Parque Nacional Natural (PNN) Los Nevados

Zona Cafetera

One of Colombia's most awe-inspiring national parks, PNN Los Nevados encompasses 583 sq km of rugged terrain in the heart of the Colombian Andes. Its varied altitude range encompasses everything from humid cloud forests and páramo (high-mountain plains) to glaciers on the highest peaks.

The main peaks, from north to south, are El Ruiz (5321m), El Cisne (4750m), Santa Isabel (4965m), El Quindío (4750m) and El Tolima (5215m).

The best months to see snow in Los Nevados are October and November and from March to May. Outside of those months you're more likely to get the dry, windy conditions favorable for trekking and clear views.

At the time of research most of the northern section of the park around Nevado del Ruiz remained off-limits because of volcanic activity. The restrictions remain liable to change. Check on the situation in Manizales before heading out.

Fortunately for nature lovers, the southern part of the park remains open and offers a variety of breathtaking day trips and multiday treks. The main access points are from Cabaña La Cueva for Nevado de Santa Isabel; Potosí near Santa Rosa de Cabal and the Refugio La Pastora in the Parque Ucumarí, from where trails lead to the magnificent Laguna del Otún; and Valle de Cocora near Salento, where a path heads uphill to the páramo around Paramillo del Quindío (4750m). Note that in the southern part of the park the entrance fee is lower as there is no tourism infrastructure fee.

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