The Quilotoa Loop is a 3-day long hike in the Andes mountains in Ecuador, peaking at 12,500 feet. We thought we were taking the “easy” route. It turns out there is no easy route. Of course, we didn’t know that until after getting lost, unintentionally trespassing, crawling up a mountain on our hands and knees, injuring ourselves, and finally hitchhiking the rest of the way.
The Valle de Cocora hike in Salento, Colombia is famous for its 200 foot tall wax palms. What people don’t tell you is that the hike also includes a difficult & dangerous uphill trek through deep, thick mud in a rainy cloud forest! Know what to expect. Tips for hiking Valle de Cocora, what to pack for the Valle de Cocora hike, and more information.
The town town of Minca, Colombia isn’t on the typical Colombian backpacker trail. Perched on a mountain in the Colombian Sierra Nevadas, with a population of 800, Minca is if nothing else isolated. But at only 45 minutes away from the much more popular coastal town of Santa Marta, and only 5 hours away from bustling Cartagena, Colombia, it is well worth the detour.
I haven’t always been a hiker. In fact, when I moved out to the San Francisco Bay Area, a 5 mile hike sounded like a huge challenge. Anything over 5 miles required a day-pack filled with water, snacks, first aid, emergency supplies, an emailed itinerary to friends and family … you know, preparation.But now that I can safely call myself a (very slow) intermediate hiker, anything under 5 miles feels like a walk in the park (literally – ever tried walking through Golden Gate Park??). So after a few years of experiential research (there were spreadsheets) I’ve put together a list of my favorite intermediate level Northern California hikes! I bet you haven’t heard of some of these!