Los Nevados National Park, known for its volcanoes, glaciers, and lakes, is one of Colombia’s most popular parks. In the heart of the Coffee Region, the park is home to many trails including the eponymous Los Nevados Trek, easily accessed through the Cocora Valley from the city of Salento.
Short, direct flights to a number of Coffee Region hubs (Pereira,Manizales, and Armenia) run multiple times daily from Bogotá and Medellín. The park can then be accessed via private transfer, booked a la carte or as part of a tour of the park.
Another common way to get to the park is to get a bus or colectivo to Pereira, the closest major town, before continuing on to Salento via another bus. There are also direct buses and colectivos that depart from Medellín to Salento. From Salento, you can catch jeeps, known as “Willy’s” by the locals, that leave for the park throughout the day.
Consider this tour with an 8-day itinerary, perfect for outdoor enthusiasts that want to explore Colombia's Zona Cafetera from an in-depth perspective. Highlights include visiting Manizales, a city in Colombia's coffee triangle, trekking within Los Nevados National Park, and horseback riding.
Duration: 1-hour flight, 9 hours overland
You can travel to the Coffee Region from Bogotá by flying or going overland. For flights, Avianca Airlines has direct and nonstop flights daily from El Dorado Airport (BOG) in Bogotá to the airports in Pereira, Manizales, and Armenia. Non-stop flights from Bogotá all take around an hour to reach.
There are affordable buses from Bogotá to the “major cities” of the Coffee Region. For example, a bus journey from Bogota to Manizales could take up 9 hours. There are no direct routes for bus travel from Bogotá to Salento. Instead, you’ll have to travel from Bogotá to Armenia and hop on another bus. The bus drops you at Armenia’s Terminal de Transporte and from there you can find regular departures to Salento.
Duration: 40-minute flight, 4-7 hours overland
There are direct flights from Medellín’s Aeropuerto Internacional José María Córdova (MDE) to the airport in Pereira called Aeropuerto Internacional Matecaña (PEI). Medellín’s other airport, Olaya Herrera (EOH), also offers non-stop flights to Pereira, Manizales, and Armenia.
If you prefer going overland are private vans to Pereira that take 4-5 hours from Medellín. There are also colectivos and small buses to Salento that depart from the Terminal de Transportes del Sur in Medellín. Buses usually take 6 to 7 hours to arrive in Salento.
Duration: 30-minute drive
From Salento’s main plaza, take a private transfer to the park. There are also plenty of “Willy’s” or jeeps available for an affordable price to drop you off to the nearby Cocora Valley that leave in the morning once they are full. It’s a short distance away at 7 miles (11 km) from the center of town and takes about half an hour.