Iguaque: Cradle of gods
The main attraction for visitors to this fauna and flora sanctuary is the mystical ascent to the Iguaque Lake, considered by the ancient Muisca Indians the birthplace of water. The first leg of the journey crosses the forest. Then, visitors must cross the páramo that surrounds the lake, a sacred site for the first settlers and one of the eight lakes that make up this mysterious, cloud-covered páramo. The Iguaque Flora and Fauna Sanctuary is located in the department of Boyacá at a distance of 230 km from Bogotá.
Mystery, history, and nature that make for an unforgettable experience.
Due to the features of the landscape, one of the most recommended activities is hiking. For the purpose, there is an interpretive path with an initial stretch of 500 meters that describes the natural resources of the area by means of 11 signboards. The same path extends to the Iguaque Lake. It is important to leave early; the weather changes frequently and temperatures may descend to the point of posing a risk of hypothermia.
- The extension of the park is 6,750 hectares.
- It includes elevations that range from 2,400 to 3,800 above sea level.
- Temperatures are in the range of 12º to 18º C.
- Maximum rainfall occurs in April, October, and November. Rainfall is moderate in February, March, September, and December.
- Vegetation is lower montane rainforest (to the north) and dry montane forest (to the south).
- Outstanding are oaks, frailejones, tibouchinas, myrtles, hayuelo pines, cucharo trees, mosses, lichens, quiches, ferns, and orchids.
- The fauna is quite varied and there are several species of birds.
- According to the cosmogony of the Muiscas, humanity originated in the Iguaque Lake, from which the goddess Baché emerged with a child in her arms. When the child became a man, they engendered children and populated the earth before disappearing into the lake transformed into serpents.
How to get there
- From Bogotá to Tunja (147 km) and then from Tunja to Villa de Leyva (39 km).
- Chiquinquirá – Villa de Leyva (38 km) and then a 15 km ride to El Carrizal.
- It is also possible to arrive in the reserve from Arcabuco.
- The sacred lake of Iguaque: according to Muisca mythology, Bachué, the mother of Mankind emerged from the lake. It is said that a pilgrimage to the lake cleans the soul and purifies the spirit.
- Interpretive paths: they lead to Iguaque and several of the other lakes.
- San Pedro de Iguaque, Mamá Ramos (archaeological zones), the Iguaque Lake (a three hour hike) and the Robledales forest are open to the public.
Access to the park
Consult your travel agent or visit www.parquesnacionales.gov.co
The Iguaque Fauna and Flora Sanctuary operates the Furachiogua visitor center, with a total lodging capacity of 48 people. Furachiogua means ‘good woman’ in the Chibcha language.
Characteristics of the lodging
- Furachiogua has seven rooms.
- One room for eight people.
- Four rooms for seven people.
- Two rooms for six people.
- The rooms are equipped with bunks or twin-size beds, a small chest of drawers, a bathroom, and the necessary bed linens.
- The camping are has ten spaces with a capacity of five people each, bathrooms, showers, stove burners for food preparation and restaurant service.
Bogota and Cundinamarca have a much more to give. Read the next related articles.: