The Nature Conservancy - Parks in Peril
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Cahuinarí National Park

La Paya National Natural Park

Chingaza National Park

Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta

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Colombia boasts a great variety of ecosystems, a high level of endemism, and is well known to be one of the world’s most important nations in terms of species richness. Colombia has a large network of protected areas; 10% of its total area is designated as national parks, reserves, and protected forests. Many of these lands remain unmanaged, however, mainly because of insufficient funding. In many areas there are no controls over colonization and resource extraction, enhancing the challenge of maintaining the integrity of Colombia’s protected areas.

Perdida terraza, Lost Terrace

Perdida terraza in the "Lost City" of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta © Pilar Barerra


Archeologists have unearthed more than 300 ancient villages in and around Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, including a fifth-century "lost city” built by the Tairona people that is 20 times the size of Peru’s famous Machu Picchu.

Colombia Partner Organizations


Cahuinarí National Natural Park

A vast expanse of lowland tropical forest, Cahuinarí overlaps two of Colombia’s legally declared indigenous territories: Predio Putumayo and Miriti Parana. Read more...

Chingaza National Natural Park

Located in the Andes Mountains, Chingaza contains a mixture of habitats: flat lands, rolling hills, alpine grasslands, steep mountainous areas and deep ravines. Read more...

La Paya National Park 

This extensive tropical-forest ecosystem includes lowland Amazonian plains.

Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta National Natural Park

Rising from the Caribbean coast to the snow-capped Santa Marta massif, Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta National Park contains examples of every climate zone and vegetation type found in Latin America — in the space of just 26 miles. Read more...