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the 3 cordilleras
Written by sophie et jeremy   
Wednesday, 20 March 2019

In Colombia, the Andes cordillera divides in 3 parallel branches, which we will cross another time east to west, another chance to see very various landscapes.

rio magalena pano rio magalena pano

As soon as we go out of the luxurious jungle around the brown Magdalena river feeling like amazonian, we reach the Tatacoa desert. It is supposed to be a dry tropical forest, but its red canyons and cactuses make us think of Colorado... Soon after is the valley de las constellaciones, as dry, we were spend the night.

rio magdalena 1 rio magdalena 1 rio magdalena 2 rio magdalena 2

tatacoa 1 tatacoa 1 tatacoa 2 tatacoa 2

tatacoa 3 tatacoa 3 tatacoa 4 tatacoa 4

tatacoa beer tatacoa beer

Back in the central cordillera (the highest), we visit the park los Nevados, which gathers 3 of the highest volcanoes of the country. Sadly, the north part is more or less closed due to the volcanic activity of Nevado del Ruiz, so we decide to enter from the south to climb a smaller volcano. From the beginning the trek looks hard, with very slippery paths, not well marked and some parts collapsed in the middle of the very dense cloud forest. We get on slowly with our big bags, but after 6 hours (and 1500 meters climbed), trees leave room to the paramo and the view of the volcano Tolima and its glacier. It was high time as the night was coming!

tolima 5 tolima 5 tolima 2 tolima 2

tolima 1 tolima 1 tolima 6 tolima 6

tolima 3 tolima 3 tolima 4 tolima 4

The next day, the downhill is as hard but we stop few hours in wild hot springs on the way back. We comfort ourselves with a chocolate pie in the next city too!

tolima 7 tolima 7 choco choco

In its west part, the park is home to Quindio wax palm, national symbol and highest palm tree in the world with more than 50 meters. We go and see the famous Valle de la Cocora and drive north in the park hopelessly expecting to see the summit of the volcano Ruiz. But thankfully, the area is full of hot spring, so we can soak ourselves in a bubbling pool in the middle of the forest!

valle de cocora 1 valle de cocora 1 valle de cocora 3 valle de cocora 3

valle de cocora 2 valle de cocora 2 termes san vincente termes san vincente

 

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