Los Nevados Natural National Park

The Nevado del Ruiz volcano (5300m) stands at the top of the national park, and spreads over 583 km2. With more than 60000 visitors in 2017, it ranks 3rd in the most visited national parks of Columbia (after Rosario National Park and San Bernardo and their corals, next to Cartagena; and Tayrona National Park, next to Santa Marta). 7 more volcanos are located in the park: Cerro Machin, Nevado de Quindio, Nevado Santa Isabel, Cerro Bravo, Paramillo de Santa Rosa, and Nevado El Cisne.

The movement of glaciers sculpted the landscape through time, leaving U-shape valleys and moraines behind. Magmatic rocks prevail above 3500m. Laguna del Otun is situated in an extinguished volcano crater at 4000m altitude. Since 2010, it is impossible to climb to the top of Nevado del Ruiz (5300m) because the volcanic activity started again (though, we can climb up to 4850m by car and go for a walk). On the contrary, Nevado Santa Isabel (5000m) and Nevado del Tolima (5220m) are still accessible; the first from Pereira, Potosi sector; and the second from Ibague (4hrs drive South-East of Pereira). Unfortunately due to climate change, ice is melting very rapidly; and scientists estimate that by 2030, all ice will be gone from Nevado Santa Isabel.

Remarkable birds around are: motmot houtouc, golden cheeks Conure, Caique Fuertes, red forehead Toui, Andean condors, hummingbirds….

Mammals around are: mountain tapirs, ringed eye bears, northern pudus (smallest kind of dear), small leopards (oncilles), pumas, white ears possums…

There is a wide variety of day-walks or several-days hikes around. The bigger the group is, the cheaper it gets. But keep in mind that a lot of people get mountain-sick and discover that on the spot. Another point to take into account that could ruin the trip is the fog…but no one can control that.

Altitude from 2000m to 5300m

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