Bahía Portete – Kaurrele National Natural Park (Colombia)

Bahía Portete – Kaurrele National Natural Park (Colombia)

Tue, 01/18/2022 - 14:21
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Bahía Portete – Kaurrele National Natural Park is situated on the La Guajira Peninsula in the extreme north of Colombia, along the coast of the Caribbean Sea. It conserves important ecosystems that include sedimentary beds, seagrass meadows, coral formations, mangroves, beaches and rocky coastline.

Bahía Portete - Kaurrele National Natural Park

Bahía Portete - Kaurrele National Natural Park is situated on the La Guajira Peninsula in the extreme north of Colombia, along the coast of the Caribbean Sea between Cabo de la Vela and Punta Gallinas. It is the northernmost National Park of mainland South America.

Bahía Portete

Bahía Portete lies approximately 48 km (30 mi) from the Venezuelan border on the peninsula. The bay opens to the Caribbean Sea. Its inlet is less than 2 km (1.25 mi) wide.

Protected Area

Located within the municipality of Uribia, La Guajira, the protected area of 14,080 ha (34,800 acres) was established in 2014 to conserve important ecosystems that include sedimentary beds, seagrass meadows, coral formations, mangroves, beaches and rocky coastline.

Besides the mangroves and coral formations, 25 species of reptiles and amphibians and 217 species of marine fauna have been registered in Bahía Portete. These include lobsters, shrimp, clams and oysters as well as grouper, sea bass, snapper, mullet, lebranche, sierra and sardine. Reptiles, turtles, sea urchins and armadillos are also found here.

The climate is hot and arid, due to the La Guajira Desert. Average temperatures range between 28 and 30 °C (82 and 86 °F). The coastal area is characterized by humidity caused by the inland winds. The marine bay area has an average depth of 9 m (30 ft), ranging from 3 to 20 m (10 to 65 ft).

The sparsely populated area is inhabited by approximately 500 indigenous Wayuu. The indigenous communities of the Wayuu, Kamushiwoü, Alijunao, Yariwanischi, Puerto Portete, Ian, Youlepa, Kayuuswaarraaloü and Punta Cosos Espacios contributed to the planning of the establishment of the protected area. Mining and industrial fishing are prohibited.

The landscape of Bahía Portete - Kaurrele National Park consists of arid plains of the Guajira-Barranquilla xeric scrub ecoregion, whose dryness is caused by the rain shadow of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Vegetation includes the cactus (Opuntia wentiana) and the mangrove tree (Avicennia germinans). Meadows of (Thalassia testudinum) and (Syringodium) seagrasses are widely distributed in the marine portion of the park.

Location map of Uribia, Colombia

Location map of Uribia, Colombia