The paramo de Oceta is part of an ecosystem called páramo, found in only a handful of places in the world between an altitude of about 3200 to 4500 meters. They are extremely important because they clean the polluted air rising in the forms of clouds as well as being the source of about 70% of the drinking water in Colombia.
The paramo de Oceta located in the charming town of Monquí is considered one of the most beautiful and best preserved ones in the world is undoubtedly a hiking experience you will never forget. If you happen to pass by and like the idea of a challenging hike through unique landscapes, caves and experiencing the sacred places of the old indigenous people of the region the paramo de Oceta hike is probably something for you. Read on for the ultimate guide to this amazing hike.
Price: 30.000 cop/person if you do it with a group or 50.000 cop if you do it with a maximum of three people.
Duration: About 8 hours, depending on the walking pace of your group.
Length: About 20 kilometres.
Start: Monguí (30 minutes bus ride from Sogamoso)
Route alternatives: About five routes. Our fantastic guide Moises recommended us to take a car up to where the “páramo” landscape begins and skipping the steep walk from town which isn’t nearly as impressive as further up. The total walking distance is the same though. It costs you 30.000 cop extra, but it is totally worth it. You can only do this if you are a maximum of three people.
A Truly Mindblowing Experience
For us, this hike was one of the highlights of our month and a half in Colombia. It was the most amazing hike we had ever done and it was the main reason we visited Sogamoso. The type of plants and vegetation doesn’t exist in many places so it feels like you are visiting another world. The hike is a bit rough and you need a descent fitness level, but honestly, you don’t even notice the time passing because of the absolutely impressive surroundings.
With A Guide Or Going Solo?
First off, you need to do the hike with a guide. It’s not illegal to do it yourself, but you will probably get lost if you try, definitely not recommended! We booked the hike through our hostel, Finca San Pedro, the hike itself we did with a small local company called Maria Tours, with a local guide from Monguí called Moises that knows the páramo impressively well and that made us have the most amazing hike ever. He was extremely passionate and he did his best to make us have the best time possible, which he absolutely did. He had a lot of knowledge about the vegetation of the páramo and the history of the indigenous people from the region, “los Moiscas” that was super interesting to learn about. It is recommended to have a descent spanish level as you will have a way better experience if you do. Don’t do the hike with any of the tourist companies, they don’t have nearly as much knowledge as Moises and their other guides and they also take you on a way shorter hike.
Our Best Advice
At first we wanted to do the hike with a group as it was a bit cheaper than doing it by ourselves with the guide. There wasn’t a group the days we wanted to do the hike so we finally decided to do it anyway and pay a bit more, which ended up being a very good decision. It was a much more personal experience going without a group and we were able to walk at our own pace and Moises also showed us “secret” places that you don’t get to see going with a group. He chose to show us his favourite places of the páramo and he was always telling us “vamos por aca, más aventura”. We would totally recommend going with as few people as possible as you are going to have a much authentic and unforgettable experience if you do.