On our third day of hiking the Sierra Nevada del Cocuy we were met with dazzling mountain scenes from the moment we opened the tent flap.
Considering the fog had rolled in by 4 pm the afternoon before, we really had no idea of the beauty that lay waiting for us once we peeled back that flap.
The sky was that deep inky blue that you only see at high altitude. The lakes were breathtaking in their beauty. And around this camp there was plenty of bird life and vegetation I’d not seen anywhere else on the planet.
Some trekkers come to this camp and spend a few nights hiking in the area. That in itself would be very worthwhile. Our plan though was to continue over Balcones Pass at 4,350 metres (13,920 feet) to a camp beside Laguno del Pañuelo at an altitude of 4,300 metres (13,674 feet).
Although we were up just after 6 am we really didn’t get going till close to 9 am. We were waiting for the sun to dry the tents and since this was such a stunning landscape I was in no rush to get going either.
The hike took us around the lake – with infinity pool like views into the Colombian jungle. Then we had thirty minutes of Moab slickrock like hiking – which was easy and fun. As it turns out that was to be some of the easiest hiking all day.
For about an hour we hiked along benches and eskers. The hiking required your concentration as this was not a place you wanted to turn an ankle or worse – break a leg. The hiking through huge boulders after lunch required even more careful foot placement as some of the big boulders moved with any weight on them.
I breathed a huge sigh of relief once we were through them.
Although the lakes appear a ways off in the distance, it took us only 20 minutes of hiking to get there.
All told we hiked about six hours. Breathing felt easier on the climb than it did the day before. Thank heavens!
Another reward for our efforts and sleeping at altitude were the phenomenal night skies. They were just packed with stars so those 4 am trips out of the tent were actually quite pleasant. I think most of us forget what a sight a starry night is to behold.
Would you be dazzled by the hiking in Colombia’s Sierra Nevada del Cocuy on Day 3?
Other posts from our Colombia travels you might find interesting.
- Hiking in the Sierra Nevada del Cocuy Range, Colombia
- Hiking in the Sierra Nevada Range in Colombia: Day 1
- Day 2 of Hiking in Colombia: High Passes and Heavy Breathing
- Discovering Bogota, Colombia via a Bike Tour
- The Bus Ride from Hell: Bogota to Guican in 14 Hours