Nevados National Park
|Tomila / Quindio / Risaraldi,
|Earth's Natural Wonders
in South America
|Area of national
park: 225 square miles
park: 8,528 to 17,400 feet
desert, scree slopes, snowfields,
National Park 2007. Picture by
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 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 or Kumanday,
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.
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.
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
Botanist Alexander Von
Humboldt visited the area in 1801,
describing new species such as the
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.