best hikes in colombia lost city trek

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Here are the best hikes in Colombia :

Trek to the Lost City

If there was only one trek to do during a trip to Colombia, it would be the Ciudad Perdida trek that I would recommend.

Because contrary to most of the other treks of the country, this one does not only make you discover exceptional landscapes, but it also plunges you in the fascinating History of the country.

  • Duration : 4 to 5 days
  • Level : Medium
  • Guidance : Need a Local Guide / Agency
best hikes in colombia lost city trek
best hikes in colombia lost city trek

Paramo of Oceta

First of all, it seems essential to me to explain what a páramo is. This term designates high mountain areas perched in the Andes at about 3500 meters of altitude.

It is thus all up there that I propose to you to go up, on foot, in order to discover the extraordinary landscapes of the area.

In company of cows and horses, we evolve in the middle of the mountains and frailejones until reaching a crest.

Throughout the ascent, the landscapes become more and more spectacular. It takes about 7 hours of walking to do the round trip.

Trek Cerro Kennedy

Here, it is a real trek and not a simple hike that I propose you to make.

During two days, we will walk on the slopes of Cerro Kennedy, a mountain located at about 25 kilometers from Minca and perched at 3100 meters of altitude.

I like this trek very much because it allows me to live the Adventure with a big A, and that’s not all.

It is also one of the treks that offers the best overview of the variety of Colombian landscapes, with coffee plantations, tropical jungles, cloud forests, moors…

In short, a real concentrate of Colombia!

  • Duration : 3 days
  • Level : Medium
  • Guidance : Need a Local Guide / Agency
cerro kennedy colombia
cerro kennedy colombia

Trek Los Nevados

With its 58 hectares of surface, the Natural National Park Los Nevados is one of the best playgrounds for hiking.

You will find yourself in the western center of Colombia dominated by the Nevado del Ruiz volcano which culminates at 5300m and to which are added seven other volcanoes which are also found within the limits of the park of Los Nevados.

The advantage is that thanks to the large number of trails, you can choose a hike adapted to your level.

Some will decide to leave for only one day to climb Santa Isabel from Manizales, others to leave for 3 days to have a relaxing break in the thermal waters of Cañon…

At the beginning of this trek, you start from the Cocora valley and its giant trees that can reach 30m in the upper Andean forest before entering the “Bosque de niebla”, the misty forest, to then approach the flanks of the Tolima volcano (which culminates at 5215m).

And for the nights, you will have the choice between camping and refuge!

  • Duration : from 1 day to 4 days
  • Level : Medium
  • Distance :  47 km
  • Guidance : Need a Local Guide / Agency

The sanctuary of Iguaque

Another hike in altitude but this time it is done in one day. We go along the lake of Iguaque at 3800 meters of altitude and we cross the numerous ecosystems of the park.

There are several paths that allow you to walk along the other lakes of the region, or to dive into the myths and legends of Lake Iguaque, inhabited by Bachué, the sea of humanity. It is a very popular hike for locals and travelers alike, a true pilgrimage that would cleanse the soul and the spirit.

  • Duration : 1 day
  • Level : hard
  • Guidance : Need a Local Guide / Agency
best trek colombia iguaque
best trek colombia iguaque – Photo @TristanQuevilly

Pico de Loro

It is necessary to foresee a very long day of walking to make the hike of Pico de Loro, in the national park of the same name. The path takes us from 1600 meters to more than 2800 meters of altitude in a few kilometers…

You might as well say that it climbs! Besides, you have to be in good physical shape to climb, jump, cross the rivers…

But all your efforts will be rewarded by the successive views on the surrounding mountains.

The Cocuy National Park

With this park, I propose you to penetrate in the sacred lands of the U’wa Indians.

In the east of Colombia, near the Venezuelan border, El Cocuy Natural Park is home to the largest glacial mass in the country with 25 snow-capped peaks of over 4500 meters in altitude and some 150 high lakes.

You will have the choice of three different walking trails, all designed to climb the high peaks of the region.

