Colombia’s rich and varied landscapes make it the perfect hiking destination: you can explore rainforests, mountains, unique ecosystems and over 50 national parks, and discover snowcapped mountains, the Colombian wax palm tree and the ruins of ancient civilisations. Colombian hikes vary in difficulty and environment; from climbing up mountains to high humidity rainforest hikes, there is truly something for everyone.
Ciudad Perdida (Lost City)
The Lost City or Ciudad Perdida is an ancient village in ruins, thought to have been built in 800 AD, over 650 years before the famous Machu Picchu. It was discovered only in 1972 by a small group of treasure seekers who were searching in the forest. This hike is over 28 miles (45 kilometres) long, and is usually undertaken over a period of four to six days. The hike should be done with a tour guide; indigenous individuals from the Arhuaco, Koguis, and Wiwas communities often lead the tours. This hike goes through the rainforests and up mountains, streams and rivers.
Sierra Nevada del Cocuy
The Sierra Nevada del Cocuy is a national park that contains a large number of snowcapped mountains, the highest being 5,330 metres (17,487 feet). A hike through this national park should be undertaken with a guide who can help navigate the dangerous mountain environments. The hikes though the park range from easy to difficult, with the most difficult being to the top of the highest mountain.
The Cocora Valley is located within Colombia’s coffee triangle, close to the small and unique town of Salento. This valley is unique, mountainous, and filled with examples of the Colombian national tree, the Colombian Wax Palm. These beautiful trees take hundreds of years to reach their current height. Hikes in this national park vary in difficulty depending on which route you take. This hike can be done alone, by entering the park and following a map, but guides are also available if preferred.
Paramo de Chingaza
This unique and biodiverse national park is home to a paramo ecosystem, an environment situated between the tree line and the snowcapped mountains peaks. This area helps to get the water from the sky down to the earth; this national park provides over half of Bogota’s drinking water supply. Within this national park there is a hike called Camino Monfortiano o del Humea, which is 19 kilometres (11.7 miles) long. It passes by lakes, waterfalls, canyons, rivers and little-explored lands.
Caminata La Chorrera
The hike to La Chorrera is 15 kilometres (9.3 miles) long and passes by rivers, creeks, waterfalls, and wildflowers. The area is also home to a large number of bird species. This walk starts in Choachi, and the marked trail passes by seven waterfalls, including La Chorrera, the tallest waterfall in Colombia, which has a 590 metre (1,936 feet) drop.
Chicamocha Canyon Ridge
The Chicamocha Canyon is located in the Santander department of Colombia, close to Bucaramanga, Barichara and the adventure sports capital San Gil. This 7-kilometre (4.3-mile) hike passes through coffee farms, waterfalls, countryside farms and picturesque villages.
Los Nevados National Park
The Los Nevados National Park offers a number of different hikes: one of these is a 14.5-kilometre (9-mile) relaxed two-day hike from Cocora Valley to Primavera, with two nights’ camping. This hike is demanding mostly because of the increase in altitude from 1,500 metres (4,921 feet) to 4,000 metres (13,123 feet). It can be extended up to 50 kilometres (31 miles) from Cocora Valley to Juntas.