Nevado Del Ruiz Tour

Nevado del Ruiz was visible briefly

We went on a tour that took us as far into the Los Nevados National Park as is currently allowed since there is an active volcano there (more on that later).

We were picked up very early (6:30 AM) at our apartment by taxi and taken to a central meeting point downtown. When everyone was loaded, there were 22 people on the tour which was a full bus.

We drove about 1 1/2 hours for breakfast and then to the park. It is only 30 miles or so but mountain roads are windy and slow. Along the way, we stopped and looked at the paramo which is a bit similar to tundra in Colorado but there are cactus type plants that grow much taller than typical tundra plants.

Plants in paramo area

Nevado Del Ruiz is 5,321 m (17,457 ft) high and has been active since 2016. We did get a rare glimpse of the mountain itself but from our side of the mountain we couldn’t see any activity. The point that we walked up to was about 4557 m (14,950 ft) was the highest either of us has been in the past. Walking up a long but not really steep trail to this point was work. While we were there, it started to sleet and it was snowing lightly by the time we got back on the bus.

We parked and walked a short way uphill

There is a sad and amazing story related to the the eruption in 1985. Worth the short read.

After we started back down is when the clouds cleared briefly but long enough to get pictures of the summit. We stopped at the same restaurant for lunch and then went to a natural hot spring and warmed up in the hot water before returning to town.

All of this for 150,000 pesos each or $50 each!

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