Cocuy’s Classic Western Trails

COL-83 / 7-day trip / Grade: T2-3

SN Cocuy: Classic Western trails
OVERVIEW

La Sierra Nevada del Cocuy, or Güicán y Chita as it is known among mountain hikers, extends from North to South on the eastern mountain range of the Andes, continuing into Venezuela where it disappears into the Caribbean sea.

This high altitude mountain range, is one of the most important areas for mountain climbing in the country, having 22 summits above 5000 m divided by two parallel ranges (23 km long) that create rich and diverse valleys, both from a biological and a geological point of view. These valleys are divided by several mountain passes between 3900 – 4850 m of altitude, making it an ideal place for outdoor activities.

This program has been design incorporating some nice and panoramic acclimatizations hikes outside the National park and also the only 3 open trails within the park’s area. All the activities are day-hikes and the idea is that the trekkers will be out hiking during the day and will spend all nights at rustic local farm/lodges/huts out side the park’s boundaries.
The trekking is graded is between T2-3, not because they are difficult, but due to the length to be cover as it is no longer possible to camp. The most demanding hikes are those in the National park, but of-course they can be adjusted to the groups physical condition.


Day 1 Bogota – Cocuy (2630 m)
Day 2 Trekking: Cerro Monserrate (3810 m)
Day 3 Trekking: Pico del Aguila (4020 m)
Day 4 Trekking: Devil’s Pulpit viewpoint (4650 m)
Day 5 Trekking: Laguna Grande de la Sierra (4514 m)
Day 6 Trekking: Ritacuba Blanco’s glacier (4595 m)
Day 7 Cocuy – Bogotá

Important:

– Due to the new National park authorities’ regulations in terms of the number of visitor per day per trail, It is very important to book the trip well in advance to avoid any access inconveniences. We advise to avoid, if possible, the periods between December 25th to January 15th, Eastern week and Autumn break in October (please consult the exact dates, as they change from year to year).

ITINERARY
Day 1

Bogota – Cocuy (2650 m)
Early pick up at designated place and road trip to Cocuy. The trip takes usually between 10-12 hours depending on the traffic and road conditions. Cocuy is located 430 km. north from Bogota. The landscapes are really stunning and during the trip will drive down from Bogota (2600 m) to Chicamocha Canyon (1860 m) and then up to El Cocuy town (2630 M).
Night in rustic hotel in Cocuy town.
Included meals: Lunch, Dinner

Day 2

Trekking: Cerro Monserrate (3810 m)
After a good rest and breakfast, the team will head out to visit to the National Park office for permits, Park’s compulsory insurance and introduction briefing. After this, the transport will take the group to the base of Cerro Monserrate. The drive takes 1 hour and follows the road to Güican and a bit further up.
The trail follows a pilgrimage path that ascents through beautiful landscapes and great panoramic view. Just before reaching the summit, there are fantastic views over to the Sierra Nevada and many of its high summits. The descent takes a different trail that ends in a semi-circular itinerary. Then a 1-hour drive to Hacienda La Esperanza (3593 m), a typical sheep-raising farm still active, that has been adapted room to accommodate hikers. The place is an authentic experience and an opportunity to get close to the local culture.
Night in shared dormitories at Hacienda La Esperanza.
Ascent: 625 m / Descent: 485 m / Highest Altitude: 3810 m / Distance: 5,76 Km. / Activity duration: 4 h.
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 3

Trekking: Pico del Aguila (4020 m)
Today the group will do a hike to Pico del Aguila, a trekking summit just above the hacienda. The trail ascends through a beautiful valley up to a well marked ridge, where will get a perfect view over to the Ritacuba Blanco, highest summit on the range. The summit has a privilege view dong to next days itinerary the Lagunillas valley and over to the Pan de Azucar and Campanillas Blanco. The descend follows a different trail making a circular path back to the Hacienda.
Night in shared dormitories at Hacienda La Esperanza.
Ascent: 427 m / Descent: 427 m / Highest Altitude: 4020 m / Distance: 4,21 Km. / Activity duration: 4 h
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 4

