The Pulpito del Diablo (5100m)

Hiking in the Cocuy

We recently went with a group of friends to one of the highest regions of Colombia, the Sierra Nevada del Cocuy. Only 10 years ago this region was controlled by the guerillas, but it is now a peaceful area, although still underdeveloped compared to other regions of Colombia. The Cocuy Mountains are known for their dramatic landscapes, their hikes at more than 3500m above sea level, but also their thermal springs and glaciers, considered as the vastest in Colombia. Unfortunately, these glaciers are the most endangered of the country, as experts predict they will disappear by 2020 (source). Meanwhile hiking in this region is extremely demanding and rewarding at the same time. We did two main hikes, the first took us to the base of the Pulpito del Diablo (5000m above sea level, 7h – starting at 3800m), where we touched the everlasting ice after crossing a lunar landscape, with a visibility reduced to some meters by the clouds. Luckily, they disappeared for some minutes on our way back, giving time to take pictures of this beautiful place.

The Pulpito del Diablo (5100m)

The Pulpito del Diablo (5100m)

The second hike lead us to the Laguna de los Verdes (4100m), after passing the Cardenillo pass (4360m), once again in the clouds and under the rain. We came back to the base camp after a 9h walk, with a particularly hard pass climbing on the way back (4500m), although our guide presented it as a shortcut.

Laguna de los Verdes (4100m)

Laguna de los Verdes (4100m)

I would definitively recommend this region for anyone who likes hiking in the mountains, and would like to come back and do a 6 days hike that goes around the main peaks, and passes in remotes areas only accessible by foot.

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