Nevado Santa Isabel 4965 M

COL-23 / 7-day trip / Grade: F


Los Nevados National Park is located in the central Andes mountain range, in the traditional coffee area of Colombia. The protected area covers an area 583 km2 and four states: Caldas, Risaralda, Quindio and Tolima. There are three major snow capped volcanoes: Nevado del Ruiz (5321 m), Nevado del Tolima (5221 m) and Nevado del Santa Isabel (4965 m) and several alpine lakes and amazing colourful landscapes.

Our 7-day program to climb Nevado Santa Isabel (4965 m) is one of the most popular itineraries, as we not only set focus on the climb, but also on the local culture. A visit to Salento, one of the best-preserved coffee towns in the coffee area and the trek by the Otun river valley up to the national park, provides a fantastic acclimatization and a good insight into the area’s biodiversity, life style and changeable landscapes of the park. To end this active program, there is a final day at a productive coffee Hacienda with world-class coffee and perfect spot to rest and enjoy the wonderful weather!

Day 1 Bogotá – Salento (1919 m)
Day 2 Pereira – Trekking: “El Jordan” farm (3195 m)
Day 3 Trekking: El Otun Lake (3933 m)
Day 4 Trekking: “El Bosque” farm (3550 m)
Day 5 Climb: Nevado Santa Isabel (4965 m)
Day 6 Manizales – Coffee farm
Day 7 Bogotá (2660 m)
Day 1

Bogotá – Salento (1919 m)
Pick-up at hotel and transfer to domestic terminal for a flight (1 h) to the city of Armenia. Upon arrival, there will be a transport ready to take the group to the lovely town of Salento, a typical coffee town with the “paisa” colonial architecture style and a layback atmosphere.
The first visit in Salento will be to the famous Cocora Valley, an spectacular valley located at 25 minutes drive and at an altitude of 2425 meters adorn with Colombia’s national tree: The Wax Palm. This is also a great place to have a nice lunch while enjoying the scenery. Once back in Salento there will be some free time to enjoy this lay back town and the wide offer of handy-crafts and local products.
For the active traveller, there are plenty of extra tours options like “La Kasa” botanical tour guided by experts in the fauna and flora, horse back riding itineraries, mountain biking routes, between so many others.
Night in hotel.

Day 2

Pereira – Trekking: “El Jordan” farm (3195 m)
Early morning transfer from Salento to the city of Pereira (2 h), located at the heart of the Coffee area. Before heading into the mountains, there will be a short stop in Pereira to buy some snacks and any last minute things, that people might need. Then the drive takes about 2 hours by the margins of the Otun River, passing the rural areas of “La Florida” and “La Suiza”, until the head of trail known as “El Cedral” (2105 m). From this point, the group will follow a very nice trail with a moderate ascent rate for 2.5 h to “La Pastora” refuge, then the steepness will increase for 3.5 h, reaching the day’s goal “El Jordan” farm, located at an idyllic place between volcanic hills covered with dense vegetation and decorated with waterfalls of crystal clear water. This is one of the most beautiful days of the program, due to the changeable nature and weather.
Night in tent.
Ascent: 1090 m / Highest altitude: 3195 m / Distance: 13,6 Km / Activity duration: 5-6 h
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 3

Trekking: El Otun Lake (3933 m)
Today’s hike continues up the same river valley, ascending as the landscape changes in to dramatic volcanic eroded terrain. After 2 hours, “El Bosque” crater valley opens up with its colorful crops and meadows surrounded with high basalt walls in a semi-circular shape. Here the group will take a short break to enjoy such scenery and grab a quick bite. The trail will keep on ascending by the valley, following a series of ridges that lead up to “El Mosquito “ lake. On the way, it is possible to get a first view of the distant volcanoes like: El Paramillo del Quindío and Nevado Santa Isabel. Once at the Mosquito Lake, the terrain will be much gentler until the Otun Lake’s drain. The Otun Lake is the biggest water mass in the national park and one of most beautiful too. From the drain, the hike will take about 35 min. to Otun’s camping spot (3933 m), which is located by the National Park’s huts.
The rest of the day is to enjoy the place, walk by the lake’s shores and get lost in the extent gardens of Frailejones, an endemic plant from the northern Andes.
Night in tents.
Ascent: 738 m / Highest altitude: 3933 m / Distance: 9 Km / Activity duration: 5-6 h
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 4

Trekking: “El Bosque” farm (3550 m)
Today’s itinerary can be done b y one of the two trails that depart from the Otun Lake’s camping place. The guide will decide which trail to take according to the physical and weather conditions.

