CATEGORY: Aventure / Mountaineering
DURATION: 4 days / 3 nights
NAME OF THE ROUTE: CONQUERING THE WHITE DONCELLA
In true expeditionary style, these 4 days take you right across the Los Nevados National Park, from the famous Cocora valley to the mountain city of Manizales. In what we regard as our most ‘complete’ trek, we also attempt to summit the unique and very special tropical glaciar, Santa Isabel.
We immerse ourselves in the flora and birdlife unique to the Andean tropical forests, the unique paramo ecosystem, glacial lagoons, volcanos and glacial peaks. Our hosts each evening are the traditionally welcoming, rural families who live in rustic farmhouses throughout the the Park. Colombia is the second most biodiverse country on the planet, and we can’t wait to show you why it is regarded as such! From South to the North, let’s explore this special area of stunning natural beauty.
Only suitable for people physically and psychologically prepared for experiences of great effort and who want to go beyond their own limits. It is necessary to have previous experience in mountaineering. The activities can last more than 12 hours a day, with distances of up to 19 kilometers (≈12 miles) and a change in elevation of 2,800 meters (≈9,000ft). The terrain is rugged, with steep slopes, irregular roads or even without a path (exploratory), some sections with mud, others rocky, others sandy and without shade; Sometimes it may be necessary to use your hands for support and balance. The altitude is above 4,000 meters (≈13,000 ft) with a maximum of 5,212 meters (≈17,000 ft). The luggage will be carried by mules, only the daily equipment will be carried.
DAY PRIOR TO THE TREK: We ask all clients to please come to the Paramo Trek office in Salento (before 4pm) where we take you through a pre-departure briefing. We double-check you are adequately equipped (hiking shoes, clothes for the cold, waterproofs etc.) as well as complete any outstanding payments. We do have some equipment available for rent, however, this is on a first come first served basis.
DAY 1: We all meet at the Paramo Trek office at 7am where you are introduced to your guide/s before heading to our breakfast stop. Once full from our hearty breakfast, we all jump into a traditional Colombian ‘Willis’ jeep to our start of the trek at the Cocora Valley. We start walking at an altitude of 2,390 meters towards the forest, where you can see the valley of wax palms. A day dominated by ascent, we continue ascending through the forest until we reach our final destination of Day 1, the farm “La Argentina”, at an altitude of 3,400 meters.
Day 2: Following a typical and delicious breakfast prepared by our hosts at Finca La Argentina, we leave for our day exploring the Paramo ecosystem. We started the ascent from the “La Argentina” farm to the Buenos Aires sector at 3,750 meters, getting closer and closer to the Los Nevados National Natural Park. Here we make a quick break, gathering the strength to make our ascent amongst the paramo and frailejones to an altitude of 4,045 meters and a majestic view point of the extinct volcano, the Paramillo del Quindío (4,750 meters). Here is our crossing point into the department of Risaralda, home to the finca el Berlín (3,700 meters) and our home for the evening.
Day 3: After breakfast we start our way towards the Otún river canyon until we meet the otun lagoon, the largest in the park and of glacial origin. it is fed mainly by the thaw of the majestic Nevado de Santa Isabel, with it’s glacial summit of 5,000 meters. If the weather is on our side, we get the opportunity to see this mighty peak as well as the surrounding area of natural beauty in full spread. From here we pass through, arguably, some of the most beautiful area of paramo in the National Park, before finally reaching our final point of the days hike, the rural farm Campo Alegre. Here we prepare for the night to come and the rest as much as possible before we embark on our final physical challenge- the summit of Nevado Santa Isabel.
Day 4: This day starts at the early hour of 2am. We provide a hot drink and light breakfast to help start our challenging day get off to the best start! We then have a 1 hour 4×4 ride to the start of our trek. The first part of the trek will start in the páramo heading up to the super paramo until we reach the glacier edge of the Santa Isabel Nevado, a distance of just 3,7 kilometers, but with an altitude gain of over 1,000 meters. At this point we prepare our ice-climbing equipment, with your guide/s ensuring that everything is fitted correctly and safely. Around 2 hours later you will find yourself on top of the world at 5,000 meters. We then descend back to our transport before starting the journey back to Manizales around 5pm, after a delicious celebratory lunch en route. Typically, groups spend a total of 10 hours trekking on this day.
(A → B): 10 Km
(F → G): 55 Km
EN vehiculo 4X4
A: Valle del Cocora
B: Finca la argentina
C: Finca el Berlin
D: Finca Campo Alegre
E: Sector conejeras
F : cumbre Nevado Santa Isabel
G : Manizales
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Value For Money
Let us support you to live this great adventure in Colombia! Contact us now and request all the information to make it a unique experience, made to your needs.
Cellphones: +57 311 745 3761 – +57 310 382 40 26
E-mail: [email protected]
Carrera 5 numero 9 – 33 / Salento – Quindio- Colombia