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Ah, Colombia! A land that’s just as diverse as it is breathtaking. From the towering peaks of the Andes to the dense jungles of the Amazon, this country is a paradise for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take a scenic journey through the best hiking trails Colombia has to offer. Ready to put on your hiking boots? đŸ„Ÿ

  • Easy hikes in Colombia: Valle de Cocora, GuatapĂ© Rock
  • Most Popular Hikes in Colombia: The Lost City, Valle de Cocora
  • Most Challenging hikes in Colombia: Ciudad Perdida, PĂĄramo de Sumapaz
  • Coastal hikes in Colombia: Tayrona National Park, Coastal Trails near Cartagena
  • High Summit Hikes in Colombia: Los Nevados National Park, Sierra Nevada del Cocuy, Nevado Del Tolima
  • Best Historical Trails in Colombia: El Camino Real (Barichara), La Candelaria (BogotĂĄ)
  • Safety tips for hikes in Colombia: Altitude acclimatization, insect repellent, offline GPS
  • Best Jungle hikes in Colombia: Amazon Rainforest, Farallones de Cali
  • Best hikes for seeing wildlife: ChocĂł Department, Amazon Jungle Trails
  • Best hikes near Medellin: ArvĂ­ Park, Cerro Quitasol
  • Best Hikes near Bogota: Chingaza National Park, Cerros de Monserrate
  • Best Season for hiking in Colombia: December to March

The Importance of Preparation

If you’re reading this, it means you’re serious about your hiking game. And hey, why shouldn’t you be? Colombia is not a place you venture into unprepared.

Gear Up: Essentials for Hiking in Colombia

You don’t want to find yourself in the middle of a Colombian forest with poor quality boots, do you? That’s right! Footwear is your best friend on these trails. Always opt for water-resistant, ankle-supporting hiking boots that can withstand the terrain.

What else is essential? A comfortable backpack, light but sturdy clothing, and for those daring souls venturing into the jungles, a quality insect repellent.

Know Before You Go: Safety Tips

Did you know that Colombia is home to some of the highest coastal mountain ranges in the world? Altitude sickness can be a real concern. Make sure to acclimatize before hitting the higher elevations. How do you feel about snakes and spiders? Some trails have them, so be prepared and always stay alert.

The Best Seasons to Hike in Colombia

When it comes to hiking in Colombia, timing is everything. The best time? December to March, which is the driest season. But hey, some trails like PĂĄramo de OcetĂĄ are stunning all year round.

Must-Have Apps and Maps

Ever heard of the phrase, “There’s an app for that”? Well, hiking in Colombia is no exception. Apps like AllTrails or Gaia GPS offer offline maps, making it almost impossible for you to get lost.

Colombia Trail Map

Fantastic! As you scroll through this comprehensive guide, you’ll also find a handy Clickable Map learn more about each hike. If you prefer a guided experience, check out our range of expert-led tours.

Lost City TrekPin

Lost City Trek

The Lost City Trek is an adventurous hiking expedition that takes you through the lush jungles of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in Colombia. It leads to the ancient archaeological site of Ciudad Perdida, also known as the Lost City. The trek offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the region and explore the remnants of an ancient indigenous civilization.

Cerro KennedyPin

Cerro Kennedy

Mountain vistas

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Sierra Nevada Del Cocuy

Sierra Nevada del Cocuy is a majestic mountain range located in the BoyacĂĄ and Arauca Departments of Colombia. It is renowned for its snow-capped peaks, high-altitude lakes, and dramatic landscapes. The range offers a challenging and rewarding trekking experience in a remote and pristine natural environment.

Guajira Desert

The Guajira Desert, also known as the Alta Guajira, is a vast and arid desert located in the Guajira Peninsula of Colombia. It is characterized by its sandy landscapes, sparse vegetation, and a unique cultural heritage of the indigenous Wayuu people. The desert offers a rugged and remote experience, showcasing the raw beauty of nature.

Los Nevados National Natural Park

Los Nevados National Natural Park is a stunning protected area located in the Andean region of Colombia. It is known for its snow-capped volcanoes, high-altitude ecosystems, and breathtaking landscapes. The park is home to several impressive peaks, including Nevado del Ruiz, Nevado del Tolima, and Nevado de Santa Isabel.