Trekking: Devil’s Pulpit viewpoint (4650 m)
Early departure from Hacienda La Esperanza, as this is one of the longest days of the program. Transfer (30 min.) to Lagunillas’ access point and start the trek to Devil’s pulpit viewpoint. The hike takes about 5-6 hours to reach the area know as “Las Lajas” which is a rock moraine and from where the team will have a great view over to the iconic rock pinnacle known as the Devil’s pulpit and to its neighbor peak Pan de Azucar. The descent takes 3-4 hours back. Once back at the access point, the transport will take the group back to Hacienda La Esperanza for a good night rest.
Night in shared dormitories at Hacienda La Esperanza.
Ascent: 850 m / Descent: 850 m / Highest Altitude: 4650 m / Distance round-trip: 14,9 Km. / Activity duration: 9-10 h
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 5

Trekking: Laguna Grande de la Sierra (3593 m)
Another early start from H. Esperanza to Laguna Grande de la Sierra. This is one of the most classic hikes, reaching one of the biggest lakes in the whole mountain range at 4514 meters. The scenery is an experience as the vegetation changes while ascending from green meadows, passing through the higlands “Paramos” and ending on the rocky moraines close to the snow covered peaks. The lake lies at the end of a valley surrounded by 5 peaks over 5000 meters. The hike up tot he lake takes around 5 hours.
After a good break at the lakes viewpoint, the group will hike back down to the Hacienda, it usually takes 3-4 hours. Once back at the Hacienda, the transport will take the group (45 min.) to Kanwara huts for a night at this lovely spot with a panoramic view over to the northern part of the Sierra.
Night at Kanwara huts in shared cabins.
Ascent: 921 m / Descent: 921 m / Highest Altitude: 4514 m / Distance round-trip: 17,74 Km. / Activity duration: 8-9 h
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 6

Trekking: Ritacuba Blanco’s glacier (4595 m)
Around 8 AM the group will depart from Kanwara huts taking the trail know as Ritacuba, up a valley with eh same name. This trail is a bit steeper than the previous ones, but shorter in distance, usually taking 4-5 hours. The views down to the lower valleys and the Southern peaks are incredible. The itinerary ends by the glacier’s edge on a place know as “Playitas” (4595 m). The descend traces back the same trail and it takes about 2-3 hours to reach the huts. Then transfer back (1,5 h) to Cocuy for the last night in the area.
Night in rustic hotel in Cocuy town.
Ascent: 600 m / Descent: 600 m / Highest Altitude: 4595 m / Distance round-trip: 6,44 Km. / Activity duration: 6 h
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 7

Cocuy – Bogota
Departure form Cocuy and transport back to Bogota (10-12 hours). Drop-off at designated place.
END OF SERVICES
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch


Important:

– Due to the new National park authorities’ regulations in terms of the number of visitor per day per trail, It is very important to book the trip well in advance to avoid any access inconveniences. We advise to avoid, if possible, the periods between December 25th to January 15th, Eastern week and Autumn break in October (please consult the exact dates, as they change from year to year).

PRICING
COL-83 – To request prices, please click on the BOOK TRIP bottom on the right sidebar and fill the information.


INCLUDED

  • Local English-speaking mountain guide during the entire program
  • Local assistant mountain guide during the entire program from 8 PAX
  • Spanish speaking local assistant guides for days: 4, 5 & 6.
  • Public bus to/from Cocuy and private transportation in the mountain area for the PUBLIC transportation price
  • Private transportation throughout the entire program for the PRIVATE transportation price
  • National Park entrance fee and park’s insurance
  • 2 nights in shared double rooms at hotel in the town in Cocuy
  • 3 nights in shared dormitory at Hacienda La Esperanza – South area
  • 1 night in shared dormitory at Kanwara Huts – North area
  • Communications
  • First aid kit
  • Medical oxygen
  • Included meals specified in the day to day itinerary

NOT INCLUDED

  • Domestic and international flights
  • Personal equipment
  • Insurance
  • Tips
  • Everything not mentioned in the “Included” list
HOTEL LIST

PARQUE NACIONAL EL COCUY:

Hotel Museo La Posada del Molino or similar

Kanwara Huts (No website) or similar

Hacienda La Esperanza  or similar

MAP

Overview:


Treks:

GALLERY

Tags: Colombia, Cocuy, Trekking, Boyaca, Ritacuba Blanco, T2, T3, Pulpito del Diablo, SN Cocuy, Laguna Grande de La Sierra, Lagunillas