Why this trip ?
Get to know the Otún river basin, its majestic lagoon, the Colombian páramo and try to climb Nevado Santa Isabel, in only 3 days!
The Nevado Santa Isabel volcano is a 4995m mountain that rises above the central mountain range in the Colombian Andes. It is considered the least difficult snow-capped mountain to climb. It has 3 independent domes or peaks that rise to different altitudes. Together with its sister mountains: Nevado del Ruiz and Nevado del Tolima, these are the 3 intertropical glacier formations found in the protected area. Andean forests, moors, moraines and glaciers are just a small part of what you can enjoy in this great high mountain expedition.
Highlights of this Trip
Discovery of the Colombian Paramó, characterized by a variety of low altitude and rather humid plants.
Glacier zone (4750m-5000m) with moderate slopes. This is not a technical climb but a physical one.
This trek crosses the mythical paths of Arrieria, cultural routes in Antioquia.
Day by day
Pereira – Otún Basin and Refuge
7am: Departure from Pereira, by 4×4. Arrival at Cedrál, gateway to the Ucumarí Regional Natural Park, where the hike begins. The route starts at 2130m altitude, along a mule track, where a whole history of the moorland population has been shaped, which will be observed during the expedition. Here we have lunch in the middle of the Andean rainforest. A unique place where we can appreciate different species of fauna and flora. (2500m) 13:00: We continue to El Jordán farm, located at 3100m, at the beginning of the sub-paramo. We will spend the night in this farm where we will learn about the mountain culture of Colombia (3100m). Night in a tent or room (you choose).
The Páramo and the Otún Lagoon
7am: Breakfast and then we leave through the ecosystem of the páramo. On this route we observe some mountains like the paramillo of Quindío, the paramillo of Santa Rosa, the 3 peaks of the snowy Santa Isabel and, with a lot of luck, the Tolima glacier. We will pass by farms that have existed for more than 50 years in the protected area, generating daily field practices that make these communities unique.
2pm: We will arrive at a beautiful viewpoint above the Otún Lagoon where we will have our picnic lunch facing the paramo and the majestic body of water dominated by the 3 peaks of Santa Isabel. We will continue to our next refuge, where we will check in to the national park.
The snowy peak of Santa Isabel
2am, hot drink and energy bars before heading to our main goal. This day has 3 zones before reaching the summit (5.1km): Paramo/superparamo (4100m-4450m), rocky area/old Glacier (4450m-4750m), Glacier/summit (4750m-5000m). The vehicle will be waiting for us to continue another 10km on the road until we reach 4100m, the starting point for the summit. Then we start the 3.7km trek through the paramo. Once at the edge of the glacier, we will prepare our personal equipment and start our ascent. We will return by the same route and return to the mountain hut for a comforting lunch before heading back down to the towns.
The Journey in Image
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