What a wonder to look down and admire, in the middle of the mountains, magnificent lakes with turquoise or emerald reflections.

Between the points of view, we move by motorized means of locomotion so it is walking “by stages”.

  • Duration : 1 day
  • Level : Medium
  • Guidance : Need a Local Guide / Agency
hikes sierra nevada del cocuy colombia
hikes sierra nevada del cocuy colombia Photo @gaboeisenband

Trek in Guajira Desert

The most difficult thing is to get there. The Guajria is a desert located in the North East of Colombia that spills over into neighboring Venezuela.

This desert is home to an indigenous tribe, the Wayuus, as well as the Macuira National Park which is an oasis in the middle of the desert, at the foot of the small mountain range of the Serranía de Macuira (not very high, about 800m maximum).

There are not really any treks or marked trails, but rather some walks like the one to the Pilón de Azucar and the lighthouse from the village of Cabo de la Vela for example.

Between the points of view, we move by motorized means of locomotion so it is walking “by stages”.

  • Duration : 3 days
  • Level : Easy
  • Guidance : Need a Local Guide
punta gallinas bahia hondita guajira colombia
punta gallinas bahia hondita guajira colombia Photo @TristanQuevilly

Hike in the Canyon of Chicamocha

In the Chicamocha National Park, not far from Bucaramanga, in the state of Santander, the pretty village of Saint Gil awaits you with multiple outdoor activities: caving, river rafting, biking, quad biking…

Note that from the cable car, you also have a splendid view of the canyon. It is more a tourist stroll from village to village that awaits you.

Chicamocha National Park is more a tourist activity park than a wilderness park like Los Nevados or El Cocuy.

Cocora Valley Trek

Very close to Salento and surrounded by a thick cloud forest with wax palms up to 60 meters high is the Cocora Valley, the place where the Quindio River is born and from where you can enter the Los Nevados National Natural Park.

The trekking to the Cocora Valley can be divided into at least 2 parts, a gentle one that you can do on your own in 1 day and in which you will reach the House of the hummingbirds, and another much longer and demanding trail that involves the company of a professional guide and that in 4 days will leave you at the top of the Nevado del Tolima.

  • Duration : 4-6h
  • Level : Moderate
  • Cost : 2 Usd (entrance fee)
  • Guidance : Self Guided
hikes colombia @jopiwankenobi
hikes colombia @jopiwankenobi

Puracé National Park

This time, it is the volcanic Colombia I invite you to discover. Near Popayan, this volcano perched at 4600 meters of altitude represents a real challenge not only because its flanks are steep, but also because the weather conditions are not very favorable.

At the top, temperatures are often close to 0°C.

Throughout the ascent and the descent, the volcanic landscapes are revealed to the eyes of the hikers: the vegetation passing from yellow to green, the basins of sulfur…

All this under the glance of the condor of the Andes and the other species of birds which eternally fly over the volcano.

hikes parque purace colombia @ibiojo
hikes parque purace colombia @ibiojo

Treks in Colombia FAQ

Best time of the year for trekking in colombia ?

December/January are the best period, but also the most crowded. Avoid the months of March to May and October to November. In these months the rains are quite frequent. January, February, and June to September are the best months for hikes. More info in our guide : Best time to Visit Colombia

What to Pack for a Trek in Colomba ?

Pack Light ! But be prepared for all climates, especially the rain which is frequent in the Andes. If you go to high altitude, above 3000 you will need a jacket and pants. And keep in mind that from 4000m the temperature can drop to 0°C at night, so you will need appropriate clothing.
For more information see our guide: What to Pack for Colombia

Conclusion

So these are the best hikes in Colombia: some long, some short; some convenient, some not so convenient. But what they all have in common is that they give you an excellent opportunity to enjoy some of Colombia’s most diverse and beautiful places and include some exercise at the same time. Naturally there are thousands of other fantastic treks throughout the rural regions of Colombia, these are simply some of the absolute best, and the most diverse. If you have any other Colombia trekking tips, please leave a comment below.

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