Why this trip ?
A spectacular trek to the peak of a dormant volcano!
The Tolima Volcano with 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.
Highlights of this Trip
Hike through the Cocora Valley, one of the few places on earth where you can see the world’s tallest wax palms.
The Tolima Volcano is perhaps the most attractive mountain for trekking and climbing in Colombia.
Transport in a traditional Willys Jeep of the Colombian coffee farmers.
Day by day
Cocora valley and up to the Páramo
At 7am, breakfast in Salento and transport by traditional Willys Jeep of the Colombian coffee farmers to the majestic Cocora Valley and its wax palms, which have become the national symbol of Colombia, often immersed in a mysterious mist. We will pass 6 suspension bridges that cross a tumultuous river that descends from the mountains and gives its waters to the department of Quindio. We will go along the Acaime nature reserve and continue to the farm called “Star of Water” (Estrella de Agua) where we will enjoy a typical mountain lunch.
At around 12:30 we will go to the Estrella de Agua farm to the La Primavera farm where we will spend the night. We cross the Páramo ecosystem, considered essential for life and present in only 4 countries. With a little luck we will be able to observe the imposing Tolima Glacier and the sumptuous Paramillo del Quindio.
Base camp and acclimatization
8am: After a delicious breakfast, we’ll start the trek from the La Primavera farm to Base Camp at 4400m. This day is easier than the first and consists of a more relaxed walk, a useful way to acclimatize the body to the altitude. After midday, we arrive at Base Camp to have some rest for the day and prepare ourselves for the next day’s summit attempt. The glacier equipment will be organized and instructions about its proper use will be given.
Attempt to climb the Tolima glacier
2:00am: We’ll wake up very early, have some tea and something to eat, then make our way to the glacier in order to complete the summit attempt (5220m). This attempt is divided into three main sections: The first is leaving the camp and taking a steep, sandy slope that will lead us to a large flat zone. The second section is hiking through an area of huge rocks that a few short years ago were covered by the glacier. We will climb with caution on some spots before arriving at the last section, the glacier. Here we will use the equipment and face the last kilometers to the summit.
Back to Salento
7am. We have breakfast. We will start our descent to the fog forests (bosque de niebla) by a different route than the one we took on the way down. These forests are home to an extraordinary variety of fauna and flora of great importance for the water supply in Colombia. We will reach the impressive Cocora Valley where we will again be able to enjoy the wax palm landscapes in all their splendour on a different mountainside. We will take some photos before continuing to Salento, one of the oldest and most typical villages in the department of Quindio.
The Journey in Image
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