Trekking the Colombian Andes Mountains: Sierra Nevada del Cocuy, Colombia

  • February 20, 2014 · 8:30 AM

Organizer  Serafin
917)[masked]
[masked]

 

Organizer Ginnet
[masked]



 

This is Colombian Andes trekking at it's very best. High mountain trekking in the Sierra Nevada del Cocuy includes some of the most remote and unspoiled mountains in Colombian Andes.

El Cocuy National Park

Pan de Azúcar and  Campanillas

Difficulty: Intermediate,

Maximum Elevation: 17,487 feet

The Sierra Nevada del Cocuy in Colombia it is a hikers dream, it is a great place for mountaineering and rock climbing.  Located in the northeast portion of the Colombian Andes; it is the largest concentration of glaciers in this Country. It offers easily accessible alpine terrain with straightforward glacier climb to peaks over 17,000 feet.

 

Sierra Nevada del Cocuy, Colombian Andes











 

This trip is for February 20th through March 1st 2014

 










 

Sierra Nevada del Cocuy.

The Sierra Nevada del Cocuy in Colombia it is a hikers dream, it is a great place for Mountaineering and rock climbing.  Located in the northeast portion of the Colombian Andes; it is the largest concentration of glaciers in this country. It offers easily accessible alpine terrain with straightforward glacier climb to peaks over 17,000 feet.

With its picturesque little town, warm inhabitants and the guidance of an expert guide, The Cocuy constitutes a permanent goal from beginner to experienced hikers. The core of this Colombian adventure is the continuous 5 days trek through the Sierra Nevada del Cocuy including one snow peak for a total distance of 38 miles and an elevation gain over 10,000 to 17,000 feet; therefore previous acclimatization is a priority, especially for people who arrive from sea level .

The Sierra Nevada del Cocuy is an outstanding mixture of colorful landscapes surrounded by waterfalls, lakes, páramo vegetation - frailejón (Espeletia) and several species of fauna (tapirs, spectacle bears, Andean condors, eagles, páramo deer, etc.). Bogot, Colombia is our starting point; we will be touring interesting towns where we will have a two day acclimatization hike before we start our interesting journey.

Highlights

The average treks – camps altitude is 4.000 to 5.300 meters. (10,000-17,000 elevation feet) The average temperature is between 10 to 15 F Fahrenheit)
The difficult is diverse, because the terrain changes according to the altitude.

The summer months extends from December to February, the rest of the year has an unpredictable weather.  Sun, rain and snow in the same day is normal.

 












 Click here to see pictures of our last trip


Day 1: Arrival El Dorado Airport in Bogotá

In the evening and transferred by private vehicle to “El Vivac” hostel Suesca, we will have diner or lunch depends of arriving time.

Day 2:Acclimatization day

- Breakfast at hostel

-  Hike to Lake Guatavita at 8,530 feet. Our first day of acclimatization will be in one of the famous Legends of the history of humanity. We will walk around the once- sacred Lake Guatavita believed by many to hold a treasure of gold from the indigenous Muisca Tribe. The legend of El Dorado says that a Muisca ritual where a tribe ruler walked into the lake covered in gold dust was followed by worshipers throwing gold jewelry and other gold objects into the water. If time allows, we will walk into the Guatavita town, to browse around a local craft fair, where you are able to see hand made products made of wool clay and gold.

-  Lunch at 2:00 o’clock

-  Visit to Salt Mine in Zipaquirá

-  Dinner at 7 p.m.

 

Day 3 : Heading to Sierra Nevada El Cocuy- Acclimatization in town

-  We will hit the road and travel for about 9- 10 hours

-  Leave Suesca at 6:00 a.m.

-  We will stop for Breakfast and lunch on the road

-  3:00 p.m. Estimated arrival to El Cocuy town

-  Rest at local hostel in town

Day 4 : Acclimatization day – Base Camp

-  Breakfast in town

-  We drive to the beginning of the trail for two hours in a 4x4 private vehicle to Los Herrera Farm.

