Description of the area
The Chingaza Natural National Park is a natural and cultural treasure located in the center of Colombia. The magic of its mountains keeps secrets and thoughts from the Muiscas and the Guayupes, indigenous peoples who inhabited this territory, as well as from farmer communities who inhabited the area less than 40 years ago. It is currently a haven for Andean fauna and flora, revealing to the visitor the secret of life.
Located on the Eastern Andes, it is found northeast of Bogota. It comprises 11 municipalities: 7 in Cundinamarca (Fomeque, Choachi, La Calera, Guasca, Junin, Gachala and Medina), 4 in Meta (San Juanito, El Calvario, Restrepo and Cumaral.)
The high Andean, sub-Andean forest and moorland ecosystems are predominant in the area, acting also as havens for majestic fauna and flora reserves.
- To visit the Chingaza Natural National Park, an entrance request must be filed at least 15 days prior to the intended visit date, by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 3532400 Ext. 3011 and 3012, and/or personally at Calle 74 # 11-81 in Bogota.
- If you wish to stay at the shelter or in the camping zone, use the guidance and food services, please contact Corpochingaza – Corporación de Ecoturismo Comunitario under contract with the Colombia Natural National Park System, at 301-326-1114 or 312-427-6354. More information at Facebook Corpochingaza
- The number of people allowed per trail is 40, except in the short Suasie trail, which has a capacity for 80 people and the Trail Laguna de Siecha with capacity for 60 (this could change depending on the weather conditions).
- Visitor access is only permitted though the authorized locations: Piedras Gordas, Siecha and La Paila-Laguna de Chingaza. Entering the park through different locations is subject to penalties pursuant to current legislation.
- Please give heed to the indications offered at the entrance points during the welcome instructions.
- No public transportation to the Chingaza Natural National Park is available. Access only by private vehicle.
- No motorcycle, bicycle or ATV access.
- No pets allowed.
- Ensure you have enough gasoline, as there are no service stations inside the park. Ensure your vehicle is in top shape.
- Feeding the deer and other animals in the park is forbidden.
- The roads to access the park are not paved, though in good shape. Climate conditions warrant care while driving. Maximum speed is 40 km/hour. Headlights must be on at all times.
- Only one sector may be visited a day, per climate conditions and the long distances.
- Bring plastic boots, sunscreen, cold-weather clothing and rain protection.
- All waste caused must be taken out of the park.
- Do not throw any organic or inorganic waste along the protected area access roads.
- The safety of the visitors is their own responsibility. Ensure that you are in good physical shape to undertake the hikes (no heart problems, no breathing issues, no knee injuries.)
- The closest health centers are located in the La Calera township for Piedras Gordas, and in the Guasca township for Siecha.
- There is no mobile signal in the park.
- Bring biodegradable personal hygiene products.
- No smoking.
- Alcoholic beverages, hallucinogens or psychoactive substances are forbidden in the protected area.
- Noise levels must be controlled inside the protected area, to avoid disturbing the harmony of nature, and other visitors.
- Camping equipment must be fit for high mountain environments.
- Entrance hours: 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Exit hours: 4:00 p.m.
The Chingaza park has six ecotourism trails, thus:
- Cuchillas de Siecha
- Lagunas de Buitrago
- Laguna Seca
- Suasie (Monterredondo sector)
- Las Plantas del Camino-Laguna de Chingaza
- Lagunas de Siecha (entrance through the Guasca municipality)
Contact your tour guide before your visit
Supporting the regional tour guides you strengthen the conservation of the park as you support the local economy of the families who give up livestock and potato farming in moorlands for sustainable practices such as ecotourism and green produce.
The tour guides are constantly undergoing training, learning information about the Chingaza park, which makes your visit to the trails a unique experience when combined with traditional knowledge.
Each trail follows a specific theme. Contact the community guide ahead of time and immerse yourself in the secrets of nature.
There are three land routes leading to the park:
- La Calera land access: starting at the La Calera urban center, leads to the Piedras Gordas visitor center and ends at the Monterredondo administrative center.
- Fomeque land access: starting at the Fomeque urban center, leads to the La Paila-Laguna de Chingaza visitor center and ends at the Monterredondo administrative center. A 4-wheel drive vehicle is recommended for this option.
- Guasca land access: Capacity reduced to 40 people due to the damage caused by the winter.