Amazon Rainforest (Colombia)

The Amazon Rainforest in Colombia is a vast and biodiverse ecosystem that covers a significant portion of the country’s southern region. It is known for its rich flora and fauna, indigenous communities, and the mighty Amazon River. The rainforest offers a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the wonders of nature and learn about the indigenous cultures that call this region home.

Moniquira Archaeological Park, El infiernito

Moniquira Archaeological Park, also known as El infiernito, is an archaeological site located near the town of Villa de Leyva in Colombia. It features ancient stone structures and monuments that were built by the indigenous Muisca civilization. The site has astronomical and ceremonial significance, with its stone columns and structures aligned to observe solstices and equinoxes.

Tayrona ParkPin

Tayrona Park

Natural beauty and indigenous history

Trek to the Lost City

If there was only one trek to do during a trip to Colombia, it would be the Ciudad Perdida trek that I would recommend. For an even more comfortable experience, we also offer a Lost City Trek VIP version.

Because contrary to most of the other treks of the country, this one does not only make you discover exceptional landscapes, but it also plunges you in the fascinating History of the country.

  • Duration : 4 to 5 days
  • Level : Medium
  • Guidance : Need a Local Guide / Agency
best hikes in colombia lost city trekPin
best hikes in colombia lost city trek

Paramo of Oceta

First of all, it seems essential to me to explain what a pĂĄramo is. This term designates high mountain areas perched in the Andes at about 3500 meters of altitude.

It is thus all up there that I propose to you to go up, on foot, in order to discover the extraordinary landscapes of the area.

In company of cows and horses, we evolve in the middle of the mountains and frailejones until reaching a crest.

Throughout the ascent, the landscapes become more and more spectacular. It takes about 7 hours of walking to do the round trip.

Trek Cerro Kennedy

Here, it is a real trek and not a simple hike that I propose you to make.

During two days, we will walk on the slopes of Cerro Kennedy, a mountain located at about 25 kilometers from Minca and perched at 3100 meters of altitude.

I like this trek very much because it allows me to live the Adventure with a big A, and that’s not all.

It is also one of the treks that offers the best overview of the variety of Colombian landscapes, with coffee plantations, tropical jungles, cloud forests, moors


In short, a real concentrate of Colombia!

  • Duration : 3 days
  • Level : Medium
  • Guidance : Need a Local Guide / Agency
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cerro kennedy colombia

Trek Los Nevados

With its 58 hectares of surface, the Natural National Park Los Nevados is one of the best playgrounds for hiking.

You will find yourself in the western center of Colombia dominated by the Nevado del Ruiz volcano which culminates at 5300m and to which are added seven other volcanoes which are also found within the limits of the park of Los Nevados.

The advantage is that thanks to the large number of trails, you can choose a hike adapted to your level.

Some will decide to leave for only one day to climb Santa Isabel from Manizales, others to leave for 3 days to have a relaxing break in the thermal waters of Cañon


At the beginning of this trek, you start from the Cocora valley and its giant trees that can reach 30m in the upper Andean forest before entering the “Bosque de niebla”, the misty forest, to then approach the flanks of the Tolima volcano (which culminates at 5215m).

And for the nights, you will have the choice between camping and refuge!

  • Duration : from 1 day to 4 days
  • Level : Medium
  • Distance :  47 km
  • Guidance : Need a Local Guide / Agency

The sanctuary of Iguaque

Another hike in altitude but this time it is done in one day. We go along the lake of Iguaque at 3800 meters of altitude and we cross the numerous ecosystems of the park.

There are several paths that allow you to walk along the other lakes of the region, or to dive into the myths and legends of Lake Iguaque, inhabited by Bachué, the sea of humanity. It is a very popular hike for locals and travelers alike, a true pilgrimage that would cleanse the soul and the spirit.

  • Duration : 1 day
  • Level : hard
  • Guidance : Need a Local Guide / Agency
best trek colombia iguaquePin
best trek colombia iguaque – Photo @TristanQuevilly

Hiking to Indigenous Villages in Sierra Nevada

The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is not just about towering peaks and challenging trails; it’s also a cultural treasure trove. Home to various indigenous communities like the Kogi and Arhuaco, these sacred lands offer a different kind of hiking experience. Unlike other trails, these paths lead you through indigenous territories, allowing you a rare glimpse into ancient cultures and ways of life.

