Guasca and Lagunas de Siecha

Views of Lagunas de Siecha, PNN ChingazaIf you only have a day to visit PNN Chingaza, do the hike to Lagunas de Siecha.

The walk lasts for about 6 hours and offers amazing views of the Siecha Lakes. It is also a unique insight into the flora and fauna of a Colombian Paramo (an ecosystem found only in Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Peru). The combination of high altitude and heavy rains make the place a very fertile ground for endemic flowers and plants. And if you are very lucky, you might spot deers, spectacle bears or Colombian condors.

Flora in PNN Chingaza

The walk is not too demanding but the altitude (up to 3,500 meters) and the cold and rain can make it a bit challenging.

To do the hike, you should get in touch with a local guide in Guasca. It is possible to do the walk on your own but the COP $40,000 (for up to 6 people) you pay for the guide is worth it. For some of the guides, keep in mind this is their main source of income. Guides can also help you organising transportation from Guasca to the entrance of the park.

=> There's a maximum of 40 people who can get to that part of the park each day, it's usually fine as the Siecha entrance is not that popular. Ask your guide to double check with the park rangers beforehand to avoid any bad surprises.

=> Check our video of Chingaza on the right!

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PRICES AND GETTING THERE
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Lagunas de Siecha

All guides costs COP $40,000 / day.

We did the walk with Omaira Alfonso. You can contact her on +57 312 504 6847. She only speaks Spanish, she can also redirect you to another guide if she is busy. You also need to pay the entrance to the park. It's COP $33,000 for foreigners, $11,000 for Colombianos $18,000 for foreign residents and COP $7,000 for students. More info at : http://www.parquesnacionales.gov.co

To visit the Lagunas de Siecha, you first have to get to Guasca. Unless you have a car, take the bus from Bogota. These are small buses you can catch from the intersection of Calle 72 and Carrera 13. The trip is pleasant, it takes about an hour and costs 5,000 Pesos one way. Buses run between 5am and 7pm.

View near the Lagunas de SiechaOnce in Guasca, you need to organise a jeep to take you to the entrance of the park where you can start the walk. The jeep is the expensive part, it costs 60/70,000 Pesos one way and you can fit a maximum of 6 people plus the guide and the driver. The ride is about 9kms and lasts 30 minutes. The jeep takes you very close to the park entrance.

You can also try to get to the park entrance on your own. From Guasca, catch a bus to Pasohonda (2/3000 Pesos, 30 mins). The bus will drop you near the Siecha entrance where you can walk to the Lagunas. There's a bus leaving Guasca at 9.30am and a bus coming back at 5pm. Check for updated information in Guasca. It is an hour walk from the bus stop to the park entrance

=> Don't forget to bring suncream, sandwiches, lots of water and a jacket for the rain as well as decent walking shoes.

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GUASCA
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Church in GuascaGuasca is a very pleasant town located 45 minutes away from Bogota. As in any Colombian town, there's a lovely main square with a beautiful colonial church. Outside of the hike to Lagunas de Siecha, the other touristic attraction are the hot springs, 15 minutes outside of town.

There's only one hotel in town, it might be a good option to stay there if you want to start your hike early. It's very basic and rooms start at about 40,000 Pesos for 2 people.

Just outside of Guasca, there's famous hotel and restaurant called Posada Cafe de la Huerta. It's an hold Hacienda turned into a B&B with very beautiful rooms. There's a good restaurant with a fireplace, ideal to have a hot chocolate after a cold walk in the park. If you have rented a jeep, ask your driver to drop you there on your way back to Guasca.

Posada Cafe de la Huerta, Guasca
Prices for the rooms are between COP $250,000 to COP $300,000 Pesos per night. Restaurant is about COP $30,000 per person without drinks.
Tel: (57 1) 850 4646 / 850 4636  
Cel: (57) 315 742 0999

http://www.cafelahuerta.com

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