The road to the spring of the Bogotá river is not clearly marked and there are fences and walls around the area. But, if you manage to get inside, there are perfect trails and viewpoints. It appears the park watcher and the local authorities got too tired of the garbage left behind by tourists, and therefore fenced the area.
Still, it is possible to either: 1. book a guided tour or 2. to sneak in under the fence. Or 3. as in our case… We planned to crawl in under the fence but found ourselves received by the park watcher’s son who after some smiling and persuasion not only let us in but also gave us a free tour.
There is a lake suitably called Laguna del mapa, for its resemblance with the shape of Colombia.
We found a surprising amount of flora in this area.
A sour relative of the lingonberry.
As in the famous area of Caño Cristales, there are lichens of seven colours here too.
I found it matched my hair quite well.
There were several springs with clean water. It tastes… nothing! I heard myself say. We realised exactly how contaminated the water i Bogotá is, as we had actually gotten used to water with “taste”.
The altiplano was covered with beautiful frailejones. These high, proud plants grow one centimetre per year if they are left untouched by cattle and tourists.
The infrastructure in the park is perfect, with a viewpoint and easily walked trails that aren’t too steep.
This is the place where it begins, the trajectory of the Bogotá river.
It is a quiet place. It doesn’t take many kilometers until the river is polluted by leather production and the contamination from the city. But up here it’s beautiful and clean.
The dry trunk of a frailejón.
The digitalis here reach over two meters.
After the hike to the Bogotá river spring, we made a stop at another barred entrance. I lost a piece of my favourite jacket to the barbed wire, but it was well worth it.
Through bamboo forests and along steep, slippery trails, we reached this magical place.
From 54 meters this pure spring water falls into a 4,5 meters deep natural pond. Do I have to mention that the water is ice cold?
It was a delight to dip our tired feet, but not even a Scandinavian like myself was able to take a swim.
After a lovely hour in the sun, we felt the first drops from the sky.
We were told that there was a shorter way back. Climbing… The ropes were in good shape thankfully.
We were soaking wet and deadly tired when we got up but so full of adrenaline and happiness. This was definitely one of the best day trips from Bogotá in a long time. Since it’s possible to arrive by car to some 3300 meters above sea level, the hike to the spring isn’t challenging at all. This is definitely the best choice of páramo for a hike with old parents or small children, thanks to it’s combination of beauty and accessibility. And the waterfall is a bonus for the adventurous!