Ritacuba Blanco is the highest point of the Cordillera in the Andes Mountains of Colombia. It is also known as Ritak’uwan, an ancient name from the U’wa, this name comes from the domestic people that live in the lowlands of the National Park Sierra Nevada del Cocuy y Güicán.
It is known to be the one of the most beautiful mountains of Colombia. It is located in the National Park Cocuy with an altitude of 5330 metres. Along that park, the visitors are bound to go for climbing due to it’s technical level of climbing and also because of it’s beautiful view of the rest of the park and the Llanos Orientales.
When to Climb
The Best time to go for climbing the mountains is between December to February, when it is fully summer. Then between March to June, the weather becomes harder and condition of climbing is not adequate. In the next two months i.e. July and August weather changes a lot, so that time you can find sunny day but rain and snow can be seen sometime. And in the month of September, October and November it is advisable not to go for climbing.
How to reach
Bogota is the nearest airport. From Puerta, you can take the bus, it is near to airport and can buy the ticket from there itself, tickets for two person cost around 100,000 perso. The air distance to El Cocuy is 280 km. While going by bus you can take a short break at Duitama. There the roads have mostly 4 lanes, divided highway. In between you can see the mountains covered with snow. There is a low point of the trip, a big valley with a river at the bottom. You can stop in the village of Boavita. Every village in that area has a nice church.
Before arriving in El Cocuy you can see more some smaller villages on your way to San Mateo. After that you reach at highest village,Guicán. There you can find better services like hotels,shops and clearly better internet. Along the way, you can see excellent view of the peak Pan de Azucar. After that you will reach at The Cabanas Kanwara. There you can stay at luxury cabins with beds and a fireplace,paying a horse and guides and taking some rest before climbing. From here you can start to walk up at base camp, spending about 3-4 hours. The walk is not challenging and it is quite beautiful. The base camp of the mountain is about 4700 meter high. There is a track that leaves El Cocuy at early morning, collect the milk from many farms along the way until Guicán . There are some places where you can rent a guide to get to the lakes and the base camps. Prices are depending upon the place where you want to go. From morning you can again start climbing and after sometime you will be at Ritacuba Blanco Mountain.
Places to Visit
- El Cocuy National Park – It is a national park located in the Andes Mountains within the nation of Colombia. It is also known as Parque Nacional Natural El Cocuy. This place is a heaven for mountaineers and rock climbers,with glaciated peaks over 17,000 feet and tons of rarely exposed alpine terrain. Its a valuable water reserve within an extension of 306,000 hectares. It has 18 snow peaks and glacial lakes. The fauna is characterized by its great variety : tapirs, corn monkeys, all of Colombia’s registered fields, and a great number of birds. It is famous for hiking, snow and rock climbing.
- Laguna de la Plaza – Here the lakes were perfectly still which allowed for fantastic mirror images of the surroundings crags. At 4,300m , it is freezing cold.