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Parque Nacional Puracé Services

Tourism Office
Before arriving to Parque Nacional Natural Puracé, you must contact Parques Nacionales Naturales de Colombia Surandina, in Popayán (Monday-Friday 8-11:30 a.m., 2-4 p.m. Carrera 9 25N-06, Tel: 09-2-823-1279 / 823-1212, URL: The office will fill you in on present safety and weather conditions. It can also help you arrange for a guide. The rangers at the Pilimbalá station can also tell you about the parque. In Puracé village, stop by the restaurant Micho for any information you may need about hiking in the area or about the national park.

In none of the villages bordering the national park are there banks, ATMs or any place to change cash dollars. Bring plenty of pesos with you.

Keeping in Touch
The Pilimbalá ranger station has a telephone and radio to communicate with the outside world. In Puracé, the Telecom office is on Carrera 7, a half-block from the church; at the time of writing, it had no service. In Coconuco the company's office is on Carrera 2, the main street. In all the pueblos people rent their cellular phones for local or national calls. The entire area is devoid of post offices. In some villages the only internet is at the colegio (high school), with connection for a few hours Monday to Friday; priority is given to students. There is a privately run internet café in Coconuco (Carrera 3 2-99).

When hiking or trekking in Parque Nacional Natural Puracé, carry along a first aid kit with basic medications. The park itself has no medical facilities. The Centro de Salud in Puracé village has 24-hour emergency and ambulance services (Carrera 6 3-50). There is a pharmacy behind the hospital, as well as at the house across the street at Calle 4 5-18, with the fotocopias sign.Coconuco's Centro de Salud also has emergency attention (Carrera 2 5-59). There is a pharmacy one block away (Carrera 2 4-15).

By Lorraine Caputo

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

16 Aug 2011

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