Cordillera central, Colombia

Laguna del Otún Trek


Where: Colombia

Length: 2-4 days

Level: Intermediate

From: $259


A beautiful lake, nestled amongst glaciers and snow-capped peaks

Explore the paramó and bask in the mesmerizing beauty of Laguna del Otún on this intermediate trek.

Laguna del Otún is an impressive and beautiful glacier lake located in Los Nevados National Park, which sits in the heart of the coffee region of Colombia. The trek to Laguna del Otún will take your breath away, mostly from the stunning vistas, but also from the high altitude trek to reach its wide banks. Walking through the Andean forest and staying at peasant houses makes this expedition truly unique.

Over 4 days, you’ll traverse the cloud forest, trek through the páramos - a rapidly evolving ecosystem only found in a few places in the world - where you’ll be delighted by condors, Andean bears, foxes, and rare plant life, and enjoy camping along the banks of the lake.

Laguna del Otún boasts an impressive depth of 70m, perfect for a refreshing swim or hours of trout fishing. The lake sits at a dizzying 3950m and is fed by the glacier melt of Nevado Santa Isabel (4965m), an active volcano in the prehistoric era. From the lake, you’ll have amazing views of Nevado del Ruiz and Nevado del Tolima.

This trek is an excursion into the heart of Los Nevados National Park, which is home to a wide range of wildlife and varying ecosystems and geological features, such as volcanoes, lakes, glaciers, forests and moors filled with Frailejones, hummingbirds, eagles and condors.

Located in the central Colombian Andes, the park covers over 225 sq mi and features high mountain landscapes, waterfalls, hot springs - a perfect cure for sore muscles - waterfalls, rainforests, jungles, and high-altitude lakes. The perfect combination of nature and wildlife for any traveler.

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1 -

The trip begins in Villamaría (Manizales). After lunch, you'll meet your guide and journey to Campoalegre, the entrance of Los Nevados National Park at 3,900m. Here, you'll pass the night to acclimatize and enjoy the beauty of the mountains. In the evening, enjoy a traditional meal prepared by local farmers. Spend the night in a local's house.

Day 2 -

After breakfast, commence your trek through the moors to the breautiful Laguna del Otún, at 3,800m, where we will set up camp. Later on, enjoy lunch and visit the outcrops of sulfur that are near the lagoon. The last hours of the day are perfect for relaxing and enjoying the lake views.

Day 3 -

Your trek begins on the path that follows the slope of the river Otún, eventually reaching El Jordán. You'll pass by the base of Paramillo de Santa Rosa, and skirt the mosquito lagoon, finally descending through the paramo. The Jordan is a beautiful country house surrounded by impressive waterfalls and mountains. This is where you will spend the night or you can choose to camp as well.

Day 4 -

Start your last day in the mountains with a delicious local breakfast. After organizing the luggage on the cargo mules,
you'll begin your descent through the paramó which will give way to the high Andean cloud forest. Here you can observe a wide variety of fauna and flora. This last 5 hour trek, will take us to El Cedral, where we will take a bus to the city of Pereira and on to your city of choice.

What's Included

Can be included

  • All in-country transport during trip
  • Hotel accommodations for specified time
  • Professional, certified English-speaking guides
  • Professional outdoor cook, 3 healthy meals a day plus snacks during the wilderness components of the trip
  • All camping and cooking equipment
  • Donkeys or llamas and porters where applicable
  • Sleeping tents
  • First aid kit stocked for wilderness expeditions

Not usually included:

  • International flights and applicable airport taxes
  • Personal clothing and equipment
  • Incidental personal expenditures, including emergency evacuations and medical expenditures

Enquiry Form

Expedition Enquiry

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Essential Trip Info

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