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Colombia: Hike Lost Nevados & El Cocuy

Overview

Hike two of Colombia’s most remarkable National Parks, discovering an abundance of unique ecosystems and extraordinary landscapes while living the life of a traditional Colombian mountaineer.

Details

  • Where: Bogotá, Villa de Leyva, El Cocuy, Monguí, Los Nevados National Park
  • Duration: 7-16 days
  • Number of participants: 4-16
  • Cost: From $999 p/p (price doesn’t include international flights)
  • Language: Spanish or English
  • Dates: All year round (January-March & June-August best months). Get in touch to book your trip

​Explore unique elevated ecosystems teeming with fascinating flora and fauna. Led by biologist guides, you’ll pass towering snow-dipped volcanoes, enter mystical cloud forests and discover shimmering emerald lagoons above which majestic condors glide. Our all-inclusive trip encompasses three national parks, several day walks and one multi-day hike. You’ll enjoy a photography workshop, pick sparkling crimson coffee beans at a traditional coffee farm and stay in some of Colombia’s most beautiful historical towns.

Available Activities

Itinerary

Day 1

After the opportunity to rest, we walk up to the city’s iconic mountain peak, Monserrate. Visit an artisanal market, explore the stunning religious sanctuary and take in the sheer expanse of Colombia’s capital from its finest viewpoint.

Day 2

Many locals claim Villa de Leyva to be Colombia’s most beautiful colonial town – quite a feat considering the competition. Enjoy gorgeous landscapes on a transfer before arriving at the town’s huge cobbled-stone square surrounded by white-washed buildings.

Day 3

Hike to Iguaque santuario de fauna y flora. After a 30-minute transfer, walk to an emerald lagoon lying 3,800 meters above sea level. Discover a páramo, an elevated ecosystem, only found in the Andes. Biologist guides explain its remarkable vegetation, including 400 species of trees, surrounding fresh, verdant trails.
Altitude: 3,800m
Walking Time: 6-7 hours

Day 4

Enjoy one of the most spectacular drives through the Andes. We pass through cloud forests and dip into the vast chicamocha canyon before arriving the beautiful town of Cocuy.

Day 5

Ascend through one of Colombia’s most heavenly trekking territories to a giant rock formation known as Pulpito del Diablo (the devil’s pulpit). This iconic sight is made all the more impressive with its cloak of snow mountainside enveloping it.
Altitude: 4,800m
Walking Time: 10 hours (can be reduced)

Day 6

Pass through unusual coloured terrain before entering a vast mystical valley of frailejones (a plant species native to the Andes). The well-marked trail winds around several smaller lagoons before reaching Laguna Grande whose shimmering surface projects the image of surrounding snowy peaks.
Altitude: 4,600m
Walking Time: 10 hours (can be reduced)

Day 7

Today, our guide Mateo will offer some expert tips of how to take impressive shots of waterfalls and the emblematic towering peaks of Ritacuba Blanco (5,330m), Ritacuba Negro (5,300m) and Puntiagudo (5,200m).
Altitude: 4,000m
Walking Time: 10 hours (can be reduced)

Day 8

Transfer to Mongui – one of Colombia’s beautifully preserved historical towns.

Day 9

Today you will enjoy a free day in this stunning town with the option to visit the unique football-making museums or simply recharge your batteries.

Day 10

While these regions of Colombia teem with unique elevated ecosystems known as páramos, the sacred landscapes at Ocetá Páramo draw accolades for its richness of flora and fauna. Hike past waterfalls, mist-shrouded creeks and a natural rock formation as intriguing as the Muisca stories. Watch out for white-tailed deer, mountain pacas, eagles and Andean condors.
Altitude: 4,000m
Time: 6 hours

Day 11

Transfer to Pereira. Few landscapes paint such an amazing image of Colombia like Zona Cafetera (coffee zone). The 30-minute flight offers a bird’s eye view of endless rows of coffee plantations sewn onto sage and olive green mountainsides.

Day 12

Ever wondered how the world’s finest Arabica coffee beans are made? This is your chance to find out. Transfer in a colorful Willys jeep before arriving at an organic coffee farm. Become a coffee picker and enhance your palate with a dynamic tasting session.

Day 13

Begin a 3-day hike into one of Colombia’s crown jewels – Los Nevados National Park. Discover snow-dipped peaks, distant volcanoes, cloud forests, elevated lagoons, páramos, and an abundance of remarkable animal species.
Altitude: 3,800m
Walking Time: 9 hours without a horse ride, 6 hours without.

Day 14

Hike to one of the highest peaks in the national park. After the whole group reaches a high-altitude lagoon, some hikers like to continue to a glacier-looking peak called Paramillo del Quindio. While both walks offer different ecosystems bursting with unique vegetation such as the alien-like frailejones, the 4,750m ascent is an opportunity to enjoy one of the finest views of the trip.
Altitude: Paramillo del Quindio – 4,750m. Lagoon – 3,980m
Walking Time: 10 hours. 4-5 hours to mid-way point and back.

Day 15

Descend an alternative route to the Cocora Valley and enter a different ecosystem. Walk through cloud forests and catch a different, no less, spectacular look at the olive and lime-green valley dotted with wax palms puncturing the clouds above.
Altitude: 2,400m
Walking Time: 6 hours

Day 16

Departure day. Depending on flights there is an optional trip to one of Colombia’s most enchanting sites: La Catedral de Sal.

More Information

  • Overnight stays in boutique hotels and mountain lodges.
  • Internal Flights
  • Private and public transport
  • All meals (we’ve chosen varied dishes to give a real taste of Colombia)
  • Local biologist guides
  • Entrance to all national parks

Note: most rooms are shared with ensuite but private rooms are available on request and at an extra cost.

Flexible bookings

Book now, pay later. Due to changing circumstances we make it easy for you to reserve your educational trip without paying a deposit upfront!.

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