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Parque Nacional Los Nevados hike in Colombia, with Santa Isabel ascent

Join IFMGA certified mountain guide Alex on an 8-day hiking trip in Los Nevados National Park uphill to three impressive volcanic peaks in the Colombian Andes.

Mountain RangeAndes
Duration8 days
Offer periodJan, Feb, Mar, Apr, Jun, Aug, Sep, Dec
Skill LevelIntermediate
Fitness LevelFit
Type of tripPrivate


Parque Nacional Los Nevados (Los Nevados National Park) is located in the heart of Colombia’s coffee region, in the Central Range of the Colombian Andes. It stretches over 58,300 hectares and contains a variety of climates and landscapes, including volcanoes, glaciers, valleys, and wetlands.

Our tour will begin in Pereira (1,400 m), the main cities of the Risaralda Department. We will drive to the entrance of the National Park and then hike for around 3 hours to the Laguna del Otun (3,950 m). With a surface of 1,5 square kilometers and a depth of 70 meters, it is the greatest lagoon in the area.

The following day we will hike during 8 hours up to the Nevado de Santa Isabel (4,950 m), a glacial, snow-capped volcano, whose melting feeds the Laguna de Otun. The descent will take us 6 to 8 hours, heading to Finca Berlin.

Our route will then take us 6 to 8 hours up to the Paramillo del Quindio (4,750 m), an inactive volcano located on the south of Parque Nacional Los Nevados. Although it has lost its once eternal snowcap, it is one of the most visited peaks in the area. We will spend the night at Finca La Playa (1,895 m), a typical cattle farm in the Quindio Department.

Finally, we will hike to the Nevado del Tolima (5,200 m), the second highest volcanic summit in the park. Given its conical shape, with high steep slopes, and a small glacier at the top, climbing this peak is pretty challenging. The ascent will take us from 12 to 15 hours.

During the descent we will traverse the Cocora Valley heading to the city of Salento (1,895), our final destination before returning to Bogota. The Cocora Valley is the main location of Colombia’s national tree and symbol, the Quindio wax palm. In fact, it is one of the only places in the world where these trees can be seen in their natural habitat.

The best time of the year to go on this trip is from December to beginning of April. I often do it in June, August and September as well, although the weather during these three months tends to be a little bit unstable.

Join me in this unique adventure in the magical Colombian Los Nevados National Park. Book your trip now!

If you would like to learn about other expeditions in the area, check out the 4-day ascent to the Nevado del Tolima and the 7-day trek from Juntas to Salento.


2 nights at Laguna de Otun, 1 night at Nevado del Tolima campsite, 1 night at Finca Berlin farm, and 2 nights at Finca La Playa farm (or Finca La Primavera).

Meeting point

Manizales (Caldas Department) or Pereira (Risaralda Department) cities, to be agreed by the group.




Day 1: Pereira Potosi

We will meet in Pereira City and drive or 4-6 hours to Potosi Farm, at 3.900 meters above sea level. The first night will be in a bed and we will share dinner on the same farm.

Day 2: Potosi Otun lake

We will hike for 4-6 hours while the mules we will help us carry the big bag packs. We will share a picnic and then have dinner in a camp. The altitude reached by the end of the day is 3.900 (m,a,s,l).

Day 3: Hike in approach to nevado santa Isabel

This is an acclimatization hike. Breakfast and dinner will be taken in a camp. Lunch may be taken at the Santa Isabel summit.

Day 4: Otun Berlin

Our hike will start early and we will move our equipment by mules to the next farm. Dinner and night in Berlin.

Day 5: Berlin Climbing to Quindio Mountain

After breakfast, we will start the hike to our next goal. Our objective is Paramillo del Quindio, with 4.750 meters of altitude. This will be a long day. We will cover approx 24 km to the next farm, La Primavera. We will have dinner and sleep in a bed there (10 hours approx).

Day 6: Advance to high camp in Tolima Mountain

This day is easier. Our next camp to climb will be the Tolima Volcano. We will go slowly for 4 hours and take a good rest in the high camp at 4.400 meters approx.

Day 7: Climbing the Tolima

We will wake up at night and go for the summit! After some tea or coffee for breakfast, we will start walking. We will the summit after 5-7 hours and return to the farm for a well-deserved rest in the evening. We will have dinner and sleep in a bed on the farm (10 – 12 hours approx. in total)

Day 8: La Primavera Salento

We will organize all the bag packs for the mules and begin a hike until Cocora valley (6 hours approx.). In Cocora we will have lunch and then take a transport until the hotel in Salento.

Day 9: Extra day

If you want and have time in your itinerary you may have one coffee tour in Salento and then you can take a transfer to the airport in Pereira or

About the guide

guide profile img

IFMGA Mountain Guide from Colombia

I was born in Suesca, Colombia in 1986 and started rock climbing in 1999. I’ve been working as a rock climbing and mountain guide since 2006 at the Colombian Mountains, part of the Andes range.

I then continued my formation as a guide in Bolivia, and became UIAGM/IFMGA certified in 2013. I worked as a guide in the Andes in Peru, Bolivia and Colombia, and I also participated in international expeditions to Manaslu Mountain in the Himalayas and to Denali in Alaska.

Some Highlights:

- Rock climbing Guide since 2006
- Certification Mountain Guide with the UIAGMA/IFMGA 2013
- Certification WAFA 2014
- Leader trip children and teenagers in environmental education or outdoor.
- Countries visited for climbing: Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Venezuela, USA, and Nepal.

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Prices per person

Group of 1

USD 1856 each

Group of 2

USD 1217 each

Group of 3

USD 928 each

Group of 4

USD 846 each

Group of 5

USD 753 each

Group of 6

USD 722 each

Want a different number of travellers?

Price includes

• Guiding fee

• Transport during the trip

• Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Price details

• The price includes transportation from Manizales/Pereira to Santa Rosa de Cabal.

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