El Cocuy National Park is located in the western mountain range of the Colombian Andes, between the Boyacá, Arauca and Casanare departments. El Cocuy’s majestic geography offers snowy mountains, paramos, jungles, valleys, lakes and streams. Within the park exists a vast array of animal and plants species. The park spans an area of 3,060 km2 (1,180 sq mi), with a maximum altitude of 5,330 meters (17,487 feet) above the sea level at the top of the Ritacuba Blanco peak, and a minimum altitude of 2,700 meters (8,858 feet) at the forested areas of the Andean foothills.
This excursion follows a splendid route through some of the most emblematic locations at El Cocuy, including an ascent of the Pan de Azúcar peak.
Bring three layers of specialized clothes for cold and wet weather at mountain altitudes between 2000mts (6560Feet) to 5000mts (16400feet), where we will face cold temperatures between -6C° (21F°) and 15C° (60F°) plus the occasional wind chill factor. We should bring also protection against sun, wind and rain.
ITINERARY 6 DAYS
Bogotá – El Cocuy – Sisuma
We meet in the afternoon at the bus terminal in Bogotá to take a bus to El Cocuy village. We will arrive ten hours later, early in the morning. After having breakfast we will register at the park entrance. Then, a four-wheel drive car will take us on the one-hour trip to the park entrance.
Thenceforth we will start a beautiful walk up the mountains of the park. The trekking will last around an hour before we arrive at our campsite next to the Sisuma refuge. The afternoon will be dedicated to relaxing and taking pictures of the lakes and peaks that surround the campsite.
Sisuma – Cusirí pass – Sisuma
This will be our second acclimatization day, in which we will do a four-hour trek (round trip) to the Cusirí pass. The trail passes by four beautiful lakes and if weather is clear, we will be able to see the eastern plains below. Once back at our campsite we will rest and prepare the equipment that we will use on the next day in our attempt to summit.
Sisuma – Pan de Azúcar – Sisuma
On Day 3 we will be more adapted to the altitude and ready to take on the Pan de Azúcar peak. Before the dawn we will start our walk to the summit at 5,150 meters (16,896 feet). During the ascent we will pass by the grand Púlpito del Diablo rock and will enjoy one of the most magnificent views one can find in Colombia. The whole hike up to the Pan de Azúcar peak and back to campsite will take us from eight to ten hours and will be the only physically-intense day. Those who feel too tired may opt to wait by the snowline with one of the guides while the rest of the group ascends to the summit.
Sisuma – La Esperanza – Bogotá
On this day we will take an easy walk by the Río Lagunillas valley. After crossing the valley we will be able to enjoy scenic views of the park’s geography, from the other snowy peaks that form El Cocuy’s mountain range, to the picturesque farms at lower altitudes.
Upon arriving at La Esperanza farm, a delicious local hot lunch will be waiting for us before we get ready and take the cars on our way to Bogotá.