El Pan de Azúcar Sector - El Cocuy National Park

Sunset El Pan de Azucar, El Cocuy National Park

South of the mountain range, El Pan de Azúcar Sector is a popular route with access to the beautiful Valle de Lagunillas and entry points to climb to El Pulpito del Diablo and El Pan de Azúcar (5,100m). 

..........................................................................................................................................
Hikes, Visits and Activities
..........................................................................................................................................

Map of El Pan de Azucar Sector

Although you can go by jeep, it is a much better idea to walk the Valle de Lagunillas. For that, get to a place called Alto de la Cueva (3,800m) on the main road from El Cocuy and take a right on the unpaved road to El Mirador. At 4,000m, El Mirador offers great views of some of the park's peaks including El Pan de Azúcar. It is also the rangers' office and the park entrance.

From there starts the 3kms walk along the valley with spectacular views of thousands of fraileones and cojines (bush swamps). The hike passes by the Finca Los Herreras (a camping or accommodation option) and finishes at the Sisuma refuge where you can reward yourself with a hot coffee.

=> During the high season (December-January and holiday Valle de los Frailejones, El Pan de Azucar Sectorweekends), there will be rangers at El Mirador and you could pay your park entrance fees there but we suggest that you take care of all the paper work before in El Cocuy.

The Sisuma refuge is a great base for exploring the area.

A first hike from Sisuma is to visit the sector of Lagunillas. After passing the Laguna Pintada, you will go up to get to the 3 lagoons: Laguna La Cuadrada, Laguna La Atravesada, Laguna La Parada. You can keep going to Paso del Cusirí (4,400m), the border of the parks. If you just want to visit the 3 lakes, the walk should take 3 hours, add another 2 hours for the round trip to Paso del Cusirí. It is a great acclimatization walk if you plan to climb El Pan de Azucar.

Another relatively easy hike is to go to Lagunas del Campanilla. From Sisuma, go up like if you were going to climb El Pan de Azúcar. After an hour, you will reach a sign telling you to take a right to the sector of Lagunas del Campanilla. From there it will take you 2 hours to get to the end of the canyon where you should be able to see the snow from the Pan de Azúcar glacier. On the right, you can see the Campanilla Blanco (4,900m).

A very rewarding trek is to get to Laguna Grande, it takes about 8 hours and you will have to camp there. Get a guide to get there, the path is not marked and you can easily get lost.

Another walk takes you to the border of the glacier leading to El Pan de Azucar, the walk is quite rough but you will be rewarded with magnificent views of the nearby summits and the valley of the Lagunillas del Campanilla. The whole walk will take you around 6 hours.

..........................................................................................................................................
Climbing El Pan de Azúcar
..........................................................................................................................................

On the way to El Pan de Azucar, Pulpito del Diablo in the Background

A lot of people go to Cocuy with the intention of climbing of El Pan de Azúcar after reaching El Pulpito del Diablo. It is a tough climb that requires good physical condition and prior acclimatization. It is not a technical climb but you still need to walk on the glacier so will have to use crampons and cords.

One option for the climb is to leave the Sisuma refuge at 4am. It normally takes about 4 hours to get to the glacier and then another 2 to 3 hours to get to the top.

Another option is to camp at Campamento Lagunillas, it is protected from the wind and you can get water from nearby melting glacier. 

We strongly recommend hiring a local guide, more on this in our recommendations - agencies section.

If you want to go on your own here are some information. From Campamento Lagunillas, walk up north to the plateau and follow the cairns to get to the border of the glacier. Then take the route in between Púlpito del Diablo and another rock formation on the right. Watch out, there is a big crevasse next to it so you should walk around it, and having the rocks on your right walk towards the final ridge of Pan de Azúcar. Once there stay on the right side of the ridge to avoid cornices on the left.

..........................................................................................................................................
Laguna de la Plaza
..........................................................................................................................................

La Laguna de la Plaza

Laguna de la Plaza is arguably one of the most beautiful place in the world (words were carefully chosen) with its lagoon overlooked by a diamand shaped mountain (El Diamante). The laguna has been closed to visitors since 2013 but it is worth asking at the refuge or your guide if there are any exception to visit the place, maybe it is possible to organize a one-day trek without camping there.

..........................................................................................................................................
Accommodation and Camping
..........................................................................................................................................

If you don't want to camp, you have 2 options.

Sisuma Refuge
A place with a view with all you need to rest between walks.
A dorm costs 45,000 COP per person and then each meal will cost you 15,000 COP. It's not gourmet food but it will sustain you and keep you warm.
You can also plant your tent for 8,000 COP per person and use the facilities.
The place is run by the local guides (Asociación de Prestadores de Servicios Ecoturísticos de Güicán y El Cocuy "ASEGUICOC" en el PNN El Cocuy).

Contact: Wilson Torres.
Tel: 3112551034 - 3115577893
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Finca de Los Herreras
You can camp or stay in the cabanas, they also can help you with finding a guide.
Tel: 321 431 91 46.

..........................................................................................................................................

How to get there?
..........................................................................................................................................

Why not try the milk truck (El Lechero) leaving El Cocuy at 4am? For 10,000 COP, it will take you to the Alto de la Cueva on its way to Guican de la Sierra.

You can also inquire for a private jeep to take you to the Alto de la Cueva o El Mirador. Ask where you are going to stay or in the Town of El Cocuy, expect to pay 80-100K COP for the journey.

.........................................................................................................................................

Leave your comments

0

Comments

  • No comments found

Search for the Best Hotels in Colombia

Check-in Date

Check-out Date

Off2 Colombia Blog

You are now being logged in using your Facebook credentials