-  11:00 a.m. walk for an hour to reach cabin Sisuma at 11,155 feet

-  Lunch: Sandwich and for dinner you will taste our special Colombian energy food ( this is what our mountain cyclist uses for international competitions) aguadepanela con queso,

-  Rest at Sisuma Cabin

Day 5 : Acclimatization day- Cross El Paso de Cusiry

-  We all have breakfast at the cabin. We walk up through beautiful Andean countryside past Paso de Cusiry and Lagunillas. The walk should take 4 hours. Having reached this high point of 14,764 feet, we descend to the hostel in El Cocuy.

-  Dinner at Cabin

-  Sleep at the Sisuma Cabin.

-

Day 6 : Ascending Pan de Azúcar  16,897 feet

-  3:00 a.m. Breakfast The trek starts here, we will try to reach summit of Pan de Azúcar, 10 hours total

-  Dinner at Cabin

-  Sleep at the Sisuma Cabin.

Day 7- Campanillas – Rock Scramble Class 3

-  3:00 a.m. Breakfast

-  Prepare for a 10 hour hike - rock scramble, our summit is Campanillas at 16,076 feet

-  Dinner at Cabin

-

Day 8- Guican Hot Springs

-  7:00 a.m. Breakfast

-  Descend and Lunch at Guican township

-  After all the trekking, we will relax our bodies at the famous Hot springs in Guican.

-  Dinner at Kanwara Cabin

Day 9  Return to Suesca- Rock Climbing YDS 5.8

-  6:00 a.m. Breakfast

-  Lunch on the road

-  Return back to Suesca

-  Bring it on baby!!! Suesca is the best known climbing place in Colombia, we will rock climbing all day.

-  Thai Dinner and sleep in Suesca

Day 10 Transfer to Bogota

-  Breakfast in hostel

-  Return back to Bogota

-  Lunch on the road

Local transportation, mountain hut accommodation throughout the expedition, Experienced mountain guide, Road transportation by private vehicles, scheduled meals and hotel during the expedition, porter and pack animal costs, entrance fees to the Cocuy National Park, Group camping and cooking equipment are included. Alcohol beverages, bar bills, laundry, travel insurance, unscheduled lunches and hotel, optional trips and tips are not included.

Price US$ 1,800.00

References

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/02/travel/02explorer.html?pagewanted=all

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Cocuy_National_Park

 

Gear List:

Crampons with anti balling plates, Ice axe w/leash, ice hammer w/leash, climbing harness, carabineers, climbing helmet, ropes, tents, will be provided for our expedition plus we will have porters whom will be carrying over during our expedition.

Outwear:

· Waterproof jacket (Gore-Tex)

· Waterproof pants (lighter weight. Full length zips)

· Fleece/synthetic pants

· Fleece/synthetic jacket

· Wind jacket (optional)

· Lightweight hiking pants

· Pants and Jackets Schoeller

Innerwear:

· T-shirt (polyester or polypropylene)

· Base Layer- 2 pair top and 2 pair bottom, light weight

· Mid Layer- expedition weight

· Underwear / Sports Bra - no cotton

Hand gear:

· Snow gloves

Headwear:

· Warm hat

· Sun hat

Footwear:

· Lightweight trekking boots (waterproof)

· Socks (2 pair of heavy wool)

· Liner socks (2 pair of liners)

· Gaiters

Eyewear:

· Glacier glasses

· Ski goggles (optional)

Backpack:

· Small day pack

Personal Equipment:

· Small personal first aid kit (vitamins, prescribed drugs, etc.)

