New! Trekking in the Heart of Colombia | Mountain Travel Sobek

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New! Trekking in the Heart of Colombia

Trip Length 12 days

From $4,195

  • Challenge yourself on a new high-altitude adventure—exclusive to MTS—among the ice-capped volcanoes, breathtaking mountain passes, and lush green valleys of Los Nevados National Park
  • Experience Colombia’s charming colonial towns and rare native flora and fauna, including giant palm trees and Andean condors
  • Sleep under a brilliant blanket of stars on the shores of a lake and enjoy snug nights at rustic mountain farms

Discover the Colombia few travelers ever witness on this brand-new trekking journey. From towering mountain peaks to quaint street markets, aromatic coffee farms to world-class museums, you’ll revel in the country’s abundant treasures. Our journey begins in Bogota, a vibrant blend of cultures, art, and architecture. Then embark on eight days of intense Andean trekking. Los Nevados National Park’s 37,000 square miles of spectacular alpine and tropical scenery are home to mountain tapirs, spectacled bears, and exotic birdlife ranging from tiny hummingbirds to the world’s largest bird, the condor. Your efforts are richly rewarded with the trek’s high note—Cocora Valley, where the world’s tallest palm trees soar above the clouds in an otherworldly display of natural wonder.

Day 1: Arrive in Bogota

Welcome to Bogota! The capital city of Colombia is a lively multicultural center filled with beautiful parks and fascinating museums. Settle into your hotel this evening.

  • Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Casa Real 93

Day 2: Explore the wonders of Bogota

Enjoy a walking tour of the city’s colonial district, with insight provided by our English-speaking guide, before traveling by cable car up to Monserrate Sanctuary (10,347’)—an iconic church dating back to the year 1640. Round out the day visiting two of the city’s best museums: Botero Museum features the paintings and sculptures of Fernando Botero, as well as his collection of works by other artists, including Monet and Picasso; the Gold Museum contains a spectacular collection of 36,000 artifacts. You’ll never forget standing in a darkened room when suddenly the lights turn on, revealing hundreds of illuminated gold pieces!

  • Breakfast
  • Accommodation:Hotel Casa Real 93

Day 3: Journey to Pereira and El Bosque Farm

Fly to Pereira, a city in the lush green "Coffee Cultural Landscape of Colombia," which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Next the group will take a 3-hour drive, with stops along to the way, to the mountain farm of El Bosque (11,811’). Relax and acclimate to the altitude this evening.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:El Bosque Farm

Day 4: Hike to Nevado Santa Isabel Glacier

This morning we drive 45 minutes from the farm to La Conejera, wetlands that are home to 95 species of birds, where we begin hiking. The ascent starts at the Paramo, taking a well-marked trail, which steadily gains altitude up to the glacier’s edge. Due to its location, the glacier has a great view over the northern area of the park, and the stillness at the summit is dramatic. Keep an eye out for the majestic Andean condor. The maximum altitude for this day is 15,354 feet. We return to El Bosque Farm for a well-deserved dinner.

(Hiking time: 5 hours)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:El Bosque Farm

Day 5: Trek to Asomadera and camp by Lake Otun

Set out early this morning for a hike to Asomadera’s lower ridge (13,579’) on the border between the states of Caldas and Risaralda. Ascend through a scenic gorge with pastoral scenes of farms and fields along the way, gaining altitude until reaching the ridge. After taking in the incredible view, we descend through the Enchanted Forest, home to failejones, unique shrubs in the sunflower family. Our destination is the Lake Otun campsite at 13,300 feet, where we sleep under the stars on the southern shore of the lake.

(Hiking time: 4 to 5 hours)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:MTS Camp – El Otun

Day 6: Head down to Quebrada Blanca and Berlin Mountain Farm

We leave Otun campsite and follow the trail downward, passing El Mosco Lake and descending a wide valley called Cuenca del Rio Otun to Quebrada Blanca, the lowest point of the day (11,830’). From the Quebrada we start a gentle ascent by one of the most colorful and beautiful crater valleys on the trek! The climb will head up to a pass over 13,000 feet and then descend to our day's goal: the Berlin Mountain Farm located at the bottom of a deep valley (12,625’).  

