Lagoon of the Magdalena River

Paramo de las Papas

At the point where the Andes divide into three mountain ranges (Cordilleras), in the kingdom of the frailejones is the lagoon of the Magdalena situated, the source of Colombia’s main river. In earlier times it was the main transportation route, as the waterrich Magdalena passes through the entire national territory over a distance of 1540 km and ends gigantic in the Caribbean Sea. The lagoon is located on an altitude of 3’327 m at the southern end of the national park Puracé, between the departments Huila and Cauca.

Paramo de las Papas


Day 1: San Agustín – Quinchana – San Antonio

Departure at 7h00 with the public bus (Chiva) to Quinchana, where we start the trekking or the horseback riding. The trail leads us through forests, passing rivers, till we arrive at around 5h San Antonio. Here we will spend our first night in a farmhouse.
Transport approx. 2.5 h
Trekking/Horseback riding approx. 6 h

Day 2: San Antonio – Magdalena lagoon - Loyola

After breakfast we will climb up from 2’200m to 3’300m, passing the spectacular landscape of the paramo, along the Magdalena river, until we reach the lagoon. In the late afternoon we reach Loyola, our second lodging, again in a farmhouse.
Trekking/Horseback riding approx. 8 h

Day 3: Loyola – Laguna Santiago – San Antonio

After breakfast we will return to San Antonio, passing this time the Santiago lagoon. In the late afternoon arrival at the farmhouse from the first night.
Trekking/Horseback riding approx. 8 h

Day 4: San Antonio – Quinchana – San Agustín

Early in the morning we leave San Antonio, to arrive around 11h00 in Quinchana, where we catch the Chiva back to San Agustin.
Transport ca. 2.5 h
Trekking/Horseback riding approx. 6 h

Our services:
Transport San Agustín – Quinchana – San Agustín 3 overnight stayis in basic farmhouses in dorms. Qualified local guides. Full board

Not included:
Transport to San Agustín. Personal expenses

This tour is only recommended for adventures people in good physical conditions. Basic accommodation without luxury is to be expected.