West of Cuenca lies El Cajas National Park. Reaching a maximum height of 14,599 feet this national park is on of the highest in Ecuador. There are several local ponds to fish at as you make your way up the steep canyon road. The summit is a mere 13,671 feet. There is a small turn out just before you reach the summit which is worth stopping at to test your lung power.
My favorite place is "El Cajas Vizcochos" located just over the summit headed down the other side of the Andes towards the coast. From the top it is approximately 5 minutes down the road give or take a few. I was so distracted by the beauty and majesty of these high mountains time was irrelevant.
On this side of the Andes, the clouds rush up from the coast and swirl and push each other around acting out some sort of natural ballet or symphony.
Make sure you go on a day that looks sunny in the mountains and go in the morning. There are few sunny days in Cajas each month usually end with rain.