(Hiking time: 4 to 5 hours)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Berlin Farm

Day 7: Hike up to La Angustia and La Linea passes

This morning we hike the Berlin Valley up to La Angustia Pass (13,756’) on the border between the states of Risaralda and Quindio. Then descend to the Quebrada Cardenas Valley, followed by a short ascent on the northern flank of the valley to the beautiful Humedales wetland, where the Quindío River was born. After a relaxing break for lunch, we head down the trail on the southern flank of the mountain to La Linea Pass (13,185’), which divides Quindio and Tolima states. If the sky is clear, we may see the glacier on the summit of Tolima volcano from the mountain passes. We then descend to the La Playa farms in the Tolima Valley (12,365’).

(Hiking time: 6 to 7 hours)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:La Playa Farm

Day 8: Laguna del Encanto trek or relax at the farm

Today you have the choice of relaxing at the farm or hiking through the páramo ecosystem up to Enchanted Lake (13,208’), a moderate ascent after several days of challenging hiking. Enjoy a picnic on the lake’s shores before heading back down to La Playa farms.

(Hiking time: 3 to 4 hours)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:La Playa Farm

Day 9: Ascend La Linea Pass to Quebrada Cardenas

After a leisurely breakfast, we start the ascent over La Linea Pass and back to Quebrada Cardenas, this time to descend the valley following the northern side of the Quindio River. It’s a very scenic trek as we see the vegetation and landscape change as we descend. La Argentina (11,427’) is a rustic, historic farm offering beautiful views down to the valley below.

(Hiking time: 4 hours)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:La Argentina Farm

Day 10: Trek to Cocora Valley and transfer to Salento

Today we trek through a beautiful rainforest, making a semi-circular ascent which ends at the famous Cocora Valley (7,956’). This haunting valley is adorned with Colombia’s signature national tree: the towering Wax Palm. After absorbing the spectacular scenery, we transfer (25 minutes) to the lovely town of Salento by the traditional Willys Jeeps that are a symbol of the area´s coffee culture. Upon arrival in colorful Salento, we’ll settle into our hotel located in the colonial part of town. Enjoy the town and indulge in some of Colombia’s best coffee.

(Hiking time: 3 to 4 hours)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Real

Day 11: Explore Salento and Fly to Bogota

After a relaxing morning, we tour a traditional coffee farm. Learn about the process involved in producing some of the world’s best coffee, ending in a delicious tasting session. Enjoy lunch at one of Salento’s wonderful restaurants and then explore this easygoing town and its handicrafts. Optional activities include La Kasa botanical tour, horseback riding, and mountain biking. This evening we fly to Bogota for a last night in Colombia’s vibrant capital city!

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Casa Real 93

Day 12: Bid farewell to Colombia

Transfer to Bogota airport for your flight home.

  • Breakfast

Jan 15 - 26, 2018

Feb 04 - 15, 2018

Dec 10 - 21, 2018

pricing

LAND COST
$4,195 (4-14 members)
$4,495 (3 members)
$400 Domestic flights (Bogota-Pereira & Armenia-Bogota)
$400 Single Supplement

 

 

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Berlin Farm — Amargura Valley

Berlin Mountain Farm is located in the Amargura Valley and is the most remote of all the farms on this trip. This side valley of El Paramillo del Quindio has some of the most idyllic landscapes of the entire trek. The farm is very basic but clean and well-kept by the owners, who raise cattle, sheep, and potatoes. The family works hard to provide us with good food and warm hospitality.

General note on the farms we stay at in Colombia:

The farms on this journey are very rustic working mountain farms modified to house adventurous travelers who appreciate interacting with local people and experiencing the authentic way of life in the highlands.

Most farms feature wooden bunkbeds, one shared bathroom, and a kitchen where guests and host families can gather around wood stoves for heartwarming conversation and meals. Breakfasts and dinners are prepared at the farms, and we supplement the hearty local food with fresh fruits and vegetables, tea, coffee, and snacks.

