Chingaza National Park hike

We were really pleased when Lee and Laura suggested a hike in Chingaza, one of Colombia’s National Parks within driving distance of Bogotá to the east. The night before we made some sandwiches to carry with us. It took a while to make our way out of the city because a lot of locals like cycling at the weekend. Eventually we made our way out into the countryside. After some time we ended up on an unsealed road that lead us into the National Park office at Chingaza. The office was being extended but had good information boards

and great views to the countryside below.

It was reasonably busy but fortunately we had booked and paid our entry fee in advance. There is a limited number of people allowed entry to the various walks in Chingaza each day. We had chosen to do the ‘Las Lagunas de Siecha’ walk. It was a good thing we had acclimatised in Bogotá for a few days as we started the walk at 3340m. The highest point would be almost 3700m!

Initially the trail was moderate

but the wind was quite strong so we were glad we had brought our coats with us.

At this point we were a bit sheltered so we stopped and ate our lunches. I was fascinated by these tall thin plants on the nearby hillside.

There were also a lot of other smaller wildflowers.

After a suitable break we continued upwards. In spots the trail was a bit sloshy so we had to divert a bit. Fortunately it wasn’t much further up to the first lake, Lake Fausto.

After taking a few photos we made our way down nearer to the lake.

Again we found some lovely wildflowers.

From there the trail was less well defined but clearly we had to go up the adjoining hill. Lee and Karen went first. After a few minutes they waved to signal to continue on that trail, although at times it was more like following a water course. Hiking boots were definitely an advantage. It took about twenty minutes to reach the second lake, Lake Siecha.

The rocky ridges in the hills behind were pretty impressive. After a few photos and plenty to drink we started our return hike, initially going back down the hill. Even though the signs were in Spanish they reassured us we were going the right way.

Along the way we spotted more flowers and fruiting plants. It’s amazing what can grow at altitude in such windy conditions.

Even though the trip back to Bogotá was scenic

it was slow, this time not because of cyclists, but roadworks.Needless to say we slept well that night!

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