In the past, we have told you about some of the most famous and most visited natural parks in Colombia. Today, we want to tell you about two natural parks that are easily reached from Bogotá, should you be looking for day trip adventures close to the capital city.
The first natural park we want to introduce you to is the beautiful Chicaque Natural Park. Chicaque Natural Park lies within the Colombian department of Cundinamarca and is only a short 30-minute drive outside of Bogota. If you do not have access to a car, Chicaque can also be reached via public transportation. For details on how to use public transportation, check out the transportation section of the official Chicaque website: http://www.chicaque.com/en/location/public-transport/.
That being said, Chicaque Natural Park is unique in that it contains part of the Andean cloud forest, of which only 4% is left1. To better explore and get acquainted with the unique ecosystem of the Andean cloud forest, Chicaque Natural Park offers you a wide variety of activities including: horseback riding, bird watching, hiking, zip lining, and canopy observations. If you are interested in spending more than just a day in Chicaque, you can also stay overnight in the park by bringing your own camping materials or by renting a room in the onsite hostel, a cabin that lends a bit more privacy, or a tree house—yes, you can actually spend the night in a tree house!
For more detailed information about the park including fees and reservations, check out the official website: http://www.chicaque.com/en/home/
Another natural park close to Bogota and well worth a visit is Chingaza National Natural Park. Chingaza National Natural Park is within an hour’s drive of Bogota and spans over two Colombian departments, Cundinamarca and Meta, and lies within the Orinoco River basin, providing 80% of the potable water utilized in Bogota2. Part of a rich páramo environment, Chingaza National Natural Park offers you the chance to see some rare, but exceptionally beautiful animals such as the spectacled bear, the Andean condor, the páramo tapir, and the puma, as well as the chance to explore ancient and sacred Muisca land and sites, including a few majestic lakes. Additionally, the park is said to hold over 2,000 plant species, many unique to the area2!
Keeping that in mind, Chingaza National Natural Park is best explored through guided hikes and treks or via car. If you are physically challenged or not up for hiking through the park, you can observe some of the parks beauty via a guided path that takes about 40 minutes to complete3. If you enjoy hiking and are physically prepared, you can take part in different treks that cover different areas of the park and vary in difficulty and distance3. However, it is important to note that there are only a limited number of people permitted into the park each day, so you will need to contact the park ahead of time to reserve a spot and ensure your place3.
For more information and to make reservations for Chingaza National Natural Park visit the official government website: http://www.parquesnacionales.gov.co/portal/ecoturismo/region-andina/parque-nacional-natural-chingaza/
The Uncover Colombia Team
- Natural Parks in Colombia: Part I (www.uncovercolombia.com)
- Natural Parks in Colombia: Part II (www.uncovercolombia.com)
- Natural Parks in Colombia: Part III (www.uncovercolombia.com)