We always have our own tents with us and offer travelers the option to stay at the farms, where possible, or in the tents.

El Bosque Farm — Los Nevados National Park

Located on the northern section of the national park, El Bosque is a very rustic cattle and sheep farm with little space to stay indoors, so we will sleep in MTS tents. The friendly family serves meals in a small dining area in their home. El Bosque is our first farm.

Hotel Casa Real 93 — Bogota

This stylish, modern hotel is located only two blocks from Bogota’s upscale 93 Street Park, within walking distance of excellent restaurants, chic cafes, hip boutiques, and fine art galleries. But don’t pass up the temptation to stay in and dine on four-star cuisine and local wines in the hotel’s grotto-style restaurant, or curl up in front of the roaring fireplace in the cozy lounge. You’ll enjoy the comforts of the Casa Real at the beginning and end of our adventure.

Hotel Real — Salento

From the moment you enter the Salento Real, you’ll be charmed by the warm artistic ambience and friendly staff. The Spanish courtyard soars up into an atrium and the halls are filled with greenery and local artwork. Iconic Cocoroa Valley is only a 20-minute drive, and the town’s lively main street is only a few blocks away from the hotel, creating a sanctuary in colorful, colonial Salento.

La Argentina Farm — Quebrada Cardenas River Valley

This is last of the farms and the most rustic of all, but the good farm food and very friendly family make up for the lack of creature comforts. Located in the Quebrada Cardenas River Valley, the farm has fantastic views.

La Playa Farm — El Silencio Valley

La Playa is located in El Silencio Valley on the journey to Tolima Volcano. While the farm is very basic, it has a wonderful cozy atmosphere. Please note that sometimes La Playa is full and we may have to use neighboring La Primavera Farm.

MTS Camp – El Otun — Otun Lake

This beautiful campsite is located on the southern end of Otun Lake and offers panoramic views of the lake, Paramillo de Santa Rosa Mountain, and the Santa Isabel Volcano. Our staff prepares all meals, which are served in the tents or outdoors when the weather is good. Onsite toilets add to the comfort of this unique camping experience.

  • Challenge yourself on a new high-altitude adventure—exclusive to MTS—among the ice-capped volcanoes, breathtaking mountain passes, and lush green valleys of Los Nevados National Park
  • Experience Colombia’s charming colonial towns and rare native flora and fauna, including giant palm trees and Andean condors
  • Sleep under a brilliant blanket of stars on the shores of a lake and enjoy snug nights at rustic mountain farms

Discover the Colombia few travelers ever witness on this brand-new trekking journey. From towering mountain peaks to quaint street markets, aromatic coffee farms to world-class museums, you’ll revel in the country’s abundant treasures. Our journey begins in Bogota, a vibrant blend of cultures, art, and architecture. Then embark on eight days of intense Andean trekking. Los Nevados National Park’s 37,000 square miles of spectacular alpine and tropical scenery are home to mountain tapirs, spectacled bears, and exotic birdlife ranging from tiny hummingbirds to the world’s largest bird, the condor. Your efforts are richly rewarded with the trek’s high note—Cocora Valley, where the world’s tallest palm trees soar above the clouds in an otherworldly display of natural wonder.

DAILY itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Bogota

Welcome to Bogota! The capital city of Colombia is a lively multicultural center filled with beautiful parks and fascinating museums. Settle into your hotel this evening.

  • Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Casa Real 93

Day 2: Explore the wonders of Bogota

Enjoy a walking tour of the city’s colonial district, with insight provided by our English-speaking guide, before traveling by cable car up to Monserrate Sanctuary (10,347’)—an iconic church dating back to the year 1640. Round out the day visiting two of the city’s best museums: Botero Museum features the paintings and sculptures of Fernando Botero, as well as his collection of works by other artists, including Monet and Picasso; the Gold Museum contains a spectacular collection of 36,000 artifacts. You’ll never forget standing in a darkened room when suddenly the lights turn on, revealing hundreds of illuminated gold pieces!

