The Chicamocha Canyon, located within the Colombian Andes, is among the largest in the world. Chicamocha National Park, also known as Panachi, is a major tourist attraction due to is spectacular landscape and the variety of outdoor activities that it offers.
The Chicamocha Canyon is located in the department of Santander in the northern part of Colombia and is a major tourist attraction. With a maximum depth of 2,000 m (6,600 ft), an area of 108,000 ha (270,000 acres) and a length of 227 km (141 mi), the canyon is among the largest in the world.
Located within the Colombian Andes, the steep-sided canyon was caused by the movement of tectonic plates and formed by the erosional forces of the Chicamocha River, which is part of the Magdalena River system that flows into the Caribbean Sea.
Unique species found here include the Chestnut Bellied Hummingbird (Amazilia castaneiventris), the Colombian Baobab (Cavanillesia chicamochae) and a spiny cactus named the "Mother-in-law's cushion" or Turk’s cap cactus (Melocactus sp.).
The climate in the highest parts of the canyon near Soatá is cold and humid, while changing into a dry and hotter climate near Capitanejo. The lowest areas in the northwest, at around 900 m (3,000 ft) elevation, have the driest and hottest climate. The vegetation of the canyon north of San Gil is of a dry tropical forest.
The lower basin of the Chicamocha River is a particularly rich area in pre-Hispanic archaeological sites belonging to the Guane; an ethnic group which inhabited the territory in pre-Hispanic times.
The area is a proposed World Heritage Site, submitted in 2012 as: "Cultural Landscape of the Lower Basin of the Chicamocha River."
Chicamocha National Park
Chicamocha National Park, also known as Panachi, is a Colombian national level natural park and is a major tourist attraction due to is spectacular landscape and the variety of outdoor activities that it offers.
The park is located 54 km (34 mi) from Santander's largest city of Bucaramanga. It features a 6.3 km- (3.9 mi-) long aerial tramway that allows spectacular viewing opportunities. Ziplining and paragliding are other popular activities in the park.