Cinturón Andino Biosphere Reserve: Cueva de los Guácharos, Nevado del Huila and Puracé National Parks (Colombia)

Cinturón Andino Biosphere Reserve: Cueva de los Guácharos, Nevado del Huila and Puracé National Parks (Colombia)

Thu, 01/03/2019 - 12:39
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The Cinturón Andino Biosphere Reserve is located at the Macizo Colombiano, in the Andean Chain in southern Colombia. It comprises three National Parks: the Cueva de los Guácharos National Park, the Puracé National Park and the Nevado del Huila National Park.

The Cinturón Andino Biosphere Reserve is located at the Macizo Colombiano (Colombian Massif), in the Andean Chain in southern Colombia. It comprises three National Parks: the Cueva de los Guácharos National Park, the Puracé National Park and the Nevado del Huila National Park.

  • Cueva de los Guácharos National Park is the oldest national park in Colombia and comprises complex and special geological formations and caves created by the Suazas River. The relief is sloped, covered by humid and cloud forests. Located in the western face of the Colombian Eastern Andean Range in the departments of Huila and Caquetá, the park covers an area of 9,000 ha (22,240 acres).

  • Nevado del Huila National Park's snowy peaks rise to a height of 5,750 m (18,865 ft) above sea level. The Nevado del Huila is the highest volcano in Colombia and is visible from the city of Cali. Vegetation ranges from sub hygrophyte to snow levels and includes cloud forest and high barren plains. The park is specially rich in birds, as the condor (Vultur gryphus) the Colombian national emblema, the real eagle (Accipiter collaris), and the danta (Tapirus pinchaque).

  • Puracé National Park is located in the Andean Region of Colombia, southeast of the city of Popayán in the Cordillera Central range. The park includes seven craters, with sources of thermal waters, 30 lagoons and waterfalls. Its main feature is the active stratovolcano Puracé. It is part of the Northern Andean Volcanic Belt. Four of the country's most important rivers originate within the area: Magdalena River, Cauca River, Japurá River and Patía River.

Eight ethnic groups (Guambianos, Paeces, Yanconas, Kokonucos, Polindaras, Totares e Ingas) (2000), with their own culture and traditional practices, live in the Andean belt.

Traditional, modern peasants, and 'colons' are engaged in different activities from agriculture practices to cattle grazing and also extraction of high value timber, affecting the mountainous ecosystems.