Did you know that Colombia has seven official UNESCO World Heritage Sites? If not, have no fear. Today we are going to tell you a little bit about each of the seven World Heritage Sites you can visit during your trip to Colombia.
1. Coffee Cultural Landscape of Colombia
Officially approved as a World Heritage Site in 2011, the Coffee Cultural Landscape of Colombia is one of the most symbolic landscapes of all Colombia1. The Coffee Cultural Landscape includes parts of the departments of Quindío, Risaralda, Caldas and Valle del Cauca, and was declared a World Heritage Site due to the incredible preservation of traditional ways of life, mostly related to coffee production, and the unique Spanish-Antioquian architecture found in the region.
2. Historic Centre of Santa Cruz de Mompox
A bit off the beaten path, Santa Cruz de Mompox is a near perfectly preserved Spanish colonial town located in the department of Bolívar. The city proved to be extremely important during the Spanish conquest of Latin America due to its location on the Magdalena River, the most important River in Colombia, and was approved as a World Heritage Site in 1995. Visit to Mompox will surely transport you back in time.
3. National Archaeological Park of Tierradentro
Located in the department of Cauca and approved as a World Heritage Site in 19951, the National Archaeological Park of Tierradentro is an impressive and eye-opening historical site with some unbelievable examples of pre-Columbian human statues dating back to the 6th and 10th centuries2. In addition to these statues, the National Archaeological Park of Tierradentro is also home to the largest “pre-Columbian shaft tombs with side chambers” in the world2. The underground tombs and chambers are most definitely the most impressive part of the National Archaeological Park of Tierradentro.
4. Port, Fortresses and Group of Monuments (Cartagena)
While Cartagena is perhaps one of the most visited cities in Colombia, many people may not know that the city itself is a World Heritage Site, due not to its beauty or charm, but to its extensive fortification system. In fact, Cartagena has the most complete and extensive fortification of any Latin American city, and for this reason was a key port during the Spanish conquest of Latin America3. As soon as you begin to explore the fortress walls still surrounding this colonial city, you will feel the power this city once held in the New World.
5. San Agustín Archaeological Park
San Agustín Archaeological Park is located in the department of Huila and boasts the largest collection of religious monuments and megalithic sculptures in all of South America4. The collection found in the park dates back to the 1st to 8th centuries and is a stunning representation of the Northern Andean cultures and civilizations that once inhabited this area.
6. Los Katios National Park
Lying in the departments of Antioquia and Chocó, Los Katíos National Park served as an important crossing point for North American colonizers around 20,000 years ago, and it was declared a World Heritage Site in 1994, for its intense level of biodiversity, including a number of endangered animal and plant species5. Some of these species include: the Giant Pelican Flower, the Choco Tinamou, and the Rufous-cheeked hummingbird5.
The Malpelo Fauna and Flora Sanctuary is an amazing World Heritage Site. It includes Malpelo Island, found on the Pacific Coast of Colombia, and it is the largest no-fishing zone in the Eastern Tropical Pacific6. It is one of the few undisturbed marine environments left around the world and provides a crucial refuge for marine species such as the short-nosed ragged-toothed shark, the giant grouper, the billfish, hammerhead sharks, and silky sharks among others6. It has also been deemed one of the best diving spots in the world6!
We hope you have the opportunity to include at least one of these spectacular places during your trip to Colombia.
The Uncover Colombia Team
- Top 10 amazing places to visit in Colombia (www.uncovercolombia.com)
- Cartagena and Islas del Rosario (www.uncovercolombia.com)
- Mompox (www.uncovercolombia.com)