7 Places for Incredible Hiking in Colombia

Rainbow rivers, lush jungles, volcanic lakes, and stone steps leading to a lost city: hiking in Colombia is the best way to drink in the wonders of this beautiful country. So lace up your hiking boots and pack your backpack to tackle these seven beautiful Colombian hiking destinations.

Carpuganá and Sapzurro

Head to Carpuganá and Sapzurro for a guided hikes into dense, beautiful jungle. Each walk is overflowing with vibrant flowers and plants and home to howler monkeys, tropical birds, and colorful frogs. Remember to wear a bathing suit under your clothes to take advantage of natural swimming holes on many of the hikes!

Laguna Verde

Hike up to the sulfurous Laguna Verde (3,800 meters/12,500 feet), a dazzling, emerald green crater lake on the north side of the dormant Volcán Azufral, a sacred site for the Pasto indigenous people. Surrounded by stark mountainous terrain and birds of prey hovering above, you can see all the way to the neighboring Galeras volcano on a clear day.

Cano Cristales has bright magenta-colored algae in a Colombia river surrounded by lush vegetation
Caño Cristales is well worth the trek. Photo © Agap13/Dreamstime.

The River of Five Colors

Make your way to the remote area of Llanos and you’ll be rewarded as you trek through the stark lowland hills of the Serranía de la Macarena, with its unusual dry tropical vegetation, and behold the vibrant purple, fuchsia, goldenrod, and green Macarenia clavigera plants swaying in the gushing streams of Caño Cristales.

The Archipelago of San Andrés

Providencia and Santa Catalina, two of the islands in the archipelago of San Andrés, are simple and simply enjoyable. Take a 1.5-hour hike up to The Peak (El Pico), the highest point (360 meters/1,181 feet) on Providencia, for impressive 360-degree views.

view from below of steep stairs from La Piedra Penol in Colombia
Climbing the steep steps of La Piedra Peñol rewards hikers with 360-degree views of the surrounding countryside. Photo © piccaya/iStock.

La Piedra Peñol

The 360-degree views from the top of La Piedra Peñol over the Guatape reservoir and Antioqiuan countryside are worth the toil of the death-defying climb up over 600 steps on a ramshackle brick and concrete stairwell that is stuck to the rock, to the top.

El Cerro de las Tres Cruces

Engage in the weekend ritual of many Caleños and hike up El Cerro de las Tres Cruces (Three Cross Hill). The climb will get your blood pumping, and at the top and along the way, you’ll have some good views of Cali, especially early in the day.

Stone steps along the Ciudad Perdida trek.
Stone steps along the Ciudad Perdida trek. Photo © Jesse Kraft/123rf.

The Ciudad Perdida Trek

A highlight for many visitors to Colombia is the four- to six-day, 52-kilometer (32-mile) round-trip trek to The Ciudad Perdida high in the Sierra Nevada mountains. This ancient city was built over a thousand  years ago by the ancient Tayrona, and is one of the best preserved and restored ruins of its kind.

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Explore the diversity of nature in South America while challenging yourself with these 7 destinations for incredible hiking in Colombia.