Get to know the impressive landscape of El Cocuy
The national park of El Cocuy is one of the 56 nature parks of Colombia and the most important mountain park. It consists of 25 snow-covered peaks, of which the Ritacuba Blanco with 4350 meters is the highest. You will also find several unique mountain landscapes such as the páramo ecosystem, lagoons and unique flora.
El Cocuy is the favorite destination for travellers who want to experience the mountains. The trip to the snow is physically demanding: you climb 4 hours until you reach the snow. During the tour you will learn how farmers live in this region.
The route starts at El Cocuy, a colonial-style village that is architectural and historical heritage of Colombia. There you can also do other activities such as mountain biking, mountain climbing, horse riding and hiking. And it is a beautiful place to enjoy the impressive mountain landscape.
Average temperature 23°C in the eastern part of the park and -3°C high in the mountains.
Wear comfortable but sturdy walking shoes and dress in layers. On top of that a comfortable but waterproof jacket and pants.
How to get there?
From Bogotá you drive in 8 to 9 hours to the village of El Cocuy, after which you travel to the park in over an hour.
What does this place offer you?
• Adventurous walks/trekkings.
• Special plants and animals.
• Snowy peaks of the high mountains.
• The culture of the Colombians who live in this region.
What to do?
• Take a walk through the park on the hill of Mahoma, where you can get used to the high altitude and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
• Walk one of the 3 authorized routes:
1. Lagunillas: where you can see canyons, lagoons and the tops of the snow-capped mountains, and of course the typical frailejón plant. The estimated duration of the tour is 8 hours.
2. Laguna Grande de la Sierra: a shorter tour of about 5 hours.
3. Ritacuba : the highest, longest and most difficult route in which you can enjoy beautiful glaciers and wild flowers and plants.
Typical local dishes
Mute: a soup prepared with boiled corn, meat, potatoes and vegetables.
Costilla de cordero: roasted marinated lamb ribs.
• Since El Cocuy is located at an altitude of approximately 2700 meters above sea level, you have to get used to the altitude after arrival.
• The rainy season is between May and November.
• Hiking in the mountains or trekking requires a good physical condition.
• This is sacred ground for the indigenous U'wa, which means that some parts of the area are closed to the public. Follow the instructions of the guides.
• According to the belief of the indigenous U'wa, you should not touch snow or walk on it.
• Ask for a local guide who knows the area well.
• During the excursions, take enough water and food with you and wear thermal socks.