1. By the Western lake’s trail:
Morning hike back to the lake’s drain and then walk on a trail/dirt road that follows the Western margin of the lake up to the “La Asomadera” mountain pass (4139 m), the border between the states of Caldas and Risaralda and the best place to see the Otun lake, from this point another trail descend by a scenic gorge passing by a few local farms and pasture fields, losing altitude until reaching “Corinto” farm and soon after “El Bosque” farm our home for the night.
Night in tent.
Ascent: 206 m / Descend: 589 m / Highest altitude: 4139 m / Distance: 13.5 Km / Activity duration: 5-6 h

2. By the Eastern lake’s trail:
This trail follows the Eastern shore of the lake and ascents towards higher Asomadera ridge, passing through well-preserved native vegetation gardens and scenic waterfalls. Once on the ridge, the trail descends by a series of small lakes down to the lower Asonadera pass, joining the Western trail. This trail is more demanding than the other one, in time and physical effort, not in distance.
Night in tent.
Ascent: 304 m / Descend: 678 m / Highest altitude: 4237 m / Distance: 13.2 Km / Activity duration: 6-7 h
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 5

Climb: Nevado Santa Isabel (4965 m)
Very early transfer (45 min.) to La Conejera parking area (4180 m), where the hike starts. The ascent begins by a “Paramo” (grassland) area following a well-marked trail, which gains constantly altitude until the glacier’s edge (4680 m). Due to its location, the glacier has a great view over the northern area of the park. After gearing up, the climb goes over a disappearing glacier for about an hour until reaching the base of a rock pyramid, where the summit is. There is a last easy scrambling section that leads to the summit. From the top, on clear days, there is a fantastic view to the Nevado del Ruiz (the highest of the volcanoes in the park, now restricted due volcanic activity) and its permanent fumarole, la Olleta crater, El Cisne and down to the Manizales’ valley. The descent is done by the same trail and the transport will take the group down (3-4 h) to a coffee farm in Manizales’ area.
Night in the coffee farm.
Ascent: 785 m / Descent: 785 m / Highest altitude: 4965 m / Distance: 8,8 Km back and forth / Activity duration: 6-8 h
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 6

Manizales – Coffee farm
Hacienda Venecia, an authentic coffee farm with exclusive coffee production that has won awards for its coffee. The farmhouses now restored to a hostel and a hotel, featuring charming paisa architecture. Morning shared coffee tour, visiting the coffee fields and will learn everything you want to know, and more, about coffee production. The Venecia Coffee farm has won several prizes for its excellent coffee –see how the coffee is produced and processed, as well as how to make really good Espresso!
Night in the coffee farm.
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 7

Bogotá (2660 m)
Pick up at the coffee farm and transfer out to Manizales’ airport (45 min.). Upon arrival in Bogotá, transfer to hotel – End of services.
Included meals: Breakfast

COL-23 – To request prices, please click on the BOOK TRIP bottom on the right sidebar and fill the information.


  • Local English-speaking mountain guide from day 1 to 5
  • Local assistant mountain guide from 4 people
  • Local assistant mountain guide in Santa Isabel volcano on summit day Ratio: 1:3
  • Private transfers out and in in Bogotá
  • Private transportation throughout the entire program
  • National Park entrance fee and park’s insurance
  • 1 night in shared double rooms in hotel in Salento
  • 2 night in shared double rooms at Coffee farm in Manizales
  • 3 nights in shared tents at campsites
  • Shared coffee tour at coffee farm
  • Quality mountain tents – 2 pax per tent
  • Group common campsite equipment
  • Mules for group campsite equipment, food and pax personal gear (Packing and weight allowance – Information will be sent)
  • Included meals specified in the day to day itinerary


  • Domestic and international flights (see domestic approx. price above)
  • Personal camping and climbing equipment
  • Insurance
  • Tips
  • Everything not mentioned in the “Included” list

SALENTO: Hotel Salento Real or similar

MANIZALES: Hacienda Venecia – Guesthouse or similar


Finca El Jordan (no website) or similar
Otun Camping (no website) or similar
Finca El Bosque (no website) or similar



Trek & climb:


Tags: Climbing, Colombia, Santa Isabel, Los Nevados, F, F grade