In Colombia's natural parks, you begin to truly understand the meaning of biodiversity. Seeing so many life forms is overwhelming.
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The Makuira Mountain Range, located in northern Colombia in the upper part of La Guajira Peninsula is a true oasis of fog in the midst of the desert. Only five kilometers away from a semi-desert area, the range has high humidity and prolific vegetation. The dwarf cloud forest that covers it is similar to the Andean forests located close to the páramo line. (Páramos are the highlands of the humid tropical Andes, just below the snow line.), although its trees are much smaller. The park is also home to members of the Wayúu ethnic group, whose members manufacture beautiful handicrafts.
The place where nature inspires poetry.
As a precaution, do not enter the park without a guide. This is a desert zone that can only be reached during the dry seasons. Although the park proper does not offer accommodations, the Indians rent hammocks for visitors in their rancherías.
The Serranía de la Makuira is the highest mountain range in the Upper Guajira.
Its approximately 25,000 hectares comprise three mountainous massifs with five types of forest, thus making it a bio-geographic island in the midst of the arid and semi-arid strip of La Guajira desert.
It is possible to fly from Bogotá to Riohacha. From there, it is necessary to take the road that goes to the town of Nazareth in the municipality of Uribia. The road from Uribia to Nazareth borders the coast and the trip takes eight hours along the coast in the dry season. It is also possible to travel through Venezuela and Puerto López, an 18-hour trip.
It is the ancestral birthplace of the Wayúu culture. According to legend, the three hills that comprise La Makuira were the children of a Sierra Nevada Indian chief who prohibited them from leaving home. One night they disobeyed and fled towards the sea. On the way, they were turned into hills. There are also a few rancherías and other human settlements.
One hundred and forty bird species have been reported, of which 17 are endemic. Examples are the guacharaca (Ortalis ruficauda), the Guajiro cardinal, bluebirds, and over ten migratory birds. Mammals are represented by the species typical of the dry tropical forests: rabbits, anteaters, mapuritos, and peccaries. Also notable are the reptile and amphibian populations.
This natural region is home to five types of forests that must be protected for their great value, since they are the source of water for the region’s inhabitants.
Aside from that, it protects the dwarf cloud forest, characterized by its exuberant epiphyte vegetation of bromeliads, orchids, and mosses.
Consult your travel agent or visit http://www.parquenacionales.gov.co