Going from Villa de Leyva to “la casa de piedra” (the stone house) takes 30 minutes by bus, once you get there you have to start a 3 km hike, which will take about 1 hour, to get to the entrance of Santuario de Fauna y Flora Iguaque (Iguaque Wildlife Sanctuary), a gorgeous place full of magic and history.
We were very punctual at 7 a.m. at the bus terminal in Villa de Leyva, the bus was supposed to leave at this time but you know, we are in Colombia, so they needed to fill it up and it left only at 7:30 a.m. We were aiming to be a bit before 9 a.m. at the entrance because the hike is 6 hours long –3 of ascent and 3 of descent– and the last bus back to Villa de Leyva was at 4 p.m.
We were at the entrance at 8:45 a.m. ready to start, so we proceeded with the registration with Parques Nacionales de Colombia and we got some information about the trail. The entrance is 16,000 Colombian pesos (about $5.5) for Colombian residents, and 42,000 (a bit more than $14) for foreigners.
We began just on time at 9:10 a.m., we did the first part at a slow pace until the refuge where we stopped for a short while to eat something and get enough energy for the last part.
While you don’t need to be an athlete, it’s important not to be a sedentary person.
The hike to Iguaque lagoon is amazing but it can be a little demanding if you’re not acclimatized to the altitude and you are not in a good shape. We saw various people who gave up and didn’t get to the lagoon. While you don’t need to be an athlete, it’s important not to be a sedentary person, some parts like “la pared” (the wall) require a good physical effort and if you’re not in a good physical condition, altitude might give you a hard time.
To Iguaque lagoon is attributed the myth of Bachué, the mother that gave birth to humanity in the Muisca culture.
However, it is worth all the effort, Iguaque lagoon has a unique and ancestral beauty. To this place is attributed the myth of Bachué, the mother that gave birth to humanity in the Muisca culture. Upon arriving, the immensity of nature prevails, and you get captivated by the calm and cold waters, this is an incentive to not give up during the ascent.