Hello, can I ask some questions about Parque Nacional El Cocuy? 1. Is it possible to get to the town of Cocuy and then on to the park the next morning in a rental car? Or is bus/lechero the only way? 2. Is it possible to climb any of the glaciers to the top? (Ritacuba Blanco in particular?) 3. How difficult are the three hikes? (Class 1-5?) 4. Is it possible to Is it still required to have a guide to take one of the three open day hikes? Is there a way to contact and hire guides before my arrival? 5. Is there a way to register before arriving? And if not, how long does this process take? Thank you! 4.
Hi! I was wondering if anyone had any experience visiting the park in rainy season? We are pretty keen on hiking but we find ourselves in Colombia in April, which is supposed to be the rainiest month of the year, and were wondering whether the park would still be worth a visit? Any input would be awesome! We will be in Colombia for a month so we could possibly come back later in the month if forecasts are looking better. Thanks in advance!
Hi there, I am planning to attend El Cocuy in June and was wondering how many days you would recommend in order to complete two of the hikes. So far, I have planned three days in the area (one in the town El Cocuy, and two for hiking), but I worry this may not be enough time. Any help and advice is truly appreciated :) Regards, Braelin
Hi Braelin First of all, welcome to our beautiful country! By June the weather will be better (hopefully!). The little and beautiful town of El Cocuy can be visited in just a couple of hours, there’s not much to it. To climb, you need to make reservations at 7 am, the spaces to go up to any of the paths are limited, so you need to be there very punctual at 7am, you also need to have a guide as this is a requirement to enter any National Natural Park. Now it would depend where you’re coming from and how much you’re planning to do: if you’re coming from a place that is on the sea level, you would need one entire day to stay in town before attempting to climb as it is very high (4600 mts above the sea level), if you are used to living in high places, then it’d be up to you, but natives always recommend one day. (I’m from Bogotá which is 2600 mts and I was fine, never got mountain sickness, but people from other cities in Colombia that are lower, they got headaches and other symptoms) Regarding the actual climbing: you need one day per path, so it would depend how much you want to do and your physical condition. I made reservation for two paths, but after the first climbing I was too exhausted to climb the second, so I lost that money. I took the path to go to the Laguna Grande, it was an exhausting climbing but it was worth it, you need to climb up for 6 hours but it’s not very steep, then go back down for 3 hours. The other path that is called Ritacuba (Ritak U’wa) is a little shorter in terms of time (it’s done in 7 hours up and down) but it’s more difficult as it is more steep and rocky. Everybody says this one is better because, although is more difficult, the views are fantastic, you really get to be next to the glaciers and see more snow (which for us Colombians is really unique) than in the Laguna Grande. So, three days would be little time if you plan to take the two or more paths, but if you take only one (maybe Ritacuba) then the 3 days would be fine, but you need to keep in mind that making the reservations is not that easy: you need to be at 7 am with the guide (you pay for the guide and you pay to enter the park) and then most of the spaces are taken for the next day (let alone the very same day you arrive) so you need to make reservations today to climb the day after tomorrow, and this is done in other little town called Güican, not in EL Cocuy. Keep that in mind! If you have any questions about anything there, let me know. I’ll be happy to help! Regards, Astrid W.