This is a very easy route and the elevation gain is only 300 meters (1000 feet), making this is one of the easiest places in the world to reach this high of elevation.
The views are fantastic as are the colors on the volcano.
The east slopes of Olleta.
To get to the trailhead, start in Manizales. There is no public trasnsport to the trailhead, so you'll have to check several tour companies for a trip. The road heads east and up the mountain to El Secreta, where you turn south on a dirt road to the trailhead. We paid $10 a person for five people, which included a tour of the Ruiz area and a visit to the hot springs, and a lunch. Park entry was an additional $10 and there was a small fee to bathe in the hot springs in El Secreta.
The trailhead can be seen at the road cut across the crater.
To climb the mountain simply have the driver from the tour company drop you off at the base of Olleta which is located west of the old Ruiz refugio. No directions are needed for the climb, simply climb the steep sandy slope to the crater rim in about an hour. The elevation gain is only 300 meters (1000 feet), so this is one of the easiest places in the world to reach this high of elevation. Enjoy the spectacular views of one of the deadliest mountains in the world. During one day in 1985, 23,000 people lost their lives from the Ruiz explosion. See Ruiz main page for details.
Volcan de la Olleta summit photo. We didn't get too many photos because of cloudy weather.
No special gear is needed, but be prepared for cold and wet weather at any time. Also make sure to acclimatize somewhere, as the trailhead is at 4550 meters (14,928 feet).