05 May 2016

Enjoy Colombia’s Great Outdoors in Chicaque Natural Park

Posted in Blog

Last week we suggested you put on your dancing shoes as we told you about the nightlife in Bogota. Now it’s time to slip on the hiking boots because this week is all about Chicaque Natural Park. Nature-lovers visiting Bogotá shouldn’t miss the opportunity to daytrip to this gorgeous location.

Chicaque Natural Park Tour

Chicaque is about a 40 minute bus ride from the center of Bogotá. It’s located in a sleepy town called Soacha to the south of Bogotá. If you’re on the hunt for some memorable views and great pictures, put this cloud forest on the itinerary.

The park spans across 244 hectares and offers about 10 kilometers of trails. Do not visit Chicaque on your first day in Bogotá because your body needs a few days to adjust to the altitude change. Parts of the park sit anywhere from 2100 to 2700 meters above sea level. The trail can also be steep and slippery, so you will want to be feeling your best when you enter the park.

Chicaque Natural Park Tour

The daily entrance fee is a little less than 15,000 pesos (about 5 USD). There a few lodging options available for visitors who want to stay in Chicaque longer than just a day. Visitors are able to reserve a room in the hostel based in the center of the park called El Refugio. This giant wooden structure has a rustic vibe and a breathtaking view. El Refugio is where you can grab a bite to eat at the restaurant, whether you have booked a room or are just visiting for the day. Visitors can also stay in one of two treehouses called nests. One of the nests is a luxury cabin built around the trunk of a Walnut tree. The other is a more primitive accommodation sitting about 25 meters above the ground. Visitors also have the option of sleeping in cabins or camping in tents.

Chicaque offers seven trails to hike. You don’t have to be an Ironman contender to conquer these trails, but hiking them requires some energy. Like we said before, some parts of the trails are very steep and require walking on slippery rocks and uneven terrain.

Chicaque Natural Park Tour

If you are looking for something to do besides hiking, the park also has a zip-line. Scream your head off as you glide over the top of the cloud forest and get a bird’s-eye-view of the park. Speaking of birds, Chicaque is a designated IBA, or Important Bird Area. Colombia is a popular destination for birdwatchers.

Chicaque alone houses over 300 species of birds and enthusiasts can take part in a tour guided by a bilingual ornithologist. If birds are not your thing, maybe horses are. Visitors can ride horses up the steep trails back to the park’s entrance to cap off the day.

Whether you enjoy hiking, birdwatching or just stuffing your face with traditional Colombian food while gazing at mountains, Chicaque Natural Park has something for everyone to enjoy.

The Uncover Colombia Team