Location: Marker D on the “El Cajas” Map
Lago Llaviucu is a perfect destination for a day outing or a quick overnight backpacking stay. The lake is fed by a crystal clear stream winding its way down the mountain and through the small valley where it enters the lake. This is a perfect
location for kids because the lake is only minutes from the parking lot and there is a perfectly safe trail which circles the lake. The trial offers two small piers for picnicking and fishing and also has a beautiful covered bridge which passes through a rain forest atmosphere. The entire trail around the lake can be walked in about 45 minutes. Semi-wild horses and wild llamas are often seen grazing right along the trail. Lake Llaviucu is actually the first access point into El Cajas National Park.
This location is also the trail access point to Trail # 7 which is the longest trail in El Cajas (Approx. 18 miles long and 15 hrs. hiking time). This trail can be walked for a few hours before it becomes very steep, making it’s way towards Laguna Tiatachugo (Mamamag). Most hikers start this trail from the other end of the park and finish at Lago Llaviucu.
How To Get There: Off the main road to Guayaquil about 15 minutes from the edge of town turn left at (kilo. Marker 12), there is a sign for the park entrance on the left side of the road. It comes up quick so be looking for it. (There is a sign with a picture of a cow on it at the turn-off.) Follow the cobblestone road till it ends at the guard shack, about 2 miles. There is no entrance fee. The lake is open daily. This cobblestone road can also be walked from the highway in about 50 minutes and is a lovely, easy walk. A taxi ride from town should be no more than $10 each way. The bus to Quayaquil can also drop you off at the beginning of the road but then you have to walk to the lake. The walk there is no problem, but returning may be a issue. Las Cajas Map Grid #’s Horizontal 9686000
Fishing: Rainbow trout fishing is allowed in the lake and also the river. No license is
required and it is fly fishing only. The trout are generally small (3 to 8 inches) but larger fish are there. Spinners will work, as well as small black or white flies. I’ve had luck with both dry flies and nymphs. Both piers are perfect for fishing with the kids but not very productive. The stream offers nice wide gravel bends with deep banks and pools making it ideal for fly fishing.
Amenities: There is a guard cabin and public restroom at the entrance of the lake. No food services are available, so bring your own. As in all of El Cajas National Park, no dogs are allowed.
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