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Cadena Volcánica de Coconuco - Trekking Parque Nacional Puracé - Colombia

Like a necklace of rough, uncut jet stones draping the páramo is the Cadena Volcánica de Coconuco. Beginning at Pan de Azúcar, a volcano towering 4,670 meters (15,318 feet), nine more volcanic craters form a chain across the lunar-like landscape within the hinterlands of Parque Nacional Natural Puracé. A two-and-a-half-day trek can be made around their imposing presence, camping on the wild, wind-swept plains. You may be lucky and encounter some of the park's more elusive residents, the mountain tapir, puma and spectacled bear.

Location:
Parque Nacional Puracé, Colombia

Trekking

Getting There

Two routes are possible: beginning at and returning to Pilimbalá or Termales San Juan, or starting at Paletará and ending at Pilimbalá or Termales San Juan.

Travel Tips:

A guide is highly recommended. Contact Parques Nacionales Naturales de Colombia Surandina, in Popayán, to make a reservation and find out about present conditions. It can also help you to arrange the services of a local guide from the indigenous community. The park entry fee is paid at either Pilimbalá or Termales San Juan.

Price Description:

The park entry fee is $8.50 for foreigners, $3.50 for Colombians.

Relative price: Mid-Range

Travel Skills: intermediate/somewhat difficult.

You Need to Bring:

You need to be totally self-sufficient: camping equipment, camp stove (no open fires are allowed), sleeping bag, water, high-energy food, warm clothing, hat, gloves, rain gear, strong footwear; if it is the rainy season, rubber boots may be necessary.

Along the north road of Puracé National Park are a number of natural wonders, including a condor lookout point, Laguna de San Rafael, Cascada de Río Bedón, Termales San Juan and Cascada San Nicolás. The south sector of the park features Laguna del Buey, accessible from the village of Paletará, and Coconuco village, which has hot springs. Trout fishing is excellent in both villages.



Here are other activities in and around Parque Nacional Puracé that may be of interest: Camino Natural,








By Lorraine Caputo

Upon re-declaring her independence at age 29, Lorraine Caputo packed her trusty Rocinante (so her knapsack's called) and began...

17 Aug 2011


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