· Sun screen

· Lip protection

· Headlamps

· Stuff sacks

· Pocket knife (optional)

· Plastic bags

· Repair kit

· Headlamp (extra batteries)

· Camera (extra batteries)

· Toiletry kit

· Baby wipes for personal hygiene

Hydration Systems:

· Water bottle

· Insulated water bottle cover

· Water purification (optional) SteriPEN will do

Sleeping Equipment:

· Sleeping pad

· Sleeping bag ( 10 degree will do )

· Pillow

· Compression sack for sleeping bag

Costs

· Transportation costs Flight to Bogota ~ Approximately US$700

· Camping and mountain hut accommodation throughout the expedition, Experienced mountain guide, Road transportation by private vehicles, scheduled meals and hotel during the expedition, porter and pack animal costs, entrance fees to the Cocuy National Park, Group camping and cooking equipment is Price US$ 1,800.00

Each person is responsible for:

·Credit card/ ATM fees, I personally bank with (email me for info) for my traveling       expenses since they do not charge for each ATM transaction (ATM fees & international fees and always pay top rate Colombian pesos per dollar) but you have to let them know what days you are traveling.

·Overseas airports taxes not paid in advance through the international airline ticket.

·Bar bills and laundry.

·Travel insurance.

·Unscheduled lunches and hotel

·Optional trips.

·Tips.

Traveling Documents:

· Unexpired Passport

·Photo ID (important in Colombia any purchase using a credit card is a must to show a photo ID)

COMMUNICATIONS:

Ask your phone carrier if there is coverage in Colombia, otherwise we may need to find a local phone and depend of local phone coverage.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

IMPORTANT: Our expedition agenda may vary due to: flights itineraries, weather conditions, road conditions, vehicle breakdowns and the health of climbers can all contribute to changes, an open spirit and an easy going personality is a great asset to this trip, this expedition is not a race, we are here to enjoy nature, we all start together and stay together NO EXCEPTIONS!!.

Please dress properly use the layering system of mid and light weight garments, avoid cotton, we are in a Tropic climate and weather can vary from day to day, so our clothes should be versatile as well.

You agree when you sign up for this group or any of the events that you have read and understand the below. If you join us for a hike (or any other event), please understand that you are responsible for your own preparedness and well-being and will hold no one else liable in case of injury or mishap. You agree not to hold the Organizer, Assistant Organizers, or any other members responsible for any injuries, mishaps, or any other situation that may happen at a planned event. You are responsible to research the event, know the area, and bring the proper gear.

Your attendance on a hike signifies that you have read and accept the terms of this liability waiver.
Full waiver can be found on the ABOUT page.

NOTE: You are responsible for bringing appropriate gear, supplies, clothing, first aid, and lights. You should review topographic maps and trail features carefully; understanding topography of any hike is key to your knowing where you are, where you're going, and how to get back.

See suggestions for GEAR on the "About" page for additional gear ideas.



 

 

Join or login to comment.

  • Yaching

    What a great trip! Perfect itinerary. No altitude sickness at all. Wonderful company. Beautiful people. Amazing view. Food is simply yummy. So much laugh. Great team and lead. Good friends!

    1 · April 3, 2014

  • Beatriz G.

    Happy to know u guys are going to my country, I hope I knew about before. Have a good trip and enjoy Colombia, I know exactly how beautiful it is. Have fun, when u come back I hope you talk about the good things Colombia has. Enjoy the trip. And have a lot fun.

    February 17, 2014

  • Kasia

    I am super excited to be joining you all on this awesome expedition!

    1 · February 7, 2014

    • Cepaфин

      As are we!! We are going to have an AMAZING time!!

      February 7, 2014

    • Ginnet

      Great!!!

      February 7, 2014

  • Cepaфин

    The one thing we have to worry about is I think Bigfoot has been spotted hanging out in the mountains!! He must have heard we were coming!! :-)

    2 · February 7, 2014

    • Ginnet

      Watch out! last thing I heard is BF is wearing blue snow shoes :-).

      1 · February 7, 2014

  • Cepaфин

    So far Ginnet, Manny, Yaching and I have purchased our tickets for $590.00 but if you book this trip through www.latinescapes.com you can get the same flight for Total $567.00 while the price holds but you have to act quickly. Contact Yami at [masked] tell Yami Serafin referred you. Rafael and Beth I hope you can make it this is an awesome trip!!!! :-)

    1 · December 17, 2013

    • Cepaфин

      John Alexander is already in Colombia so he's good to go as well!!

