Natural Parks in Colombia: Part I

We’ve talked about the incredible biodiversity in Colombia as well as the unbelievable variety of climates and landscapes you’ll find in Colombia. So, this is the first of a multi-post series highlighting some of the best places you can visit to experience these climates and landscapes and observe the unique biodiversity for yourself—natural parks.

1. Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona (Tayrona National Natural Park)

Named after one of the principal indigenous groups in this area (the Tayrona Indians), Parque Tayrona, is perhaps the most famous and recognized natural park in Colombia due to its amazing location right on the Caribbean Coast and in  the midst of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The park provides both the chance to relax on spectacular beaches as well as take part in some serious hiking adventures. Some of the most well known beaches in Parque Tayrona are la Piscina (a small, calm beach with crystalline waters and hardly any waves) and Cabo de San Juan (a larger beach with more waves and turquoise waters). If you are staying the night in the park, you’ll find hammocks and tents for rent in Cabo de San Juan as well as a small restaurant. If you enjoy hiking, one especially popular hike is the hike to Ciudad Perdida (the LostCity)—also becoming known as the Colombian Machu Picchu. If you choose to do this hike, make sure you are registered with an authorized group and plan to hike for several days!

Tayrona National Natural Park

Tayrona National Natural Park

2. Parque Nacional Natural Amacayacu (Amacayacu National Natural Park)

Another incredible park to visit is the Amacayacu in the Colombian Amazon. If you’ve always dreamed of exploring the Amazon or are looking for an outdoor adventure in nature, Amacayacu National Natural Park is the perfect destination for you. Here, you will have the chance to come face to face with some of the world’s most incredible plants and animals (pink dolphins, anacondas, marmosets, tapirs, and jaguars, among others) while also observing the lifestyle and traditions of Amazonian Indian tribes who live in the area. In Amacayacu National Natural Park, you can organize tours on foot or in canoes throughout the area as well as rent a space in the lodging area of the park.

Amacayacu National Natural Park

Amacayacu National Natural Park

If you want to get more information about these two natural parks, check the official Natural National Parks website: http://www.parquesnacionales.gov.co

3. Parque Nacional del Chicamocha (Chicamocha National Park)

Located in the Colombian department of Santander, this national park is full of adventure. The most astounding sites in Chicamocha National Park are el Cañón del Chicamocha (Chicamocha Canyon) and the Chicamocha River, which flows through the canyon. To get the best view of both the canyon and the river, you can take the longest of three cable car rides (e.g. gondola) that will allow you to see 450 meters of the canyon. If you’re not into heights, you can visit the ostrich park, goat park, do some paragliding or canoeing, ice skate, or simply enjoy the majestic views of the canyon from various lookout points around the park. Oh, and if you go during the day, you won’t need a jacket here. Even though you’ll be high up, average day time temperatures hover around 30-32 degrees Celsius.

Chicamocha National Park

Chicamocha National Park

Check out more information about ChicamochaNational Park here: www.parquenacionaldelchicamocha.com

While there are MANY more natural and national parks in Colombia, we hope you’ve gotten a taste for the variety and diversity of activities you can do, sights you can see, and places you can visit with the descriptions of these three parks.

Happy travels!

The Uncover Colombia Team

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One thought on “Natural Parks in Colombia: Part I

  1. This blog is a good source of information for visiting. Colombia does have some excellent National Parks – Tayrona is amazing and I’ll visit Amacayacu next month.

    One point about Chicamocha National Park (known locally as PaNaChi), and the National Coffee Park in Quindio – these ones are not “National Parks” in the sense of protecting a vulnerable natural areas as someone from the USA or the UK might expect. These two are, in effect, relatively small areas of commercial theme parks with amusement rides, themed restaurants etc, though they do educate as well.

    Chicamocha canyon itself is spectacular with desert vegetation and great opportunities for adventures sports. The nearby town of San Gil is fast becoming an adventure sports capital. The “Chicamocha National Park” Panachi itself is a small area perched on the rim of the canyon near the main Bogotá to Bucaramanga road. It is worth a visit despite the relatively high prices as it has fine facilities, superb views and the cable-car is a great way to see the canyon although it’s worth checking to see that it is running before you visit!

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