Matarredonda is just thirty minutes from Bogota but it’s amazing how a landscape can change. This national park gives city dwellers the chance to breathe country air and explore the páramo, an ecosystem with plants and animals, 3,000m above sea level. Matarredonda is popular with hikers during the day, but campers enjoy plenty of peace at night. Most pitch their tents close to the lakes, ready to rise at dawn and hike through the mountains. Camping costs around COP$10,000 for a four-man tent.
Photo: Robert (Flickr)
Salento is a quintessential Coffee Cultural Landscape town, rich in colonial architecture and surrounded by rolling hills. Even though the town, in north-east Quindio, is a fantastic place to visit, it is also popular because it sits at the edge of the Cocora Valley. The valley, part of Los Nevados National Park, is home to the famous Quindio wax palms, which can grow up to 60m (200ft) tall. Several hotels and hostels in Salento offer camping, from around COP$15,000 with breakfast often included.
Photo: McKay Savage (Flickr)
Pance, Valle del Cauca
Pance is the ideal retreat from Cali’s bustling heat. This charming town is a mere 25 minutes from the city center and home to the clear, fast-flowing waters of the River Pance. It’s also a fantastic place for hiking and bird-watching, with the promise of a cooling dip in the river to end your day. Campers are very much welcomed and many hotels and hostels have camping areas attached to their properties, from COP$10,000 with several sites also cooking for their guests.
Photo: Yonolatengo (Flickr)
Villa de Leyva and Iguaque, Boyaca
Villa de Leyva is a beautiful colonial town, three hours north of Bogota, that’s perfect for a weekend escape. The town has several campsites, including in the grounds of an old mill. More adventurous campers may want to visit the nearby Santuario de Iguaque, a stunning, high-altitude national park that’s home to the Laguna de Iguaque, a sacred Muisca lake. Camping in the town costs from COP$12,000 per person, per night. Camping in the national park is around COP$10,000 with cabins also available.
Photo: Amanderson2 (Flickr)
Suesca is famous among Colombia’s rock climbers for the opportunities it offers to practice their craft and it’s also a great place to enjoy other extreme sports. The town, an hour outside Bogota, also offers fantastic hiking and views of the Laguna de Suesca, a natural lake at 3,000m above sea level, that’s 10km from Suesca itself. There are various campsites, ranging from around COP$10,000 per person.
Photo: Luis Pérez
Keen to camp in some of the world’s most untouched wilderness? The answer is Colombia. If you liked this article please feel free to share it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or any of your social networks.
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The Top 10 Essential Colombian Experiences
Colombia’s Diverse Mountain Climates
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