Trekking in Cocuy National Park
Trekking in Cocuy National Park

Trekking in Cocuy National Park

7 days

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Spend 7 days discovering the classic western hiking trails in Colombia's Andes Mountains

La Sierra Nevada del Cocuy is a high-altitude mountain range in the eastern Andes mountains in Colombia. Much of this incredible natural area is preserved in the El Cocuy National Natural Park and can be explored on three different trails open within the park. This tour takes you on all three.

Since camping is not permitted, each of these trails will be done as day hikes based from an authentic active sheep farm which accommodates hikers in the region. Begin your tour with shorter hikes to lovely viewpoints to help your body adjust to the altitude. The Cocuy’s Classic Western Trails guided trekking tour is truly the best way to experience the wonders of this incredible region.

Highlights of the Trekking in Cocuy National Park

See the incredible view of the Devil’s Pulpit pinnacle and neighboring peaks from the viewpoint at Las Lajas.
Climb to the edge of the Ritacuba Blanco glacier with incredible views of the southern peaks.
Trek through diverse landscapes on the path to the impressive Laguna Grande de la Sierra mountain lake.
Experience the local culture as you stay at an authentic active sheep farm in the Cocuy region.

Prices

From $850USD
7 days
Difficulty
Guided
Lodges
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Trekking in Cocuy National Park

Colombia’s Cocuy Trekking Tour Itinerary

Day 1 Pick-up at your hotel and Road trip from Bogota to Cocuy

Get picked up at your hotel in Bogata and Depart early for a long drive to Cocuy. Depending on road conditions and traffic, the 430 km (267 miles) drive typically takes approximately 10-12 hours. Expect incredible views of the landscape along the drive as you first descend from Bogota (2,600 m/8,530’) to Chicamocha Canyon (1,860 m/6,102’), then ascend again to the town of El Cocuy (2,630 m/8,629’). Spend the night in a rustic hotel in Cocuy.
Overnight Location: Hotel Museo La Posada del Molino (2,630 m/8,629’)
Distance: 10-12 hours driving
Meals: Lunch, Dinner

Day 2 Trek Cerro Monserrate

Start your day with a good breakfast, then visit the El Cocuy National Natural Park office to obtain permits for your visit and the compulsory insurance. You’ll also receive an introductory briefing about the park. After this, an hour-long drive takes you to the base of the mountain Cerro Monserrate. The trail to the summit of Cerro Monserrate (3,810 m/12,500’) follows an old pilgrimage path and ascends through incredible landscapes, offering wonderful panoramic views. Just prior to reaching the summit, stop to take in the view of the Sierra Nevada range and its many spectacular peaks. Descend again via a different trail for even more incredible landscapes. Your overall route forms a semi-circle. Meet your transport and drive for about an hour to reach the Hacienda La Esperanza (3,593 m/11,788’). This special location is still an active sheep farm, but it also has a dormitory-style room for hikers. Enjoy an authentic glimpse of local culture during your stay at Hacienda La Esperanza.
Overnight Location: Hacienda La Esperanza (3,593 m/11,788’)
Distance: 4 hours, 5.8 km, 625 m of ascent, 485 m of descent
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3 Trek to Pico del Aguila Summit

Trek from the hacienda today to the summit of Pico del Aguila. Follow the trail through a lovely valley as it leads up to ridge where you’ll find clear views of the highest summit in the range, Ritacuba Blanco. From the summit of Pico del Aguila, you can look down over the trail you’ll follow tomorrow as it winds through the Lagunillas Valley to Pan de Azucar (Sugarloaf Hill) and Campanillas Blanco. Descend from Pico del Aguila and return to the hacienda by a different path, making today’s route a circuit.
Overnight Location: Hacienda La Esperanza (3,593 m/11,788’)
Distance: 4 hours, 4.2 km, 427 m of ascent, 427 m of descent
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4 Trek to Devil’s Pulpit Viewpoint

Get an early start today for a long but rewarding day. Begin with a 30-minute drive to the access point for Lagunillas and trek to the Devil’s Pulpit viewpoint (4,650 m/15,256’). After hiking for approximately 5-6 hours, you’ll reach a rocky moraine area called “Las Lajas”, where you’ll find a spectacular view of the Devil’s Pulpit as well as the neighboring peak Sugarloaf Hill (Pan de Azucar). The hike back to the Lagunillas access point takes about 3-4 hours. Your transport will meet you there and take you back to the Hacienda La Esperanza for a well-deserved rest.
Overnight Location: Hacienda La Esperanza (3,593 m/11,788’)
Distance: 9-10 hours, 14.9 km, 850 m of ascent, 850 m of descent
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5 Trek to Laguna Grande de la Sierra

