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Parque Nacional Cajas | by zug55
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Parque Nacional Cajas

The Parque Nacional Cajas (Cajas National Park) is a national park in the highlands of Ecuador. It is located about 30 km west of Cuenca. It covers an area of 285 km² and ranges in altitude between 3100m and 4450m above sea level. It offers a tundra vegetation on a jagged landscape of hills and valleys. The park contains about 270 lakes and lagoons. Glaciers shaped the landscape of the Cajas leaving U-shaped valleys and ravines. The Cajas provides about 60% of the drinking water for the Cuenca area.

 

This lake is located at an altitude of just over 4000 meters (13,000 feet), and unfortunately some cold rain was moving in.

 

Humidity, low temperature, and high altitude with low atmospheric pressure create an ecosystem that accumulates organic material in the soil that is able to retain water. The high grassland ecosystem (páramo) contains plants suitably adapted to this unique ecosystem, many of them endemic to the Cajas.

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Taken on December 19, 2011