Nevado del Ruiz is a glaciated stratovolcano at an elevation of 5.321m (17,457ft) above the sea level located in Colombia. A sudden drop in the temperature, even in summer, can trigger winter-like conditions. The drive to approach the volcano is said to be the highest road in the country.
Located on the boundary of the departments of Caldas and Tolima, the volcano, also known as La Mesa de Herveo or Kumanday, is pretty active. In 1985, an eruption killed almost 25,000 people in the town of Armero, marking one of the worst volcanic disasters in history. The weather around the volcano is very nasty for most of the year.
Nestled within Los Nevados National Natural Park, the road to approach to the summit is oftten closed due to eruption danger. It starts asphalted from Manizales, in the Caldas province, and gets progressively worse. At Parador Turístico La Esperanza (4.117m) there’s a barrier, which can be closed anytime if there’s some volcano risk. At this point are parkings, services, bars, etc. Beyond this point, the road is totally unpaved and 4x4 with high clearance vehicle is recommended. The road ends at El Refugio hut, at 4.804m (15,761ft) at above the sea level, where starts the hike to the summit.