  • Breakfast
  • Accommodation:Hotel Casa Real 93

Day 3: Journey to Pereira and El Bosque Farm

Fly to Pereira, a city in the lush green "Coffee Cultural Landscape of Colombia," which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Next the group will take a 3-hour drive, with stops along to the way, to the mountain farm of El Bosque (11,811’). Relax and acclimate to the altitude this evening.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:El Bosque Farm

Day 4: Hike to Nevado Santa Isabel Glacier

This morning we drive 45 minutes from the farm to La Conejera, wetlands that are home to 95 species of birds, where we begin hiking. The ascent starts at the Paramo, taking a well-marked trail, which steadily gains altitude up to the glacier’s edge. Due to its location, the glacier has a great view over the northern area of the park, and the stillness at the summit is dramatic. Keep an eye out for the majestic Andean condor. The maximum altitude for this day is 15,354 feet. We return to El Bosque Farm for a well-deserved dinner.

(Hiking time: 5 hours)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:El Bosque Farm

Day 5: Trek to Asomadera and camp by Lake Otun

Set out early this morning for a hike to Asomadera’s lower ridge (13,579’) on the border between the states of Caldas and Risaralda. Ascend through a scenic gorge with pastoral scenes of farms and fields along the way, gaining altitude until reaching the ridge. After taking in the incredible view, we descend through the Enchanted Forest, home to failejones, unique shrubs in the sunflower family. Our destination is the Lake Otun campsite at 13,300 feet, where we sleep under the stars on the southern shore of the lake.

(Hiking time: 4 to 5 hours)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:MTS Camp – El Otun

Day 6: Head down to Quebrada Blanca and Berlin Mountain Farm

We leave Otun campsite and follow the trail downward, passing El Mosco Lake and descending a wide valley called Cuenca del Rio Otun to Quebrada Blanca, the lowest point of the day (11,830’). From the Quebrada we start a gentle ascent by one of the most colorful and beautiful crater valleys on the trek! The climb will head up to a pass over 13,000 feet and then descend to our day's goal: the Berlin Mountain Farm located at the bottom of a deep valley (12,625’).  

(Hiking time: 4 to 5 hours)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Berlin Farm

Day 7: Hike up to La Angustia and La Linea passes

This morning we hike the Berlin Valley up to La Angustia Pass (13,756’) on the border between the states of Risaralda and Quindio. Then descend to the Quebrada Cardenas Valley, followed by a short ascent on the northern flank of the valley to the beautiful Humedales wetland, where the Quindío River was born. After a relaxing break for lunch, we head down the trail on the southern flank of the mountain to La Linea Pass (13,185’), which divides Quindio and Tolima states. If the sky is clear, we may see the glacier on the summit of Tolima volcano from the mountain passes. We then descend to the La Playa farms in the Tolima Valley (12,365’).

(Hiking time: 6 to 7 hours)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:La Playa Farm

Day 8: Laguna del Encanto trek or relax at the farm

Today you have the choice of relaxing at the farm or hiking through the páramo ecosystem up to Enchanted Lake (13,208’), a moderate ascent after several days of challenging hiking. Enjoy a picnic on the lake’s shores before heading back down to La Playa farms.

(Hiking time: 3 to 4 hours)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:La Playa Farm

Day 9: Ascend La Linea Pass to Quebrada Cardenas

After a leisurely breakfast, we start the ascent over La Linea Pass and back to Quebrada Cardenas, this time to descend the valley following the northern side of the Quindio River. It’s a very scenic trek as we see the vegetation and landscape change as we descend. La Argentina (11,427’) is a rustic, historic farm offering beautiful views down to the valley below.

(Hiking time: 4 hours)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:La Argentina Farm

Day 10: Trek to Cocora Valley and transfer to Salento

Today we trek through a beautiful rainforest, making a semi-circular ascent which ends at the famous Cocora Valley (7,956’). This haunting valley is adorned with Colombia’s signature national tree: the towering Wax Palm. After absorbing the spectacular scenery, we transfer (25 minutes) to the lovely town of Salento by the traditional Willys Jeeps that are a symbol of the area´s coffee culture. Upon arrival in colorful Salento, we’ll settle into our hotel located in the colonial part of town. Enjoy the town and indulge in some of Colombia’s best coffee.