Hiking to these villages is more than just a physical endeavor; it’s a journey of cultural and spiritual exploration. Due to the sacred nature of these lands, hikers must obtain permission from the indigenous communities to visit. It’s also highly compulsory to have a local guide who understands the cultural sensitivities and traditions of these communities.

Whether you’re interested in anthropology, spirituality, or just looking for an off-the-beaten-path adventure, hiking to the indigenous villages of the Sierra Nevada offers a rich and fulfilling experience. Looking for an organized trek to an indigenous village? Consider our 4-day Satey Kogui Village Tour.

  • Location: Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging
  • Duration: Varies (1-5 days depending on the village)
  • Highlights: Indigenous culture, untouched landscapes, spiritual sites
  • Requirements: Permission from indigenous communities, local guide
  • Best Time to Visit: Year-round, though December to March is drier
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Kogui Expedition Sierra Nevada De Santa Marta

Pico de Loro

It is necessary to foresee a very long day of walking to make the hike of Pico de Loro, in the national park of the same name. The path takes us from 1600 meters to more than 2800 meters of altitude in a few kilometers


You might as well say that it climbs! Besides, you have to be in good physical shape to climb, jump, cross the rivers


But all your efforts will be rewarded by the successive views on the surrounding mountains.

CAMINO REAL: STEP BACK IN TIME IN BARICHARA

If you’re looking for a hike that combines natural beauty with a taste of Colombia’s rich history, look no further than the Camino Real in Barichara. This ancient path, originally used by the indigenous Guane people, takes you on a journey through time and space.

A Walk Through Cobblestone Streets and Countryside

The hike starts in the picturesque town of Barichara, known for its well-preserved colonial architecture. As you make your way out of town, you’ll soon find yourself walking on cobblestone paths surrounded by lush landscapes. The trail leads to the small town of Guane, where you can explore a fossil museum and a beautiful colonial-era church.

Duration, Level, and Guidance

  • Duration: 2-3 hours one way
  • Level: Easy to Moderate
  • Guidance: Self-guided, though local guides are available for hire

What Makes It Special?

What sets this hike apart are the small details. From the flora and fauna to the local artisans selling their handicrafts along the way, there’s always something to catch your eye. And let’s not forget the stunning views of the Suarez River canyon!

Safety and Best Time to Visit

The trail is well-marked and generally safe for solo hikers. The best time to go is during the dry season, from December to March, to avoid muddy conditions.

How to Get There

Barichara is accessible by bus from BogotĂĄ or Bucaramanga, making it a convenient destination for hikers coming from different parts of Colombia.

BUNKUANY TRAIL: A HIDDEN GEM OF COLOMBIA

If you’re on the hunt for a less crowded, off-the-beaten-path trek, you’ll want to set your sights on the Bunkuany Trail. Nestled in the heart of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, this trek is a hidden gem often overshadowed by its more famous neighbors. But trust us, this trek offers a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural enrichment. As you hike through lush jungles and remote mountain paths, you’ll also get the chance to interact with the indigenous communities that call this region home.

Duration, Level, and Guidance

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Bunkuani

The Bunkuany Trail is not just a hike; it’s an experience that lets you see Colombia from a fresh perspective. The trek is moderately challenging, but the rewards are worth every drop of sweat. Discover hidden waterfalls, ancient indigenous artifacts, and viewpoints that will leave you speechless. If you’re looking for an intimate experience with nature and culture, the Bunkuany Trail should be high on your list.

Epic Twin Peaks: Pico ColĂłn and Pico BolĂ­var

This trek takes you to Colombia’s highest points: Pico ColĂłn and Pico BolĂ­var. Both peaks are part of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta range and offer one of the most challenging, yet rewarding, hiking experiences in Colombia. The trek usually starts from the coastal city of Santa Marta and involves a multi-day journey through varying terrains, from tropical forests to alpine meadows and glacial summits. Due to the challenging nature of this hike, it’s recommended only for experienced hikers and usually requires special permits and a seasoned guide. If you’re looking for a high-altitude challenge in Colombia, this is the ultimate trek for you.

  • Location: Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta
  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Duration: Multi-day (usually 9-11 days)
  • Highlights: Highest peaks in Colombia, stunning glacier views, diverse ecosystems
  • Requirements: Special permits, experienced guide, high-altitude gear
  • Best Time to Visit: December to March for optimal weather conditions
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Snowy Caps from Palomino colombia

The Cocuy National Park

With this park, I propose you to penetrate in the sacred lands of the U’wa Indians.

