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Paramo de Oceta reviews
I booked a 1d hike of Paramo de Oceta with Maria Tours and am extremely happy with the day! At 8am, we started with a short car ride that covered the first ~400m of altitude before we started the... more »
I have been travelling for over a year in South America and the hike we did with Maria was simply one of the best days I have had in Colombia and América. Maria is very knowledgeable, professional... more »
It's really good. You can go on your own but it's a bit difficult to find your way around as there are some conflicts over the territory, so you might encounter not very nice people who might proclaim that you're trespassing their property. I would suggest you a guide. The view was amazing.
So, full disclosure. I am a Colombian and really enjoy traveling my country and its culture. I do not support the always-ask-for-personal-data-policy that many of my countrymen are used too. Now, I went to Mongui and stayed camping at a place called Hospejada Las Cabañas, I managed to get a hold of the owner's telephone number beforehand, Elkin, and he had arranged everything before we got there. He was really helpful and full of information about the town and its historic roots. we stayed the first night and woke up really early to go hiking to Paramo Ocetá, it is a beautiful place. it is one of those places on the planet that just takes your breath away, the trail was easily visible and took us around to see several landmarks, so, that was great. In the other hand, and this is where my complaints begin, the logistical setup was poor at best, we left camp at 6 in the morning and had to wait almost an hour so the other part of the group would join us. So, you could imagine an hour waiting in a cold climate is not too comfy. besides, there was no actual waiting place or anything, just at the edge of the Paramo, rough terrain all around. the guides were Elkin's daughters, the eldest being 23, they knew their way around pretty well but lack the confidence of actually being a guide, they did not speak another language than Spanish, they were very vague in the details around historical events. they tried to provide information about the local vegetation (there were amazing paramo plants). they failed to mentioned or point out at interesting local spots and were unable to provide further details about the Paramo's current events (supposedly there is this dude who is taking a hold of the Paramo, I am guessing, by force) Now, when we were coming down the mountain, I went ahead of them, there was a couple of people who were very slow walkers, so we pushed through. And this is my biggest complaint, we ran into this guy, who btw did not present himself or carry any official ID or anything. he was dressed like a local man. The dude, who we later found out was the official paramo keeper and worked for the mayorship of the tow, was very rude to us from the beginning. So I respectfully declined to provide my data to him and his piece of paper, to which he was very altered, he then when on to literally push me and grab a hold of my jacket, stating that I was not allowed to do whatever the hell I want because the Paramos was his and not mine to walk without a guide. I calmly asked several questions, like who he was, what was his name, what type of association was he affiliated with. He declined to answer any of them. He then proceeded to call the police, I asked him to put me through since I wanted to speak with an identified local authority, finally, and because I just had it with this guy, I wrote some gibberish in his piece of paper and moved on. He kindly proceeded to yell at the top of his lungs that I must never come back to the paramo. so, after an amazing walk, not so hard by the way, to those who like a challenge, I had this experience with a local. I asked around the park and to kind Elkin and he told me about the paramo keeper position and that the guy is a public servant. I presented an official complain at the tourist office. So, in summary, go there, hope you find people like Elkin. Don't pay for the guide, is not worth it, the walk is pretty straightforward and, as I said before, they do not add up that much to the experience. And finally, beware of the Paramo Keeper, who is just the worst.
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