Telpis lagoon, Nariño

AUTHOR: Juan Moncayo

I returned to live in Pasto since 2016. From that moment, I decided to visit my apartment to know those places that separated me for so long. I want to see what is behind our main computers, the landscapes behind our landscapes, the destinations not marked as destinations and that nature that has always been ours.

Galeras National Park

One of the places you visited in the Telpis Lagoon, beautiful about 3000 m.s.m. which is part of the Galeras Flora and Fauna Sanctuary.

To arrive it is necessary to first go to Yacuanquer, municipality of Nariño located about 30 minutes from Pasto. From there it goes to the path of San Felipe, it can be reached in a private car; It is not necessary to go in a van because the road is in very good condition. It is easy to find parking, the inhabitants of the sector offer the service in the garden of their houses, so there is no need to worry about that. Well, the walk begins.

Galeras National Park

To begin with, the ascent to the Telpis lagoon is “hard” hiking; you do not have to be a high-performance athlete to achieve it, much less -anything that can be done-, but you have to take into account the characteristics of the course as much). It is not necessary to go with a guide, in San Felipe it offers that service, but if you prefer to go at your own pace you will not need it.

Road to the Telpis Lagoon

The climate is what can be expected from a wasteland: cold, intense wind, high probability of rain and a breathtaking landscape that compensates exponentially the effort required to arrive.

With the group that took quite late in going up and down on the descent, everyone in the physical state but with desire. Surely it is possible to do it in less time, we climbed unhurriedly -not as if we could have done faster-, but according to the guide of Natural Parks, it goes up and down in an hour and a half, which seems questionable but, in last, possible

Galeras park

The first part of the journey to the Telpis Lagoon is a quiet road, it is gradually rising following the trail of a river, a vegetation full of eucalyptus, pine trees and native species. Little by little the tall trees are left behind, the ascent becomes steeper, the vegetation more dense and the terrain more difficult.

After two and a half hours walking, we arrived at the park guide’s cabin, we have an explanation about the importance of the moor, some history of the lagoon, we were able to recharge the water, go to the bathroom, rest and take a little air to continue with the road.


After the cabin, the climb is more intense, lungs, height and legs, recovery from lack of exercise. The vegetation, as they say, is very dense, a kind of humid forest, a lot of fog and fortunately the rain that touched us was mild.

Little by little, the landscape changes, open spaces reopen and the intuition arrives that you are about to arrive. A frailejón appears, you celebrate it because you know the importance it has for our ecosystem, you keep going up and you do not see one, you see miles of them covering the mountain.

Telpis lagoon

At that point there are no words for which it is not called Sanctuary, ambiguous and generally used word, but yes, in that pure and spiritual contact with nature, with the earth, you feel a religious aesthetic experience that projects you beyond your own individuality; there is no tiredness that weighs, only a tranquility and a sense of cosmic unity sheltered by the breeze that carries the water and the life that moves the mountain.

Telpis lagoon view

Soon the lagoon appears on the top of the mountain, sheltered by the miles of frailejones that surround it, like the fountain that blows the mist and the force that sustains the moor.

Soon the lagoon appears on the top of the mountain, sheltered by the miles of frailejones that surround it, like the fountain that blows the mist and the force that sustains the moor.

There is a viewpoint where you can see the view and here comes the walk, for the protection of the ecosystem can not go down to the lagoon. After about an hour, where we took pictures, we rested, talked and ate sandwiches – my sandwiches because nobody else can think of what I can do a 7 hour walk – we started to go down.


The descent was more difficult than the climb to the Telpis lagoon, not because of the weather, but because of the additional additional that the knees do to support the weight of one, especially if you are not used to hiking.

After three hours of descent, several falls and the constant feeling of being lost, we arrived at the path of San Felipe with the satisfaction of having seen and been a little further, with our tired bodies but feeling the vitality that the páramo permeates the spirit.


Green lagoon, La Barra, Puracé Natural Park, Las Lajas Sanctuary, San Agustín, Bahía Málaga and End of the World Waterfalls.

Juan Moncayo

Juan Moncayo

Hola. Yo soy Juan Moncayo. Trato de comprender el mundo, por eso construyo imágenes y estudio filosofía, por eso voy adonde puedo ir, por eso hablo con quien puedo hablar.

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