With snowcapped peaks, volcanic lakes, and diverse ecosystems that harbor a rich profusion of flora and fauna, including the distinctive frailejones, Los Nevados National Park is one of Colombia’s most awe-inspiring attractions. Hikers and climbers are lured by the park’s challenging multi-day expeditions. In the Cordillera of the Andes Mountains, the 60,000-hectares of Los Nevados National Park encompasses four departamentos: Quindío (in the Valley of Cocora); Risaralda; Tolima; and Caldas. Los Nevados’ dramatic landscape spans various ecosystems; principally cloud forest, the high altitude páramo, and the lunar landscapes of the super páramo which hugs the snow line. Emblematic of the páramo, the distinctive frailejones—plants with massive trunks and a hirsute spiral of dense leaves that blooms with daisy-like yellow flowers—dot the shrubby landscape. The park’s rich diversity of birdlife includes majestic Andean condors with a 3-meter (10-ft.) wingspan, yellow-eared parrots, parakeets, and motmots. Mammals that roam the park include mountain tapir, cougars, weasels, squirrels, bats, spectacled bear, the northern pudú, and white-eared opossums.

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