Quimsacocha was, until 2012, part of a wilderness area under concession for mining, but the Environment Ministry has recovered 3,217 of 12,000 given in concession and declared a National Recreation Area in an area known as Las Tres Lagunas (three lagoons). Definitely an important recognition which highlights the main function the area provides for humans: water supply.  Quimsacocha, like Cajas National Park is one of the best examples of this. The protected areas are part of the Biosphere Reserve of El Macizo de Cajas.

3217 hectares
Creation year:
Altitudinal range:
3.800 - 4.000 meters
How to get?

From Cuenca

The reserve is located approximately 90 minutes from Cuenca. To get there take the Vía Sur leading to Canton Giron (46 km), then take an unsealed road that leads to San Gerardo (12 km) and thencontinue along another unselaed road that leads to Quimsacocha (12, 5 km).


Km 13, 5 via Cuenca -. Molleturo - Puerto. Inca. The entrance of the Cajas National Park. Sector Toreadora. Azuay province.


(07) 237-0126 / (07) 237-0127


Quimsacocha, which means "Three Lakes" is a plateau of desert vegetation and soil, a large 'sponge' that stores large amounts of water. It is located south of the Cajas National Park and given the altitude at which it is located, the climate is predominantly cold. When the sun shines and warms the wilderness, the temperature can rise to 20 ° C. But when clouds come down it gets cold immediately. At night it is normal that the temperature falls below 5 ° C and sometimes can produce frost.

Existing facilities

Being a newly created area, it has no tourist facilities; however, there is a shelter with basic infrastructure for rangers and their monitoring and surveillance activities.

Cultural aspects

Quimsacocha is an area that protects and preserves moorland and Andean wetlands located in that area of the country. There are  grasses, which are the most abundant plants in the area, as well as almoadillas, valerianas, equisetos, among others. Birdlife includes ducks and coots in the lagoons, and others like ligles, curiquingues and the short-eared owl. In temrs of mammals you'll find rabbits, paramo wolves, and deer. The main attractions of the area are the lagoons.

Main atractives

We recommend you make reservations and learn about the regulations before the visit.

Clothing. Warm clothes, waterproof poncho, sweater or raincoat in case of rain or drizzle. Proper footwear (e.g. walking boots) if undertaking medium or long walks.