Before climbing up to the higher regions of Colombia, I’d never even heard of páramos, the neotropical alpine tundra which work like giant sponges, providing fresh water to millions of Colombians. High altitude páramos ecosystems only exist within a handful of countries, the majority of which are found in the Colombian Andes.
On our way into Guatavita, we linked up with WarmShowers host Daniel, an avid cyclist, climber and a veritable páramos expert. We have Daniel to thank for our introduction. His interest in these ecosystems and in frailejones inspired him to set out on his own year long bicycle tour through Colombia exploring its many different páramos. His story was covered by Colombian media, who referred to him as ‘el hombre de los páramos‘ (the man of the páramos).
More recently, Daniel and his partner Mabel have launched Senda Nativa, an outdoor adventures company based in Guatavita, Cundinamarca. We had the pleasure of joining him on a pilot run of his new ciclo-expedición of Páramo Alto and Pantano de Martos near Guatavita.
We were also accompanied by Lise, a Danish rock climber and tough cyclist, who seems to enjoy climbing hills on her bike just as much as she loves scaling the nearby Rocas de Suesca. She’s competed in the Yolosa a la Cumbre in Bolivia for three years running, a 63km bike race with 3500m climbing. We watched her gobble up the hills above Guatavita without a wince.