I had the great opportunity to guide a group of 7 Swiss-German travellers through the Nationalpark Sierra Nevada del Cocuy. We did a trekking around the beautiful, majestic mountains and were enchanted to be witness of one of the most beautiful lanscapes Colombias.
This place holds 300 lagoons with the freshesd best quality drinking water, 22 snowcovered mountain summits with a maximum altitud of 5700 meters, and you find forests of alien-like frailejones plants. During the trip we never crossed any other traveller, we just were completely alone surrounded by a breathtaking scenery.
Day 1: Start trekking in Kanwara - Laguna Grande le los Verdes
Our professional mountain guide team has arrived with the mules. The animals get loaded and the Trek can start! We have to get used to the thin air, some of use have it easyer, others more difficulties. But the view is just great. The snow mountains Ritacubas with more than 5.000 meter Altitude, San Agustín and the Pan de Azúcar mountain may be observed. We hike uphill to the pass at 4.390 m. The following descent leads us to the Laguna Grande de los Verdes (4.100 m) our first Camp. We set up our tents on the shore of the lagoon.
Trekking 4 - 5 hours; Ascent 5.000m; Descent 3.000m; Overnight stay in tents
Day 2: Laguna Grande de los Verdes - Cueva Larga
After the breakfast we follow first the Lagoon shore and hike up the Paso de los Frailes up to 4.200 m. Then we have a long downhill along red-green colored small lagoons followed a slight ascending route. Few hours later we arrive at the Laguna de La Isla (4.455 m). From here its just one hour more to the Boquerón de la Sierra (4.650 m). Thats a tough piece, but worth it, because you get rewarded with a unique panorama, all the 3 Ritacubas to the right, deep below us the Laguna del Avellanal, to the left the rockwalls of Manaba and the pointy rock formations of La Aguja. After lunch wie descent to the Laguna del Avellanal (4.398m), above us the shiny glaciers. Following a creek we finally arrive at a long overhang (half open cave) the Cueva Larga (4.240 m). Here we establish our camp.
Trekking 6 - 7 hours; Ascent 900m; Descent 700m; Overnight stay in tents
Day 3: Cueva Larga - Laguna del Panuelo
From this day one we can not use the mules anymore and have to carry all our personal baggage. First we walk down on a small path to the Valley of the Cojines
(Valle de los Cojines, 4.130m) and have to pass a creek. Its an amazing valley with a great view on a large canyon with a river in the center, leading to Venezuela. We are sourrounded by espectacular Rock and Ice summits.After the hike through the valley we have to assault the Passo de El Castillo (4.530 m). A terrain full of big rocks and at some parts without any indication of a road. Arriving on the top we get an amazing panoramic view. We finish our trek with a downhill walk to the Laguna del Panuelo our Camp at 4.300 m.
Trekking 7 - 8 hours; Ascent 700m; Descent 500m; Overnight stay in tents
Day 4: Laguna del Panuelo - Laguna de La Plaza
Lots of rocks on the way to one of the most beautiful places in the Sierra Nevada del Cocuy, the Laguna de la Plaza. (ca. 4.150m). We establish our camp on the foot of the mountains Toti and Portales. Forests of Frailejones complet the beautiful scenery.
Trekking 7 - 8 hours; Ascent 400m; Descent 550m; Overnight stay in tents
Day 5: Trekking Laguna de La Plaza - Laguna Grande de la Sierra
From the camp we may already see the strongly inclined east side ascent route. We start eary in the morning to a trail through a bunch of stones and rocks. We will reach the pass at 4.800 meters and descent afterwards to the Laguna de la Sierra (ca. 4.250 m) where we spent the night in a beautiful basecamp at the shores of the Lagoon. From here we have a great view on the sourrounding mountains Cóncavo, Pan de Azúcar, Púlpito del Diablo, Toti and the glacier.
Trekking 5 - 6 hours; Ascent 700m; Descent 600m; Overnight stay in tents
Day 6: Trekking Laguna Grande de La Sierra - End of trekking in La Esperanza
Our last Trekking day in the Sierra Nevada del Cocuy. We walk through a Lagoon and Swamp landscape in the Valley of the frailejones following a creek until the Country house.
Trekking 4 - 5 hours; Descent 650m; Overnight stay in multiple rooms