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Cauca, Andean South

Puracé

WHAT TO DO?
Puracé Volcano: really nice hike (6-7hrs to ascend & descend) through bucolic areas. The crater has views of Popayán & the Coconuco volcano range. Termales de San Juan: natural hot water pools & rivers that when combined with normal water, form nice colors ranging from grey, turquoise to pink & green. Bathing is prohibited. Mirador del Cóndor: a valley where a group of condors live. Cascada de San Nicolás: 40m (131ft) high located in a beautiful Andean landscape (30min walk from the road). Mina de Azufre: old sulphur mines that are no longer in use & can be visited. Beautiful scenery at the foot of the Puracé Volcano. Laguna de Magdalena: tour = 250pp leaving from San Agustín.

WHAT TO SEE?
The dominant ecosystem is Páramo (moorland). The vegetation is curiously short & colorful, making it the perfect place to spot the spectacled bear, the pudú or the condor. The Coconuco volcano range includes 15 volcanoes, the most accessible of which is the Puracé Volcano (4750m/15.583ft, that can be climbed in 6-7hrs in total) & which can be seen from almost any point in the PNN.

PRICES?
= 21.5pp Foreigners, 9pp Colombians, 4pp kids & students. Indigenous guides from the Coconuco ethnic group @the different park entrances = 30/t. Hiring them is a good way to understand nature, their culture & helping them out because for most of them, this is their only means of support.

TIPS?
Take warm waterproof clothes & energy snacks/food!
The trail is very well marked with several yellow marks.

Tip Route Parklife Hostel: Take the B @ 6:30am & travel to the further end of the park: Termales de San Juan. Ask the ranger if he can feed the condors so you will be able to see them really close. From here you can start your walking trip (5hrs) passing by Cascada de Bedón, Laguna de San Rafael & finishing in the cóndor view point.

HOW2GETTHERE?
Situated on a plateau @ > than 3000m (9842ft). From Popayán to the volcano: B 4:30am to 'Cruce de la Mina' = 2hrs, 10pp. From there walk to Pilimbalá for 30min = park entrance to climb the volcano. For other parts of the PNN, ask the driver to drop you off wherever you want. Take the B @6:45 or 9:30 = 8-15pp. Return B @1, 2:30pm & 5pm.