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Colombian Unknown Destinations Unveiled

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Unknown destinations Colombia
While popular tourist destinations in Colombia often revolve around the well-trodden beaches of Cartagena or the traditional city tours, there are many lesser-known gems worth discovering. Credit: Felipe Rodriuez-Moreno/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Colombia, a nation spanning 1,141,748 square kilometers with two oceans, three mountain ranges, and two of the world’s most biodiverse rainforests, holds a tapestry of lesser-explored treasures waiting to be unveiled. While popular tourist destinations often revolve around the well-trodden beaches of Cartagena or the traditional city tours, there are many llittle known gems worth discovering.

Capurgana, Choco

Capurgana is nestled in the Gulf of Uraba in the enchanting Caribbean department of Choco. With a diverse marine life awaiting exploration through activities like diving and snorkeling, Capurgana is also a gateway to the fisherman’s village of Sapzurro, natural reserves embraced by rivers and streams, and a walk to La Miel, Panama, for tax-free shopping.

How to Get There: Options include a one and a half hour flight from Medellin’s Olaya Herrera Airport to Capurganá’s Narcisa Navas Airport, or a journey to Acandí or Necocli, followed by a boat ride to Capurganá.

Travel Plan: The plan starts at 407 USD ($1,600,000 Colombian pesos) per person, and covers round-trip flights from Medellin, private accommodation, meals, guided excursions by local hosts, and travel insurance.

Mavecure Hills, Guainia

The iconic Mavecure hills, immortalized in Ciro Guerra’s Oscar-nominated film “Embrace of the Serpent” (2015), are three colossal rock formations in the Guainia department, between the Orinoco and Colombian Amazon. Composed of ancient grayish stone mounds called tepuyes, they are one of the planet’s oldest geological formations.

What to Do: The journey involves traversing the Cerro Diablo base, ascending Mavecure, and reaching the natural viewpoint for Pajaro and Mono, the other two hills. Visitors can also swim in the crystal-clear waters of the San Joaquin creek, explore the Inirida River Star, and respectfully visit indigenous reserves.

Tour Cost: A four-day plan, starting from 471 USD ($1,852,000) per person, includes round-trip flights from Bogota, internal transfers, shared accommodation, meals, and guided activities in Mavecure hills and surroundings.

Cocuy National Natural Park

The Cocuy National Natural Park presents snow-covered peaks, pristine lagoons, and numerous postcard-perfect scenes. Shared by Boyaca, Arauca, and Casanare, it boasts at least 25 icy peaks, representing Colombia’s largest glacial mass, covering approximately 25 kilometers in length.

Authorized Trails: With only three trails authorized by Colombia’s National Parks—Laguna Grande de la Sierra, Lagunillas, and Ritacuba—visitors can marvel at the edges of the glaciers while adhering to conservation guidelines.

Tour Value: A three-day plan, priced at 219 USD ($860,000) per person, includes round-trip transportation from Bogota, accommodation, meals, a Mahoma mountain acclimatization hike, park entry, travel insurance, and certified mountain guides.

Otun – Cocora and Paramillo of Quindio

Embark on a cross-departmental adventure, climbing over 4,500 meters and walking up to 12 hours daily to traverse Villamaria, Caldas, the Otun Lagoon, and finally the Cocora Valley, reaching the Paramillo of Quindio, also known as Colombia’s seven-colored mountain.

Crossing Three Departments: Over three days of extensive hikes, crossing Caldas, Risaralda, and Quindío, participants interact with local farmers within the park, adding a cultural dimension to the experience.

Tour Price: For 216 USD ($850,000) per person, the package includes 4×4 transportation from Manizales, three meals a day, medical assistance insurance, mountain guide, Los Nevados National Park entry, Jeep transfer from Valle del Cocora to Salento, high-altitude mountain kit, water filter, souvenir, lodging, and portage for camping equipment and food.

Nevado Santa Isabel

Nevado Santa Isabel, one of the Central Range’s peaks, spans Tolima, Caldas, and Risaralda, with its highest point at 4,965 meters above sea level. With two options—a one-day visit to the glacier’s edge or a challenging two-day ascent to the summit—this journey promises breathtaking views of two glaciers.

Routes: Choose between a one-day visit to the Laguna Verde Encantada or a two-day expedition requiring good physical fitness and a determination to reach the summit. The latter includes an acclimatization hike to Laguna Verde Encantada and an early, 2am, summit attempt.

Pricing: Departing from Manizales, costs range from 58 USD ($230,000) for a one-day excursion to 178 USD ($700,000) per person for a two-day summit adventure. The comprehensive package covers meals, shared accommodation, mountain guides, round-trip 4×4 transportation from Manizales, and all necessary equipment.


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