Living in Colombia it’s been a struggle to find quality information on how to access Colombia’s stunning National Parks - Parques Nacionales Naturales de Colombia.
Most of the Parques Nacionales Naturales de Colombia are easy to access (once you know how) and breathtaking. If you don’t need to rely on public transport it’s going to be even easier for you. Enjoy exploring.
Looking to make your Colombian Public Transport life easier? For urban (intra-city) PT Moovit has a great presence in Colombia - it will change your life. For inter-city public transport, unless it’s a festival day or week just head to the nearest Terminal de Transportes in your town and buy a ticket right before you want to travel. For festivals either book online or head to the terminal in person a few days before you want to travel.
Juntas is located in the Department of Tolima and is great entry point to day walks within the Parque Nacional Los Nevados. To the north of the village there’s a idyllic mirador over the Combeima Canyon, horse riding and super super Colombian restaurants on the weekend. It’s also a respite from the warmth of Ibagué and a chance to both sit and wade in the River Combeima. Just be mindful of the altitude in the Los Nevados - it starts at 2600 metres above sea level.
How do I public transport to Juntas?
Once you’ve made it to Ibagué, you have two choices. The number 48 (direction Juntas) bright orange public bus or a Willys (Jeep). Both of them leave from Carrera 1, the trip will take around 45 minutes. Once you get to Juntas, go through the village and over the bridge and then get off.
Where do I hike once I get there?
So you’ve got off the bus. After the bridge turn sharp right, walk alongside the river, cross the pedestrian bridge follow the path and veer right : yep that’s the start of the path. A pleasant - just a few steep bits - day hike is to Termales Cañón Salinas (hot springs). Very very basic thermal pools for bathing in and a basic super well priced campground (they do food so no need to hike in with it). Maybe a 6-8 hour round trip with stunning en route views.
Plenty of longer options too. The 10-hour trail to Termales Cañón, where the trek up to Nevado del Tolima begins. If you don’t want to start in Juntas, there’s another access route through Anzoátegui towards Palomar, starting from the La Cascada village. From here it’s a 2 day hike towards Mesetas, the Termales Cañón and beginning of Nevado del Tolima.
If a gentle stroll and views is more your thing, once you get off the bus follow the road left up the hill and after 10 minutes or so you’ll reach the stairs for the mirador.