In the east of Colombia, near the Venezuelan border, El Cocuy Natural Park is home to the largest glacial mass in the country with 25 snow-capped peaks of over 4500 meters in altitude and some 150 high lakes.

You will have the choice of three different walking trails, all designed to climb the high peaks of the region.

What a wonder to look down and admire, in the middle of the mountains, magnificent lakes with turquoise or emerald reflections.

Between the points of view, we move by motorized means of locomotion so it is walking “by stages”.

  • Duration : 1 day
  • Level : Medium
  • Guidance : Need a Local Guide / Agency
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cocuy colombia free use

Tayrona Park via Calabazo : A journey through Indigenous Lands

If you’re looking to escape the crowds at Tayrona National Park, consider starting your hike at Calabazo. This lesser-known entry point allows you to experience the park’s lush forests and pristine beaches while also providing a unique cultural component: a visit to Taiku, an indigenous village.

Duration, Level, and Guidance

  • Duration: One full day or an overnight trip
  • Level: Moderate
  • Guidance: Local guide highly recommended, especially for the indigenous village visit

As you wind your way through the jungle, you’ll be greeted by the sounds of exotic birds and the rustling of leaves. And then, you’ll arrive at Taiku, where you can gain invaluable insight into the indigenous cultures that have called these lands home for centuries. The Taiku village offers a window into a different way of life, one deeply connected to the earth and the spiritual world.

pueblito Chairama tayrona park colombiaPin
pueblito Chairama tayrona park colombia

The trail eventually leads you to some of Tayrona’s most secluded beaches, making for a perfect end to a rich and fulfilling journey. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or a culture vulture, this route offers the best of both worlds.

Trek in Guajira Desert

The most difficult thing is to get there. The Guajria is a desert located in the North East of Colombia that spills over into neighboring Venezuela.

This desert is home to an indigenous tribe, the Wayuus, as well as the Macuira National Park which is an oasis in the middle of the desert, at the foot of the small mountain range of the SerranĂ­a de Macuira (not very high, about 800m maximum).

There are not really any treks or marked trails, but rather some walks like the one to the PilĂłn de Azucar and the lighthouse from the village of Cabo de la Vela for example.

Between the points of view, we move by motorized means of locomotion so it is walking “by stages”.

  • Duration : 3 days
  • Level : Easy
  • Guidance : Need a Local Guide
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punta gallinas bahia hondita guajira colombia Photo @TristanQuevilly

Nevado del Tolima Summit: A Volcanic Adventure

Nevado del Tolima is one of the most iconic peaks in Colombia’s Los Nevados National Park. This active volcano offers a challenging yet awe-inspiring trek that appeals to experienced hikers and mountaineers. The trek takes you through various ecosystems, starting from lush cloud forests and culminating in a glaciated summit. The climb often involves technical mountaineering skills, especially as you approach the summit, so hiring an experienced guide is highly recommended. Special permits are also required for this trek, and it’s crucial to have proper mountaineering gear including crampons and ice axes. The trek to Nevado del Tolima’s summit is not for the faint-hearted, but the panoramic views from the top make it an unforgettable experience. Ready to take on this volcanic adventure? Have a look at our Nevado del Tolima 4-day Tour.

  • Location: Los Nevados National Park
  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Duration: Multi-day (usually 3-5 days)
  • Highlights: Active volcano, glacier walks, stunning vistas, and diverse ecosystems
  • Requirements: Special permits, experienced guide, mountaineering gear
  • Best Time to Visit: December to March for clearer skies and safer conditions
Nevado Del Tolima Free UsePin
Nevado Del Tolima Free Use

Hike in the Canyon of Chicamocha

In the Chicamocha National Park, not far from Bucaramanga, in the state of Santander, the pretty village of Saint Gil awaits you with multiple outdoor activities: caving, river rafting, biking, quad biking


Note that from the cable car, you also have a splendid view of the canyon. It is more a tourist stroll from village to village that awaits you.

Chicamocha National Park is more a tourist activity park than a wilderness park like Los Nevados or El Cocuy.

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chicamocha colombia

Cocora Valley Trek

Very close to Salento and surrounded by a thick cloud forest with wax palms up to 60 meters high is the Cocora Valley, the place where the Quindio River is born and from where you can enter the Los Nevados National Natural Park.

