Playa Blanca

Beach in Sugamuxi

This white-sand Andean beach on the southwestern shore of Lago de Tota is one of the highest beaches in the world (3015m). On weekends it gets crowded with day trippers, the bravest of whom enjoy taking a dip in the lake's icy waters. Stalls sell refreshments and piping hot cups of coffee, while small boats offer trips out on the lake. During the week the place is pretty much deserted.

You can camp here for a small fee but the facilities leave something to be desired and in the evening there's nowhere to eat – although you can order food from a restaurant out on the highway at the top of a steep hill. An ice-cold shower costs COP$2000 – you're better off just jumping into Lago de Tota.

During the day there is a fairly basic restaurant serving trout right on the beach. Admission to Playa Blanca is free but vehicles are charged COP$4000 for parking.

To reach the beach, there are several bus options; the easiest is catching a Cootracero bus from Sogamoso's bus terminal (COP$6000, 1½ hours, hourly). Some stretches of the access road after Iza are unpaved but it is still accessible for all kinds of vehicles.

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