4.5709° N, 74.2973° W
EXPLORE OUR ULTIMATE ADVENTURE GUIDE TO HIKING IN COLOMBIA - ONE OF THE MOST STUNNING AND ADVENTUROUS COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD. THIS GUIDE INCLUDES EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW, INCLUDING THE TOP PLACES TO GO, WHAT TO BRING AND THE TOP 5 HIKING TRAILS.
While Colombia might be more well-known for its colorful culture, cuisine and history, where we believe the country truly shines is in its stunning landscapes. Seriously, if you want to really discover this gem of South America then you need to head out on the trails, for hiking in Colombia is truly an incredible adventure.
We were lucky enough to spend over six months in Colombia and during that time we tried to get out and explore as much as possible. Including, heading out on many different single day and multi-day hikes - oftentimes in the breathtaking Los Nevados National Park - home to multiple volcanoes and snowcapped peaks (as well as some of the last tropical glaciers in the world).
Hiking has always been one of our favorite ways to explore a new place, for it pushes you to get out of your comfort zone, see various landscapes and oftentimes, gets you pretty far off the beaten path (which we obviously strive to do as much as possible). If you are looking to explore all of the magic that Colombia holds then we cannot recommend heading out on at least one hike (luckily we have 5 great ones below).
For if there is a country that really shines when it comes to hiking trails and hiking regions, then Colombia might be it. With its large array of unique and beautiful landscapes, incredible biodiversity and overall safety, Colombia is a paradise for people looking to partake in everything from easy day hikes to overnight backpacking trips to multi-day treks.
Below is everything adventure travelers need to know about hiking in Colombia.
YOUR ADVENTURE GUIDE TO HIKING IN COLOMBIA
\\ An Overview of Hiking in Colombia
Below is everything an adventure traveler needs to know about hiking in Colombia, including the best times to hike, overall safety and Colombia's various regions - each of which is of course full of exciting adventures.
THE BEST TIMES TO HIKE IN COLOMBIA
In our experience, the month of February was one of the best times to head out for a hike in the Andes mountains as well as along the coasts. During this time of year you can still expect a bit of rain, but overall, you are more likely to have sunny skies and nice temperatures.
Another good option when looking at the best time of year to hike in Colombia is the months of August (especially late August) and September. Both of these months are kind of the shoulder season so you can also expect relatively warm temperatures and less rain overall. Plus, unlike in February when crowds can still be quite high after the holidays, you can expect far fewer people on the trails during these two months.
☁ RAINY SEASON: April - May and October - November
☼ DRY SEASON: December - January and July - August
HOW TO NAVIGATE COLOMBIA'S HIKING TRAILS
Overall, we would say navigating the hiking trails in Colombia is pretty easy. For the most part, the trails will be well-marked and well-trodden, especially in the popular national parks like Los Nevados and Tayrona.
But with that being said, we would still recommend having some form of offline map with you when heading out on the trail, especially if you are doing it without a guide (more on that below). There are a couple of offline map options available, including some of our favorites maps.me and Gaia GPS. Both of these mapping apps can be downloaded ahead of time and both tend to be pretty accurate for hiking trails (Gaia GPS is especially good at tracking backcountry hiking trails in Colombia).
When we decided to hike in Los Nevados National Park for four days without a guide we made sure to have our route planned and downloaded on the two apps above as well as on another adventure tracking app Komoot (which was recommended to us by a Colombian friend). All three maps helped guide us along the trail, especially in the areas where the trail was somewhat hard to follow due to mud and overgrowth.
❔ GOOD TO KNOW: there is also the option to use the popular hiking app Alltrails while exploring Colombia. We tend to use this app while exploring the United States but found that it was a pretty solid mapping option in South America too.
HIKING IN COLOMBIA | IS IT SAFE?
Safety is usually the biggest concern when heading out on a hiking trip - no matter where you are. And in Colombia, a place with a history of being unsafe, that fear only multiplies. So let us be the first to tell you: Colombia is incredibly safe - especially out in the wilderness (including in the mountains and along the coasts). In fact, we found ourselves feeling more safe hiking around the high mountains of Central Colombia (in Los Nevados National Park specifically) than we sometimes did back in the USA.
Below are some of the biggest safety concerns that you need to be aware of when planning to hike in Colombia: