Kelly and I had a few days left in Colombia, and I was getting a little anxious about not seeing enough of the country during our short stay. Truthfully, we were also a little sick of Bogota. I found what looked like a great getaway outside of the city: a ’20 minute drive’ outside the city Chicaque Natural Park, a remote cloud forest, with ranch accommodations at the bottom. Cloud forest? 20 minute drive? We were sold. The 20 minute drive actually turned out to be navigating a series of various forms of public transport (train and several minibuses), followed by a private taxi to the trailhead leading to the resort. No big deal:
We got to the trailhead, in the clouds, and began hiking down a set of brick stairs which seemed to indicate that the lodge couldn’t be far off. Wrong. It turned out we had an epic hike down the mountain side where the resort laid at the bottom.
The hike was a welcomed workout for me, especially considering I was wearing BOTH of our hefty packs. On the other hand, for Kelly, the hike was more of a guessing game about how long it would take for her sprained knee to explode as we hiked a path down these cliffs:
After a little under two hours, we made it to the resort with its promised views of the forest and a glass of fresh squeezed limeade. After a short session of picture snapping, we sat down to our highly anticipated four course meal composed of properly prepared, traditional Colombian dishes. Nom nom.
We both slept hard that night, woke up the next day, had a nice breakfast and went for a little exploratory hike through the cloud forest.
There were tons of animals living in the valley around the ranch – including a pair of peacocks, of all things!
We took some great pictures and then headed back for lunch. With our stomachs stuffed to the brim, we began the hike back up forested mountain and into the clouds to return to Bogota. The cloud forest proved to be a very relaxing and energizing accompaniment to our stay in Bogota. Nature!
We’d highly recommend it if you’re visiting Bogota. It turned out to be about $95 for the two of us for three hearty meals and accommodations in the lodge. Don’t expect anyone to speak English though!
Chicaque National Park
San Antonio del Tequendama
Tel: (1) 368-3114 / (1) 368-3118 / (1) 368-8733
Fax: (1) 244-1230