The trekking to the Cocora Valley can be divided into at least 2 parts, a gentle one that you can do on your own in 1 day and in which you will reach the House of the hummingbirds, and another much longer and demanding trail that involves the company of a professional guide and that in 4 days will leave you at the top of the Nevado del Tolima.

  • Duration : 4-6h
  • Level : Moderate
  • Cost : 2 Usd (entrance fee)
  • Guidance : Self Guided
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valle de cocora eje cafetero colombia

Puracé National Park

This time, it is the volcanic Colombia I invite you to discover. Near Popayan, this volcano perched at 4600 meters of altitude represents a real challenge not only because its flanks are steep, but also because the weather conditions are not very favorable.

At the top, temperatures are often close to 0°C.

Throughout the ascent and the descent, the volcanic landscapes are revealed to the eyes of the hikers: the vegetation passing from yellow to green, the basins of sulfur


All this under the glance of the condor of the Andes and the other species of birds which eternally fly over the volcano.

hikes parque purace colombia @ibiojoPin
hikes parque purace colombia @ibiojo

Jungle Trails: The Amazon and Beyond

If you thought the Amazon was just a river or an online marketplace, think again! The Colombian Amazon offers hikes that are as exotic as they are challenging. Ever spotted a poison dart frog or a jaguar? You just might here. For a complete Amazon experience, consider our 5-day Leticia Amazonas Tour.

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leticia selva amazonica colombia

Tayrona Park Hike

Tayrona National Park is where you can hike from the mountains straight to the beach. How amazing is that? Also, don’t miss the coastal trails near Cartagena for a blend of history and natural beauty.

How often do you get to say you hiked in the Amazon or walked on a beach right after descending from a mountain?

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cabo san juan tayrona park colombia

Bird-Watching Trails: A Feathered Affair

Colombia is home to almost 2,000 bird species. Yes, you heard that right! Trails like those in ChocĂł Department are ideal for bird-watching.

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bahia solano el valle choco pacifico colombia

Beyond the Trails: What Else to Do in Colombia

Once you’ve conquered the trails, don’t pack your bags just yet. Cities like MedellĂ­n and BogotĂĄ offer a different kind of adventure. And let’s not forget the stunning Rosario Islands for some post-hike relaxation.

Treks in Colombia FAQ

Best time of the year for trekking in colombia ?

December/January are the best period, but also the most crowded. Avoid the months of March to May and October to November. In these months the rains are quite frequent. January, February, and June to September are the best months for hikes. More info in our guide : best time to visit colombia

What to Pack for a Trek in Colomba ?

Pack Light ! But be prepared for all climates, especially the rain which is frequent in the Andes. If you go to high altitude, above 3000 you will need a jacket and pants. And keep in mind that from 4000m the temperature can drop to 0°C at night, so you will need appropriate clothing. For more information see our guide: what to pack for Colombia

Are the trails in Colombia safe for solo hikers?

While many trails in Colombia are well-marked and frequented by hikers, it’s always a good idea to take safety precautions. If you’re a solo hiker, stick to popular trails, let someone know your itinerary, and consider using GPS apps like AllTrails or Gaia GPS for added security. Some trails, especially in remote areas, are better hiked with a guide or a group.

Do I need special permits or fees to hike in Colombia’s National Parks?

Yes, many of Colombia’s National Parks require an entrance fee, and some may even require special permits, especially for multi-day treks. Always check in advance, as these fees and permits can sometimes only be acquired at specific locations or have a limited availability. It’s recommended to plan ahead to ensure a smooth hiking experience.

Additionnal Ressources

Wrapping up

So these are the best hikes in Colombia: some long, some short; some convenient, some not so convenient. But what they all have in common is that they give you an excellent opportunity to enjoy some of Colombia’s most diverse and beautiful places and include some exercise at the same time.

Naturally there are thousands of other fantastic treks throughout the rural regions of Colombia, these are simply some of the absolute best, and the most diverse. If you have any other Colombia trekking tips, please leave a comment below.

And there you have it! A comprehensive guide to the best hikes in Colombia. Ready to tackle one of these challenging hikes? Explore our guided tour options.

Now your turn !

What was your favorite trail in Colombia? Any Questions ? Have any tips for fellow hikers? Feel free to share your experiences and questions below! 🌿