5. National Park Los Nevados
Trekking lovers will find paradise in this park. Following a spine of snow-covered volcanic peaks, this park provides access to the most amazing stretches of the Colombian Andes.
It has a total size of 583 km2 located high up in the mountains where 37 rivers are born. Its highest peak is El Ruiz at an altitude of 5325 m.a.s.l.
The southern part of the park is open for hikers. There are paths for the different type of hikes: from single-day hikes to multi-day treks of up to 8 days.
Some of the high points of this park are the Laguna del Otun (a beautiful lake situated in the humid paramo ecosystem at 4000 m.a.s.l) and the hike to the top of the Santa Isabel peak (located at 4965 m.a.s.l).
The hike to Laguna del Otun is usually done as an acclimatization trek before going to higher places.
It is an almost flat walk thought beautiful paramos until you arrive at the gorgeous lake, the greatest of the park. This hike can be done as a day trip from Manizales or from Santa Rosa de Cabal.
The hike to the top of the Santa Isabel peak requires at least 2 full days. On day 1, you will arrive at the base camp located at an altitude of 4000 meters and do the acclimatization walk to Laguna del Otun.
After spending the night in the base camp, on day 2 you will wake up at around 2:30 am to start the ascent to the top of the peak during sunrise.
This is the hardest part of the hike as you will start feeling the lack of oxygen typical of these altitudes. Additionally, you will have to hike over the glacier (with all necessary equipment) for the last hour.
The Los Nevados National Park is one of the top Colombia tourist attractions. Being on top of the glacier while the sun rises is one of the most amazing feelings and experiences you could ever imagine.