Colombia is home to incredible landscapes and adventure. From the brutal deserts of the north to the dense jungles of the amazon, Colombia has something for everyone. With the incredible diversity of landscapes comes a wide variety of extreme sport opportunities for the adrenaline junkie, or simply someone willing to ruffle their own feathers and take a walk on the wild side.
There is paragliding in Bucaramanga, rafting in San Gil, mountain biking in Villa de Leyva and San Agustin, but most impressive and unknown is the astounding amount of quality rock climbing in Colombia. The following are just a few of the incredible places to climb your way through the country on some killer rock.
Read more: 8 must-try adventure activities in Colombia
For most travelers, Bogota is the portal of entry for their trip to Colombia and a perfect start to their climbing adventures, too. Located within reach of Bogota are several climbing areas including but not limited to; Suesca, Zipa, Macheta, La Calera, and Canoas.
Suesca is by far the largest and is located about an hour north of Bogota. This is probably the most popular crag in Colombia and while there are more than 400 mixed routes (bring a trad rack) its can often be packed and the stone a bit greasy. That being said, Suesca is a perfect place to spend the day climbing or exploring the beautiful farm landscape.
Zipa is a more relaxed version of Suesca and is located en route to Suesca. It boasts 80 climbs, has a relaxed atmosphere, and has great jugs and crimps under bearlike plant growth for climbers of every level.
Macheta is located a bit further away but is for climbers who are not faint of heart as the easiest grade is 5.10b and the majority being 5.11+ overhangs. Make no mistake, it is hard but you will also get strong.
La Calera and Canoas are both bouldering areas close to Bogota, however, Canoas is more developed. Canoas can be found about an hour south of the city by public transport and has many boulders to experiment with as well as many opportunities for first ascents.
Located north of Bogota, Bucaramanga is a large metropolitan city that seems to have the perfect climate, much like Medellin. The best place, and by far my favorite climbing spot in Colombia, is La Mojarra. La Mojarra is located in the stunning Chica Mocha Canyon with huge red rock sandstone overhangs that make this crag incredibly dramatic. There are more than 300 climbs and a very cheap climbing hostel at the top of the crag. Be prepared for huge overhangs even on 5.8s. You will not regret making a visit to La Mojarra as the climbing is spectacular and the friends you make at this lovely crag will keep you coming back for more.
The most obvious climbing spot close to Medellin is the giant rock of El Peñol in Guatape. This massive granite boulder has routes with both trad and sport climbs, which can take you close to the top. Even if you are not a climber, a visit to Guatape is well worth the trip as it has stunning views as well as a cozy town perfect for relaxing on off days.
Located close to the Ecuadorian boarder Pasto has a handful of climbs located just out of town. The climbs are of great quality and are close to a waterfall which will fulfil your tropical climate needs.
In short there are many places to go rock climbing in Colombia that go beyond the well know area of Suesca and offer something for every level of climber. If you are looking for a place to visit for a climbing trip or are currently living in Colombia and looking for a new hobby, rock climbing in Colombia is a solid decision.
This post was submitted by Erik O’Brien from RockClimbColombia.com.