Apr 04

El Cocuy National Park set to reopen this Thursday, April 6

el cocuy national park colombia

 

The stunning El Cocuy National Park, which has been completely closed to visitors since February 2016, is set to reopen, albeit only partially, this Thursday, April 6. After extensive negotiations between the U’Wa indigenous community, who consider the park sacred, and the National Parks office of Colombia it has been announced that sections of the park will be accessible once again to travellers wanting to experience this remarkably beautiful area firsthand.

The reopening carries many firm conditions however: there will be no overnight stays permitted in the park, with visitors allowed to enter between 5 and 9am, and able to leave between 1 and 6pm. There will be a 10 minute induction speech, compulsory to all visitors, and no visitor is permitted beyond the snow line on any of the three routes that will be available. Travellers will be able to choose between 3 main hiking routes during their day in the park: the Ritacuba trail to the snow-line of Ritacuba Blanco, the Laguna Grande trail to one of the park’s most impressive lakes, and the Pulpito del Diable trail to the snow-line of the Pulpito del Diablo peak (pictured below). The total length of these three treks combined is 25km.

 

el cocuy national park colombia
The snow-line of Pulpito del Diablo

 

The reopening of the park is huge news for the tourism authorities of Boyaca department, and great news for travellers wanting to experience some stunning high-altitude trekking within the park. It might not be perfect (having been lucky enough to trek the full 5 day circuit in 2011, I can say that El Cocuy has a great deal for to offer), but until it is clear that the environmental concerns of the U’Wa and environmentalists have been sufficiently addressed then this is the best option available.

Chris

 

7 thoughts on “El Cocuy National Park set to reopen this Thursday, April 6

    Zak on

    Hi Chris! Thanx for the detailed information. Do you know if it is necessary to take a guide to visit the park, or can one go on the day hikes on his own?

    Reply

      Chris on

      Hi Zak. The information is a bit confusing at the moment, from what I can tell it is necessary to do the 3 trails which are open with a guide.

      Reply

    Fer Velázquez on

    Hi Chris,
    Sorry, do you have any travel agency you could recommend? I know all may offer similar options, but I’m looking for one with a little bit of more adventure and physical demand.
    Thanks!

    Reply

      Chris on

      Hi Fer,

      I visited independently, but I hear excellent things about Ciudad Nevado El Cocuy: https://www.facebook.com/NevadoElCocuy

      Reply

    Jonathan Hemming on

    Chris, do you know if the combined distante (in and out) is 25 km or is that one way?

    Reply

      Chris on

      From what I can tell (the information is not too clear), the total combined length of the hiking trails is 25km, I guess it probably includes both in and out in that distance. I think basically if you did all three hikes in and out you would walk a total of 25km.

      Reply

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