Climbing the Tolima glacier
Why this trip ?
A spectacular trek to the peak of a dormant volcano! The Tolima Volcano is perhaps the most attractive mountain for trekking and climbing in Colombia. The conical volcanic shape offers unique opportunities for outdoor adventures, with the mountain, set inside the Los Nevados national park, rising to an altitude of 5,220m. This itinerary takes us across a number of different Colombian ecosystems, allowing trekkers to fully appreciate the beauty and variety of the Colombian Andes.
- Day1 : Cocora Valley and the Paramo ascent
- Day2 : Base camp and acclimatisation
- Day3 : Summit attempt
- Day4 : Back to Salento
Highlights of this Trip
The Tolima Glacier is one of the most attractive mountains for mountaineering in Colombia.
For nature lovers and hikes in the mountains.
A physical challenge that is worth it.
Day by day
Cocora Valley and the Paramo ascent
Breakfast in Salento and transportation by traditional Jeep Willys from the Colombian coffee growers to the majestic Cocora Valley with its wax palms, often immersed in a mysterious mist. We cross 6 suspension bridges across a tumultuous river that descends from the mountains. We walk along the Acaime nature reserve and continue to the farmhouse called “the star of water” (Estrella de Agua) where we will enjoy a typical mountain lunch.
At around 12:30 pm, we head towards La Primavera farmhouse where we will spend the night. We will cross the ecosystem of the Páramo, considered essential for life. With a bit of luck we will be able to observe the imposing Tolima Glacier and the sumptuous Paramillo of the Quindio.
Base camp and acclimatisation
8 am: After a delicious breakfast, we will begin the trek from the La Primavera farm to base camp, at 4,400m. This day’s trek is less challenging than the first one and involves a more relaxed walk: necessary to acclimatize the body to the altitude. After midday, we will arrive at base camp to have a relaxing afternoon and prepare ourselves for the next day’s summit attempt. The glacier equipment will be organized and instructions about proper use will be given.
2:00am. We will wake up very early, have some tea and a bite to eat, then head to the glacier in order to complete the summit attempt (5,220m). This attempt is divided into 3 main sections: the first one, heading out from the camp, will take us along steep, sandy slopes that see the terrain change from a páramo ecosystem to a glacial steppe. The second section is made up of huge rocks that a few years ago were covered by the glacier. We will carefully climb some vertical formations before arriving at the last section, the glacier, where we will put on our equipment and take on the last few kilometres to the summit. The glacier segment will take more or less 2 hours in ascent and 45 minutes on the climb back down. Estimated time from and to base camp: 7 hours.
1pm: After having a short break at base camp we will pack our things and start descending to the La Primavera farm.
Back to Salento
7am. Today we will embark on our descent to Cocora Valley, taking a different route to the ascent, along the canyon of the Quindío River, bursting with a stunning richness of flora and fauna, until we get back to Salento, the region’s oldest and most traditional town.
The Journey in Image
Included in this Travel
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