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If you are ever in the Andes, you must visit the paramos. They are a unique type of environment that can only be found high in the Andes mountain ranges. And Chingaza Natural Park is 76,000 hectares of páramo.
If hiking, sights and natural life is what you are about, Chingaza is the right tour for you! Amazing glacial lakes, incredible misty views, and animal sighting are plentiful in this natural park near Colombia’s capital.
Before the Spanish arrived, Chingaza used to be part of the sacred territories of the Musicas, the indigenous people that populated the area. Many of their myths and legends have these glacial lakes and strange vegetation as their backdrop. No wonder they held these lands as sacred and mystical.
This natural park is named after its largest glacial lake: Chingaza, one of three sister lakes, the Siecha Lakes. These lakes – and others around the region – were religious sites where the Muiscas would commune with their gods. They still hold local significance and their eerie stillness gives them an aura of mystique. Some descendants of the Muisca still visit the lakes to pay homage to their origins.
The park is also home to several animal species. Sightings are hit or miss, but hikers can see deer, spectacled bears, tapirs, and a plethora of bird species, including the Andean condor. Pumas also make their home here, but they are a rare sight. You will also see locally famous frailejones: a shrubby plant that supposedly got its name from looking like a praying friar.
Chingaza is a good change of pace from the busy city and a marvelous example of the beauty the Andean ranges hide.