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the eastern cordillera
Written by sophie et jeremy   
Monday, 22 April 2019

That’s the youngest and highest mountain range of the country. Its northern end spans up to the Venezuela, on its west slopes flows the Rio Magdalena, the biggest river of Colombia, and on its east lies the Amazon basin over hundreds of kilometers up to Brazil.

cordillere orientale 2 cordillere orientale 2 playa de belen playa de belen

The road to the south reminds us the Pantanal where we were a bit more than 1 year ago, mixing swamps, red soil and livestock grazing under giant trees. We drive close to the venezuelan border at Cucuta, where hundreds of migrants run away from the bad economic conditions of their country and, after crossing by any mean the river that marks the border, walk on the roads for kilometers (we will see them up to Bogota) with the minimal gear. Others continue the fuel traffic from Venezuela, and we can see some small motorbikes loaded with many gallons of cheap venezuelan fuel.

cordillere orientale 1 cordillere orientale 1 traffic traffic

As we continue south, the landscape becomes more dry. We drive down an incredible canyon carved by the Rio Sagamoso, and after crossing it on a big bridge, up again on the same road with great views.

chicamocha 1 chicamocha 1 chicamocha 2 chicamocha 2

Further on, we turn off onto a tortuous track, rarely used and therefore quite broken, that leads us to the Rio Chicamocha via the roads less traveled. This river has carved one of the deepest canyon in the world, with colored rocky slopes, at the bottom of which we spend a great night. The next day we have to cross the river on a private barge before driving to the main viewpoint on the canyon.

chicamocha 3 chicamocha 3 chicamocha 4 chicamocha 4

chicamocha 5 chicamocha 5 chicamocha 6 chicamocha 6

The road to the south goes on, the landscape gets more green as we drive up. We reach in no time 4000m high in the Parque natural El Cocuy. Here lies the biggest glacier of Colombia and one of the nicest paramo (high altitude ecosystem)... It is also a sacred ground for the indigenas U’wa, and the access is strictly regulated.

cocuy 1 cocuy 1 cocuy 2 cocuy 2

cocuy 3 cocuy 3 cocuy 4 cocuy 4

cocuy 5 cocuy 5 cocuy 6 cocuy 6

cocuy 7 cocuy 7 cocuy 8 cocuy 8

cocuy 9 cocuy 9 cocuy 10 cocuy 10

cocuy 11 cocuy 11

We enjoy this place for 2 days before moving on to the south and Bogota.



#1 Nina 2019-05-24 14:13
Hi there my fav globetrotters!

Your photos are great and I can only imagine how enjoyable your trip is.

Thank you for sharing.

Greetings from Paris where the spring is reluctantly unfolding!

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