(Hiking time: 3 to 4 hours)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Real

Day 11: Explore Salento and Fly to Bogota

After a relaxing morning, we tour a traditional coffee farm. Learn about the process involved in producing some of the world’s best coffee, ending in a delicious tasting session. Enjoy lunch at one of Salento’s wonderful restaurants and then explore this easygoing town and its handicrafts. Optional activities include La Kasa botanical tour, horseback riding, and mountain biking. This evening we fly to Bogota for a last night in Colombia’s vibrant capital city!

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Casa Real 93

Day 12: Bid farewell to Colombia

Transfer to Bogota airport for your flight home.

  • Breakfast
lodgings

Berlin Farm — Amargura Valley

Berlin Mountain Farm is located in the Amargura Valley and is the most remote of all the farms on this trip. This side valley of El Paramillo del Quindio has some of the most idyllic landscapes of the entire trek. The farm is very basic but clean and well-kept by the owners, who raise cattle, sheep, and potatoes. The family works hard to provide us with good food and warm hospitality.

General note on the farms we stay at in Colombia:

The farms on this journey are very rustic working mountain farms modified to house adventurous travelers who appreciate interacting with local people and experiencing the authentic way of life in the highlands.

Most farms feature wooden bunkbeds, one shared bathroom, and a kitchen where guests and host families can gather around wood stoves for heartwarming conversation and meals. Breakfasts and dinners are prepared at the farms, and we supplement the hearty local food with fresh fruits and vegetables, tea, coffee, and snacks.

We always have our own tents with us and offer travelers the option to stay at the farms, where possible, or in the tents.

El Bosque Farm — Los Nevados National Park

Located on the northern section of the national park, El Bosque is a very rustic cattle and sheep farm with little space to stay indoors, so we will sleep in MTS tents. The friendly family serves meals in a small dining area in their home. El Bosque is our first farm.

Hotel Casa Real 93 — Bogota

This stylish, modern hotel is located only two blocks from Bogota’s upscale 93 Street Park, within walking distance of excellent restaurants, chic cafes, hip boutiques, and fine art galleries. But don’t pass up the temptation to stay in and dine on four-star cuisine and local wines in the hotel’s grotto-style restaurant, or curl up in front of the roaring fireplace in the cozy lounge. You’ll enjoy the comforts of the Casa Real at the beginning and end of our adventure.

Hotel Real — Salento

From the moment you enter the Salento Real, you’ll be charmed by the warm artistic ambience and friendly staff. The Spanish courtyard soars up into an atrium and the halls are filled with greenery and local artwork. Iconic Cocoroa Valley is only a 20-minute drive, and the town’s lively main street is only a few blocks away from the hotel, creating a sanctuary in colorful, colonial Salento.

La Argentina Farm — Quebrada Cardenas River Valley

This is last of the farms and the most rustic of all, but the good farm food and very friendly family make up for the lack of creature comforts. Located in the Quebrada Cardenas River Valley, the farm has fantastic views.

La Playa Farm — El Silencio Valley

La Playa is located in El Silencio Valley on the journey to Tolima Volcano. While the farm is very basic, it has a wonderful cozy atmosphere. Please note that sometimes La Playa is full and we may have to use neighboring La Primavera Farm.

MTS Camp – El Otun — Otun Lake

This beautiful campsite is located on the southern end of Otun Lake and offers panoramic views of the lake, Paramillo de Santa Rosa Mountain, and the Santa Isabel Volcano. Our staff prepares all meals, which are served in the tents or outdoors when the weather is good. Onsite toilets add to the comfort of this unique camping experience.

Dates and Pricing

Jan 15 - 26, 2018

Feb 04 - 15, 2018

Dec 10 - 21, 2018

pricing

LAND COST
$4,195 (4-14 members)
$4,495 (3 members)
$400 Domestic flights (Bogota-Pereira & Armenia-Bogota)
$400 Single Supplement

 

 

Activity Level Moderate to Strenuous
Trip Length 12 days

From $4,195

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