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Los Nevados National Park
Los Nevados National Park 2007
Tomila / Quindio / Risaraldi, Colombia
Earth's Natural Wonders in South America
Area of national park: 225 square miles
Elevation of park: 8,528 to 17,400 feet
Habitats: high-altitude desert, scree slopes, snowfields, glaciers Los Nevados National Park 2007. Picture by Mauricio Agudelo.[1]


Los Nevados National Park is located in the central area of Colombian Andes. In this park are located many places of interest, like Snow mountain of Ruiz, Snow Mountain of Tolima, Snow Mountain of St. Isabel, Swann snow mountain, Snow Mountain of Quindio, Otún Lake and Green Lake, among others. Armenia the capital of Quindío is a gate way to the west of the park.

Nevado del Ruiz

Nevado del Riuz is one of several stratovolcanoes within Parque Nacional Natural Los Nevados, a national park located west of Bogotá in the centre of the Colombian Andes. The park is a popular tourist destination and contains several tourist shelters. The slopes of the volcano are used for winter sports, and nearby Lake Otún offers trout fishing. A number of commercially operated spas can be found nearby. In 1868–1869, German geologists Wilhelm Reiss and Alphons Stübel were the first to attempt to climb Ruiz. In 1936, W. Cunet and Albert Grasser made the first successful ascent, partly by ski; they repeated the ascent in 1939.

Nevado del Ruiz, also known as Mesa de Herveo[4] or Kumanday,[5] is the northernmost volcano of the Andean Volcanic Belt, lying about 129 kilometers (80 mi) west of Bogotá in the Tolima Department of Colombia. It is a stratovolcano, composed of many layers of lava alternating with hardened volcanic ash and other pyroclastic rocks. Nevado del Ruiz has been active for about two million years, since the early Pleistocene or late Pliocene epoch, with three major eruptive periods. The current volcanic cone formed during the "present" eruptive period, which began 150 thousand years ago.

Nevado del Ruiz usually generates Plinian eruptions, which produce swift-moving currents of hot gas and rock called pyroclastic flows. These eruptions often cause massive lahars (mud and debris flows), which pose a threat to human life and the environment. On November 11, 1985, a small eruption produced an enormous lahar that buried and desolated the town of Armero in Tolima Department, causing an estimated 23,000 deaths. This event later became known as the Armero tragedy—the deadliest lahar in recorded history. Similar but less deadly incidents occurred in 1595 and 1845, consisting of a small explosive eruption followed by a large lahar.[2]

Nevado del Tolima

Nevado del Tolima is a stratovolcano located in Tolima Department, Colombia, south of Nevado del Ruiz volcano.

The steep-sided, glacier-clad Nevado del Tolima volcano contrasts with the broad profile of Nevado del Ruiz volcano to the north. The andesitic-dacitic younger Tolima volcano formed during the past 40,000 years, rising above and largely obscuring a 3-km-wide late-Pleistocene caldera. The summit consists of a cluster of late-Pleistocene to Holocene lava domes that were associated with thick block-lava flows on the northern and eastern flanks and extensive pyroclastic-flow deposits. The summit contains a funnel-shaped crater 200-300 m deep. Holocene activity has included explosive eruptions ranging in size from moderate to plinian. The last major eruption took place about 3600 years ago. Lava dome growth has produced block-and-ash flows that traveled primarily to the NE and SE. Minor explosive eruptions have been recorded from Tolima in the 19th and 20th centuries.[3]

Nevado del Quindío

Nevado del Quindío (English: "Snow Mountain of Quindio") is a volcano in the Andes of central Colombia. The highest points of the departments of Quindío and Risaralda are on the mountain. It belongs to Los Nevados National Park, which is a wildlife sanctuary. There are no historical records of any eruption.

The snow fields and glaciers in the mountain are decreasing in a progressive way, about ten percent annually since the first scientific measures in the late 1980s, presumably because of the global warming (see greenhouse effect for details).

The mountain offers beautiful landscapes, attracting touristic visits all the year. The lower part is a cloud forest habitat, rich in endemic species.

Botanist Alexander Von Humboldt visited the area in 1801, describing new species such as the frailejón.[4]

Lake Otún

Lake Otún (Laguna del Otún) is a small lake in the Nevados National Park, in the Risaralda department of Colombia. It located at an altitude of 3,900 meters and has an area of 1.5 square kilometres. The lake is of glacial origin and is fed by meltwaters from the Nevado Santa Isabel. Lake Otún is the source of the Otún River, which supplies drinking water to the cities of Pereira and Dosquebradas.

Lake Otún is an important breeding ground for several threatened or endangered bird species, including the Colombian Torrent Duck (Merganetta armata columbiana), the Colombian Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis andina), the Andean Speckled Teal (Anas flavirostris andium) and the Andean Snipe (Gallinago jamesoni).

Lake Otún contains a large population of rainbow trout, introduced for recreational fishing and a major attraction for visitors to the lake.[5]



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1.Wikimedia Commons-Los Nevados National Park-retrieved 6/22/2009
2.Wikipedia-Nevado del Ruiz-retrieved 6/22/2009
3.Wikipedia-Nevado del Tolima-retrieved 6/22/2009
4 Wikipedia-Nevado del Quindío-retrieved 6/22/2009
5.Wikipedia-Lake Otún-retrieved 6/22/2009
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