: -Scipio-

Cajas Plateau

Cajas Plateau - Photo: zug55

SUBMITTED ON 02.18.2014.