Hike through a páramo to spectacular mountain lakes that were the real El Dorado. Private transportation from Bogota included.
Activities and trip highlights: • Go on a beautiful hike only an hour and a half from Bogotá • Learn about the Muisca people who inspired the legend of El Dorado • See the rich flora and fauna of a páramo
Overview: Las Lagunas de Siecha are a group of three lakes in the mountains of the Chingaza National Park east of Bogotá. The lakes, named Siecha, Guasca and De Los Patos, are lined up in three different levels like steps of a giant staircase. Their calm emerald waters, originally from a glacier that covered the area, contrast with the jagged mountains that surround them and create one of the most breathtaking views in the Colombian Andes.
The Siecha Lakes were sacred to the ancient Muisca people who held rituals that involved throwing gold into the water. This practice of the Muisca gave birth to the legend of El Dorado and the Spanish exerted a lot of effort to get the golden artefacts in the lakes. Today the treasures of the Siecha Lakes are found not beneath its waters but in its surroundings. The stunning landscape is home to spectacled bears, red deer, Andean eagles, parakeets and many other animals. The environment is called a páramo , an extremely biodiverse ecosystem that is found only in Colombia and two other countries.
This trip takes you on a 10 kilometer (6.5 mile) hike through magnificent scenery to appreciate the rich nature of the Colombian highlands and learn about the country’s fascinating indigenous culture and history.
Itinerary: To El Dorado and back
Your guide picks you up in Bogota at 8AM and you drive for an hour and a half to Chingaza National Park and the Siecha Lakes trailhead. The trail is 5.2 kilometers (3.2 miles) long, mostly rolling, and passes through a páramo with streams, marshes and spectacular mountain views. Before noon you arrive at the lakes. You spend time exploring the surroundings, learning about the Muisca, and enjoying your packed lunch before starting your hike back at around 1PM. You hike back the way you came and drive to Bogotá, arriving at around 5PM.