      1 · December 17, 2013

    • Ginnet

      Will set up a Q&A meetup soon ....with canelazo!!!

      1 · December 17, 2013

  • Cepaфин

    So far 4 of us have purchased our flight tickets!! Who's next??!!

    December 4, 2013

  • Ginnet

    Ready to go!!!!

    1 · December 4, 2013

    • Cepaфин

      Yeah baby!!!!!! :-) Yuuu Juuu and in English Yooo Hoooo!!

      1 · December 4, 2013

    • Yaching

      Booked my tickets. Woo-hoo!!

      2 · December 4, 2013

  • Cepaфин

    All right YACHING!!!! I knew I would talk you into it!! Both Ginnet and I have our flights already and if you book now it is cheaper than the price in the description. We booked for $590 which includes taxes and fees!! Email me or Ginnet for details. Rafael and Beth I hope you can join us, and if you are serious about going you should book your flights now to save about $200!!

    Ginnet will set up a meet up for Q&A after the holidays, we will go over schedule, terrain, transportation, food etc. This is going to be an amazing trip!!

    December 4, 2013

    • Yaching

      Hahaha, yeah, you are very good. Am nervous and excited at the same time. But I know I am in good hands. Will book my flight when I get home tonight.

      December 4, 2013

  • Cepaфин

    Currency:
    USD = U.S. Dollar
    From New York to Bogota
    Leg 1 Thursday, 20 February , 2014 Departure: 12:15 AM New York, USA - John F Kennedy International, terminal 4
    Arrival: 05:50 AM Bogota, Colombia - Eldorado, terminal 1
    Airline: Avianca AV245
    Aircraft: Airbus Industrie A319
    Operated by AVIANCA
    Class: Promo/Coach From Bogota to New York
    Leg 1 Sunday, 02 March , 2014 Departure: 03:14 PM Bogota, Colombia - Eldorado, terminal 1
    Arrival: 09:00 PM New York, USA - John F Kennedy International, terminal 4
    Airline: Avianca AV244
    Aircraft: Airbus Industrie A330
    Operated by AVIANCA
    Class: Promo/Coach Currency:
    USD = U.S. Dollar
    Price
    Passengers Fare + Surcharge Fees + Taxes
    1 adult(s) x [masked] [masked]) = [masked] USD
    Total for all Passengers [masked] USD Go here to book!! http://nuevaexperiencia.avianca.com/en-us/

    1 · December 4, 2013

    • Cepaфин

      When purchasing choose 12:15 am departure from JFK and returning choose 3:14 Departure from Bogota!!

      1 · December 4, 2013

    • Cepaфин

      12:15 am Feb 20th JFK and 3:14 Departure March 02 from Bogota

      2 · December 4, 2013

  • Ginnet

    I will set up a meet up for Q&A after the holidays, we will go over schedule, terrain, transportation, food etc.

    I booked my flight already, if questions email me directly.

    December 4, 2013

  • Cepaфин

    For those attending this event, we will be spending a day outdoor rock climbing in Suesca. Keeping that in mind Dorothy and I are doing Weekly indoor Rock Climbing at The Rock Club in New Rochelle every Monday starting January 13th

    http://www.meetup.com/hvhikers/events/153690492/

    Also I am hosting weekly indoor rock climbing events in Brooklyn at Brooklyn Boulders every Wednesday

    http://www.meetup.com/hvhikers/events/153690492/

    Hope many of you will join us and I hope more of you decide to come to this amazing trip to COLOMBIA!!

    December 2, 2013

  • Cepaфин

    This trip so so amazing last year that Ginnet and I just had to do it all over again, but this time I'm doing it 55lbs lighter!! :-) Eva you should come again this year!!

    November 29, 2013

  • Eva

    My thoughts were Ritacuba Blanco would be next ?! ;)

    2 · November 26, 2013

    • Ginnet

      We can definitely modify it, and send a small team there. I have actually 3 itineraries, including the whole 21 mountains circuit. I will forward to your email address.

      November 27, 2013

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