Today is another early morning, hiking from the hacienda to Laguna Grande de la Sierra. This classic hike takes you to one of the largest lakes in the region at an elevation of 4,514 m/14,810’. Notice how the vegetation around you changes as you ascend. First, you’ll walk through green meadows, which soon give way to the alpine “paramos” ecosystem of the highlands. You’ll end in a rocky moraine area as you approach the snow-capped peaks. At the end of the valley is the lake, which is surrounded by five different peaks that are more than 5,000 m tall. Enjoy an inspiring break in this beautiful location before returning to the hacienda. Hiking from the hacienda to the lake takes about 5 hours, and the trek down typically takes about 3-4 hours. When you reach the Hacienda La Esperanza, you’ll transfer about 45 minutes to spend the night at the Kanwara huts. Spend the night in shared cabins in this amazing location overlooking the northern region of the Sierra.
Overnight Location: Kanwara Huts
Distance: 8-9 hours, 17.7 km, 921 m of ascent, 921 m of descent
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6 Trek to Ritacuba Blanco Glacier

Depart from the Kanwara huts at 8:00 AM following the Ritacuba trail up through the Ritacuba Valley. Today’s trek is steeper than the previous days but not as long in distance. Hike for about 4-5 hours to reach Playitas (4,595 m/15,075’) at the edge of the glacier. You’ll enjoy incredible views of the southern peaks and the lower valleys all along your trek. After taking in the views at Playitas, return again to the huts by the same trail. The descent takes approximately 2-3 hours. You’ll then drive back to the town of Cocuy and spend one last night in this amazing region.
Overnight Location: Hotel Museo La Pasada del Molino
Distance: 6-8 hours, 6.4 km, 600 m of ascent, 600 m of descent
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7 Departure Day

Return to Bogota today to end your tour. Once again, the drive takes about 10-12 hours depending on traffic and road conditions.
Overnight Location: N/A
Distance: 10-12 hours driving
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

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Cocuy’s Trekking Tour Price and Dates

Pricing for this guided trekking tour of Cocuy’s Classic Western Trails depends on the size of your group. Note that groups of 2-4 will use public transportation to get to Cocuy, while groups of 5 or more will have a private transfer for just their group.

The prices below are per person sharing a double or a triple room:

  • Guided Groups of 2 (Public Transport): $1,750 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 3-4 (Public Transport): $1,375 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 5-6 (Private Transport): $995 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 7+: on request
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Accommodation on trekking tour to Colombia’s Sierra Nevada del Cocuy

Accommodations on this tour are in shared cabins or dormitory-style rooms in trekking lodges. At the beginning and end of the tour, stay in a rustic hotel in town.

When you arrive in Bogota, spend your first night in a centrally located, 4-star hotel.
In some cases, accommodation listed below may need to be substituted for other, comparable accommodations.

Single Rooms and Solo Travelers
You can pay a supplement of $75 USD to have a private room in the hotel portion of this tour. Contact us and we can try and match single travelers up, where possible.

Hotels on Standard Tour

Hotel Museo La Posada del Molino, El Cocuy

Stay in the oldest colonial house in El Cocuy with incredible mountain views. Enjoy a charming stay with friendly and helpful service.

Hacienda La Esperanza, El Cocuy (Dormitories)

A perfect base for exploring the El Cocuy National Park with a beautiful landscape and all the amenities you need after a long day on the trail.

Kanwara Huts, Sierra Nevada del Cocuy, Guican (Shared Cabins)

Experience the majestic Sierra Nevadas up close with panoramic views and a convenient location for the Ritacuba trail.

Hotel Museo La Posada del Molino, El Cocuy

Stay in the oldest colonial house in El Cocuy with incredible mountain views. Enjoy a charming stay with friendly and helpful service.

What’s included in trekking tour to Colombia’s Cocuy’s region?

Meals

6 breakfasts, 7 lunches, and 6 dinners are included on your tour.

Accommodations

Accommodations for 6 nights along the tour are included as described. Expect rustic hotels, dormitory-style rooms, and shared huts.

Transportation during the Tour

  • Transportation to/from Cocuy. For groups of 2-4 it will be on a public bus and for groups of 5+ it will be a private transfer
  • Private transportation in the mountain area

Also Included

  • Local English-speaking mountain guide
  • Local assistant mountain guide (groups of 8 or more)
  • Spanish-speaking local assistant guides for days 4 – 6
  • National Park entrance fee and park’s insurance
  • First Aid Kit / Medical Oxygen

Not included

  • Transportation to and from Bogota before and after the tour
  • Tips
  • Personal equipment and expenses
  • Insurance
  • Anything else not listed as included

Optional Extras

  • Extra night in Bogota at the start or end of trip: $95 USD
  • Airport Transfers in Bogota with English-speaking driver: $70 USD for up to 3 guests

Frequently Asked Questions about Trekking in Cocuy National Park

Andes World Travel is a boutique adventure tour operator, founded by mountaineers, grown out of a love for adventure and first-hand knowledge of the Andes region. They offer a wide range of tours throughout South America, including both adventure tours and cultural tours.

Andes World Travel offers climbing, trekking, and hiking tours with an emphasis on safety and professionalism. They also offer “light trekking” trips for less experienced adventurers.

The company runs tours in Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina, Bolivia, Venezuela, and Peru. They focus on sustainable practices and are more than willing to customize their tours to client’s wishes.

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Trekking in Cocuy National Park Map

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Is this tour for me?

We rate this tour as a 4 / 5. You should be prepared to hike on different kind of terrain that can be steep at times. You should be able to hike for up to 10 hours in a day at altitudes above 4,000 m.

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