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Destinations to Discover Snow in Colombia

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Colombia destinations snow
Colombia has destinations with snow that can be visited by nationals and foreigners. Credit: Beto Duran/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Colombia, known for its rich biodiversity and varied climates, has destinations where snow graces the landscape, offering a unique spectacle. These locations, safeguarded by Colombia’s National Natural Parks, protect invaluable snowy ecosystems.

In Colombia, the areas referred to as “nevados” are mountains once blanketed by layers of ice during the glacial era. Today, these icy masses persist, providing breathtaking vistas and opportunities for snow-related activities. These nevados are protected areas critical to the country’s climatic diversity.

Dreamy destinations to encounter snow

Nevados National Natural Park: Housing the snow-capped peaks of Ruiz, Tolima, Santa Isabel, and Cisne, this park is a natural wonder in the Coffee Axis and Tolima department. Apart from admiring the snow, visitors can engage in hiking, mountaineering, and spotting native species like the spectacled bear or Andean condor.

Colombia destinations snow
Nevados National Park is located in the coffee region of the central Andes of Colombia. Credit: BETA2004/CC BY-SA 4.0

Accessible from Manizales and Ibague, this place of scenic beauty also serves as a vital water source for the coffee region, supplying cities like Manizales, Armenia, Pereira, and Medellin.

Cocuy National Natural Park: In the eastern Andes, this park spans Boyaca, Casanare, and Arauca, covering an expanse of 306,000 hectares. Boasting over 25 glacier-covered peaks like Guican, the Cocuy, and Chita, it beckons climbers and nature enthusiasts to ascend Ritak U’wa Blanco or Ritak U’wa Negro.

El Cocuy National Natural Park. Credit: Djlego123/CC BY-SA 4.0

Accessed from Guican and Cocuy in Boyaca, the Cocuy park offers versatility, attracting tourists and climbers alike. Its snow-capped peaks, some exceeding 5,000 meters in height, appeal to both novice and seasoned climbers, offering an array of routes and challenges.

Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta: Renowned as the ancestral home of cultures like the Koguis or Arhuacos, this region hosts snowy mountains, with peaks like Simon Bolivar and Cristobal Colon, Colombia’s highest points.

Cristoval Colon Peak of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Credit: Colombia One

The glaciers of the Sierra Nevada are sensitive to climate change and human intervention, necessitating permission from indigenous authorities before access, a measure to safeguard and respect this invaluable natural heritage.

Tips for a safe adventure

Stay hydrated before, during, and after the visit. Wear UV-protected sunglasses and sunscreen. Dress in suitable cold-weather clothing and footwear. Acclimatize and take necessary time. Seek help if required and respect your pace. Avoid alcohol consumption before and during the visit.


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