The route to the top of Pico Bolivar is both spectacular in its beauty and challenging in its ruggedness. Like the Humboldt trek, the trail starts at La Mucuy, a part of the Sierra Nevada National Park. The path winds its way up through dense, tropical cloud forest. It is enchanting to see the number of bird and butterfly species that inhabit the region. On the three-day ascent to the base of Bolivar, we will pass through the beautiful paramo, famous for the velvety “frailejon” plant of the Andes. With the proper climbing equipment, we will summit Pico Bolivar, a peak 5,007 meters high, and gaze across national boundaries into Colombia.
Day 1: Mérida-La Mucuy-Laguna Coromoto At 0830hrs we drive from Mérida to La Mucuy (2,000m) in the Sierra Nevada National Park where the path goes right up into the cloud forest. On this part of the trek we’ll pass several streams and small waterfalls. Camp will be set up at Laguna Coromoto (3,200m), a cool alpine lake teeming with trout. (45 minutes by jeep, 5.5 hours hiking; 9 km) (–, L, D)
Day 2: Laguna Coromoto -Laguna Verde-Laguna Del Suero After packing up, we head off to Laguna Verde (3,800m), so named because of its brilliant emerald colour, located at the base of the impressive Humboldt (4,942m) and Bonpland Peaks (4,883m). The way to Laguna Verde is steeper and rockier than the previous day, and the scenery is much more open as you follow the valley upwards. A little further on, we will set up camp at Laguna Del Suero (4,200m), nestled in the tranquil surroundings of these imposing peaks. (5 hours hiking; 6 km) (B, L, D)
Day 3: Laguna Del Suero-Laguna Timoncito-Bolívar Base We start our hike from Laguna del Suero where we will hike west to Laguna Timoncito and face a steep uphill slope on loose rocks called “Txomahoma”. Once on top we will enjoy spectacular views in both directions. We’ll embark on a traverse which runs along the rear of the range. Camp will be made at the base of Pico Bolívar (4,600m) which is an ideal place to admire the brilliance of the night sky. (4-7 hours hiking; 7.5 km) (B, L, D)
Day 4: Bolívar Base-Bolívar Summit This morning we’ll start the climb up to Pico Bolivar (5,007m). From the summit, you can capture the splendour of the natural surroundings. Descending to base camp we will enjoy a cooked dinner. (6 hours climbing) (B, L, D)
Day 5: There are two descent options: Stay overnight at Pedro Peña’s house at 3,200m, or carry on to Los Nevados (6-7 hours further on) and stay there for the night. (4-6hours hiking; 5.6 km) (B,–,–)
Day 6: Descent The descent starts through a cloud forest, down to Mucunután, where the trip ends. (4-5 hours walking)