Colombia’s Must Do Hike: Paramo de Oceta

Nestled in the hillsides of the Boyacan department is the charming colonial Puebla of Monguí. Monguí one of Colombia’s most scenic Puebla’s & lightly visited, is your gateway to the Paramo de Oceta. This Paramo has been described as the most beautiful Paramo in the world. Interesting, but what the hell is a Paramo?

Keep on …

The Paramo is the ecosystem above the continuous forest line, yet below the permanent snow line. Something like this…

How common are these ecosystems? Well, Colombia is one of only 3 countries in the world with this ecosystem & plays home to more than 60% of the global population.

What can you expect to see within this gorgeous landscape? A variety of floral, fauna & animals but the most recognizable feature by far are the Frailejons. These plants are some of Colombia’s most important as they trap and supply the majority of the water supply to Colombia.

The animals that you might see but probably not, are worth the trek itself. They include White tailed Deer, the Spectacled Bear, Andean condors, reptiles & many more. The majority of wildlife take to the sky, with more than 69 different bird species.

How long is this hike going to take me? You will start at about 9 & be done around 4. To be honest the beginning of the hike was uneventful with not much stimulus which got me thinking if this was a waste of time but like a fine 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon you need to exercise …

Patience.

About 2 hours in, the Paramo finally springs to life. Patience is critical to reap this magnificent scenery.

& the most asked question in Mongui is….

Do I need a Guide?

Well it depends. Most locals will say you do but you really dont. However, I have heard & read numerous stories of people going without guides and being stopped by locals claiming it’s their land & to proceed you must have a guide.

Entonces……. It’s up to you.

I recommend a guide & for about 40 mil pesos, it’s worthwhile. Although there is a well marked path there are numerous breaks & ways to the trial that could lead you to a head dizzying disaster. Also, these guys know the lay of the land and will maximize your time & enjoyment.

Monguí is roughly 3 hours from Bogota making this a simple weekend trip or a welcoming to the Boyacá region. If you’re returning to Bogota or just arriving to Bogota, below covers most of what you can expect in the concrete jungle.

Bogota Backpacking: Street Art, Traffic and everything in between

Have you been on this hike?

Have you done this without a guide?

Have you read this far? Haha

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