The Massif Loop

Salento, Colombia

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The loop embraces strenuous climbing and hiking; the hike is done on the backside of the park. This trip is a good acclimatization program for people looking to climb more high-altitude mountains in South America.


Duration: 6 Days
Starts in: Salento, Colombia
Ends in: Salento, Colombia
Group Size: 1-9
Difficulty: 4/5

Operated by:

Crested Outdoors

We are a guide company based in Salento, Colombia specializing in logistics and ecotourism around the Colombian Andes.

Additional Information

Day 1. 
Total distance: 12km
Estimated time: 7 – 8 hrs
Altitud gain: 2400m – 3700m

Get across the valley through the wax palm forest; up a cross the cloud forest visit the Sub – Páramo; over this several ranges in temperature, experience a hiking day full of wildlife and a big adventure; camping on the territory of the Spectacle bear, the Andean condor, and the rare and uncommon Frailejón plant; at night, stargazing and a cold and windy sleep at the abandoned “Buenos Aires” Farm.
Day 2.
Total distance: 13km
Estimated time: 7- 8hrs 
Altitud gain: 3700m – 4000m – 4300m

Early, continue for a long day inside páramo ecosystem, slightly hilly terrain will conduct us through the first slopes of the Tolima volcano. Hike besides “Toche” river, the hike will spot some of the unseen scenarios, like the vast peatlands and extensive marshes. Get the best view of the Toche valley, Cauca valley and the mountain massif complex (Ruiz-Tolima) with all the glaciers in the park; home of the Andean Condor, the Black Chested Buzzard Eagle, the Buffy Helmetcrest hummingbird among others.
Camp on the upper slopes of the Tolima Volcano and get ready for the Summit day.
Day 3
Total distance: 3km to the Summit and Back to camp / 12km to Next camp 
Estimated time: 5hrs to Summit / 4-5hrs to Next Camp 
Altitud gain: 4300m – 3750m

Over the 5,000m (16.404ft) after the sketchy and exposed scrambling the ice appears, the Team ropes up and push upwards to the top. summit, located at 5.220m (17.126ft).
The climb on the ice is 200m, at the last bit it is a crevasses field and once cross it, We climb a small cornice and walk till the summit.
After summit day get across the “valle del placer” and the smashing views of Tolima Volcano. At the bottom the views of the rivers “Totare and Totarito” which supply the water of Tolima region.
Day 4
Total distance: 12km 
Estimated time: 9 – 10hrs 
Altitud gain: 3750m – 4440m – 4300m

From the valley back to the volcanic massif, hike through the “Africa” Valley, surrounded by the volcanic domes of the Santa Isabel volcano and “Cerro Arenales”. Traverse the “Line” highest axis of the Cordillera central and Camp at the limits of Risaralda department.
Day 5
Total distance: 14km 
Estimated time: 7- 8 hrs 
Altitud gain: 4300m – 3800m

Start the day with the Otun lagoon, biggest lagoon in the National park, full of birdlife; great views of Paramillo of Santa Rosa and Santa Isabel glacier; followed by the Otún wetland complex, included in the RAMSAR convention.
Into the bosque village and across the ridge encounter the Berlin farm, a place to rest the last bit of the expedition, enjoy its surroundings away from the volcanic presence.
Day 6
Total distance: 17km 
Estimated time: 8 hrs
Altitud gain: 3800m – 4300m – 2400m

On the final day from the Berlin canyon get across the limits of the Risaralda department and back into the Quindio department. 
Once back into the Cocora valley You have made the loop of the souther part at the National Park Los Nevados.


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