October 2, 2018, 5:40 am
Sometimes, it's good to get out of the city and hit some hiking spots in Colombia during your vacation. Colombia offers a vast variety of ecosystems and landscapes, so you’ll definitely want to pack your hiking boots. If you are looking to explore this country by foot and admire its splendid natural beauty, be sure to hit these five hiking spots in Colombia:
Chingaza National Natural Park
About 1 hour and a half away from Bogotá, the National Park of Chingaza offers amazing day treks. Chingaza gives you the chance to explore the unique páramo landscapes that provide a large part of the capital’s water. Magical and eerie with its fog, Chingaza is definitely worth visiting if you’re in Bogotá for more than a couple of days.
It’s also a great place for a birding tour, as it's home to the majestic Andean Condor, Cauca Guan (Penelope perspicax), Brown-breasted Parakeet (Pyrrhura calliptera), Green-bearded Helmetcrest (Oxypogon guerinii), Silvery-throated Spinetail (Synallaxis subpudica) and other endemic bird species. If you plan on hiking Chingaza, be sure to reserve at least two weeks in advance as no walk-ins are allowed.
El Cocuy National Natural Park
If you are quite the adventurer, Parque Nacional Natural El Cocuy offers an amazing 5-day trek to climb up the Sierra Nevada Mountains to its snowy peaks. Located close to the city of Bucaramanga, you can either fly from Bogotá and then take a bus, or directly take a 9-hour bus from Bogotá to the nearby town. Here you'll observe beautiful lakes, páramo and snowy mountains. Be prepared as you will reach high levels of altitude and low temperatures.
Valle de Cocora
If you are in the Coffee Region, you will absolutely want to take at least a day to explore Valle de Cocora, as it’s an a must-see gem of the region. Depending on how much time you would like to spend exploring this lush valley dotted by towering wax palms, you can take anywhere from an hour to a day to hike the trail.
The whole trail is a loop. If you do the whole loop, you will see a variety of landscapes such as farmland, the valley, woods and you’ll cross a river several times over primitive bridges. Some parts, like through the actual valley, are easy with a slight slope. Other parts, especially, through the woods, can be challenging thanks to slippery rocks, steep inclines and the high altitude. The whole loop takes 5 to 6 hours to complete.
The Lost City
The Lost City, or la Ciudad Perdida, is a wonderful 4-day hike located on the Caribbean coast, only an hour and a half away from the city of Santa Marta. The Lost City is an indigenous holy ground in the middle of the jungle. It takes 3 days to hike there, and one day to get back. Challenges include high-humidity heat, rain, and quite a bit of uphill walking. Despite it being a popular hiking trail in Colombia, it still feels incredibly special when you reach the Lost City in the middle of the Colombian jungle.
Tayrona National Park
If you want just a little bit of adventure and are in the Caribbean coast, I strongly suggest you do the hike to Tayrona National Park. The 2-hour hike will take you through the same jungle landscapes that you would have seen in the Lost City hike, but this trail leads you to the beautiful and wild beaches of the Caribbean coast. You can spend the night in the area or head back to Santa Marta at the end of the day.
I hope this article inspired you to venture out of the cities and hike during your vacation in Colombia. Whether you are an expert hiker or are just looking to enjoy some of the nature in Colombia, this bio-diverse country has a trail for you.
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