We are a team of storytellers here to bring you the best Colombia has to offer. On our blog, we answer your most frequent questions and uncover our countries mysteries, culture, and highlights for you.
Colombia's geographic features have gave it the privilege of counting with a wide variety of landscapes and ecosystems all made for those nature lovers that want to go for a hiking getaway far from the cities' bustlinglife. From north to south you will find jungles, lowlands, tropical forests, lakes, beautiful beaches, desserts, and high mountains with snow-covered peaks. All that makes the country a great destination for hikers from all over the world. This blog post will present you the most beautiful hiking tracks in the country - for every level of difficulty!
La Chorrera is the tallest waterfall in Colombia with 590 meters (1,935 feet) and it is the easiest hike on this list. The hike starts just a couple of hours from Bogota. It takes around 4 to 5 hours and is 16 kilometers (10 miles) long. Located in the small mountainous town of Choachi, itis a stunning example of Colombia’s natural beauty. The walking is pleasant and relaxed, and only features a couple of uphills through a cloud forest. The altitude can be a bit tough, so if you just arrived in Bogotá it may be best to wait a day or two until you acclimate to the elevation.
This hike takes about 6 to 7 hours and is 15 kilometers (9 miles) long. Tayrona National Park is one of the more popular destinations for tourists because of its immense natural beauty. The park is located about 40 km from Santa Marta. If you start at the entry en Calabazo the road leads you to Playa Brava and through beautiful wildlife to Pueblito, one of the old sacred cities where the indigenous people live and from there you hike down to Cabo San Juan. This is a beautiful beach with a pretty massive campsite, where you can rent a tent or a hammock to stay overnight. But you can’t beat the hike from Calabazo without a solid bit of exercise. The park is closed for one month; normally from the 28th of January to the 28th of February each year.
Image source: http://www.parquesnacionales.gov.co/portal/es/ecoturismo/region-andina/parque-nacional-natural-purace/
This hike takes around 4 to 5 hours and is 20 kilometers (12 miles) long. The spectacular high-altitude National Park is located a few hours from Popayan, in Colombia’s southern Andean region. The hiking route leads you along the rocky road that fringes the park, it takes you through a variety of changing habitat; from paramo to sub-paramo and cloud forest. It is home to a diverse array of wildlife, and a nice quiet lagoon surrounded by volcanoes. Here you have the best chance to see Andean Condors (the national bird of Colombia) and Spectacled Bears. The park is famous for its birdlife and mist-shrouded waterfalls.
The hike is near the lovely pueblo of Salento in the Coffee Region. It takes abround 5-6 hours and is about 13 kilometers (8 miles) long. Although it is not an expert-level hike, you’ll need to hike up a step 800 meter climb. You can see the breathtaking area of this iconic place, surrounded by green hills and dotted with the country’s national tree - the Quindio Wax Palm. This spindly variety can grow up to 60 meters (200 feet). You'll hike through a cloud forest with amazing views all around. Once you reach the top, a rewarding cup of hot chocolate will be awaiting for you to warm up while enjoying a complete panoramic of the valley. We strongly recommend you to bring a lot of sunscreen for this hiking track as the Cocora Valley is located at an altitude of 5,900 – 7,900 feet (1,800 – 2,400 meters) and the sun is very strong.
This trek can be done in 4 or 5 days and is about 47 kilometers (29 miles) long. It’s a hike through the rainforest in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in the north of Colombia. This trek might be one of the most beautiful ones but it's also tricky as it leads you several kilometers through the sticky heat of the jungle, a lot of it uphill. It is not recommended for people with zero hiking experience, so prepare yourself a bit before going on this adventure. In the mountains between 900 and 1,200 meters of the Buritaca river, there are hidden the ruins of an ancient indigenous town called “Teyuna” - The Lost City. You might even meet some local indigenous people who still live within the area. You can think of it almost like a mini Machu Picchu. The Lost City hike is a return trip that begins and ends in a small town called Machete.
It was built in 800 AD by the “Tayronas” who inhabited this area long before the arrival of the Spanish Conquistadors. The city has an architecture based on terraces made with an enigmatic disposition and a unique design never seen before in any ancient city in America.
This trek takes around 5 days and is almost 50 kilometers (31 miles) long. There are several hiking trails in this national park - all different in length, which makes it a perfect destination for high-mountain experts. This incredible route leads you through the high-altitude national park, goes through high Andean paramo (páramo is the ecosystem of the regions above the continuous forest line, yet below the permanent snowline), alongside glacial lakes, and past some of the most impressive peaks with 5,330 meter (3,3 miles) above sea level. El Cocuy National Park, located central-eastern of Bogota, is Colombia’s biggest selection of snow-capped Andean peaks and is home to incredibly unique plants. This National Park is home to the biggest mass of snow and ice in northern Latin-America and includes lakes, crystal-clear creeks flowing across valleys, and unique vegetation throughout. The best conditions for this trek are between December and March.
In each area of Colombia, you can find amazing hikes, no matter your hiking or trekking level. If you want to escape the traffic or the cities there are multiple choices; these 6 routes are just a little example to show you how fascinating hiking in this country is. We hope we have given you some inspiration to go hiking in Colombia too.
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