The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta

The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is a very particular, pyramid-shaped mountain. It is located in Northeastern Colombia, between the departments of La Guajira, Magdalena and Cesar, and it has strangely no geological connection with the Andes, which are so close. It is the highest coastal mountain in the world as it stands from sea level up to 5,775 m (18,946 ft) just 42 km (26 miles) from the coast.

The Sierra Nevada has an area of 17,000 km2 and 80% of its area is within the boundaries of two national parks, the Parque Nacional Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and the Tayrona National Park, Colombia's oldest national park system, established in 1964. It was declared as a biosphere reserve and World Heritage Site by the Unesco in 1979.

The geological origen of the Sierra is continental, formed on its periphery by igneous rocks of more than 160 million years and its central part, much older, are granitic rock formations.

As the elevation of the mountain ranges from sea level to over 5000 m, we encounter all possible thermal floors, and correspondingly very different ecosystems, from dry xerofylic vegetation to exhuberent tropical humid and cloud forests up to permanent ice. Unfortunately the extension of its glacier has decreased in large quantities: in 1957 its surface was about 105 km2 and in 1981 it was reduced to an area of 35 km2... these effects are due in part to natural causes, but we can not deny that man also had a major impact on these results.

There are two rainy seasons which range from May to June and September to November, but on its Northern slopes it usually rains every day. This highlight the importance of the Sierra in the production of water in the area, we find more than 32 rivers taking their source in the Sierra

The fauna is very diverse, birds like the White Eagle, Lone Eagle and the Condor, in addition to having approximately 100 species of mammals, 200 species of birds and 50 of reptiles in the warmer parts.

The Sierra Nevada is inhabited by several Indian groups, descendant of the mythical Tayronas: the Kogi, Arhuaco, Wiwa and Kankuamo. They treat the Sierra Nevada as the Mother Earth and as such they live in harmony with all the elements comprising the ecosystem of the Sierra, plants, animals, air, water, etc., which makes their culture a very interesting one to understand and protect.

We offer various options to see and experience the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta:

For the lovers of nature, for those who want to live a "jungle" experience, or those interested in the arqueological remains of the Tayrona culture,
we offer a trek of 6d/5n to Teyuna, the Lost City: jungle, rivers, a lot of water and mosquitos, the Kogui and Wiwa Indians and the ruins of the Lost City.

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If you don't have enough time, or the stamina for this type of trek, we offer
an easier hike of 3d/2n in the Tayrona Park, were you can enjoy Pueblito Chairama, ruins similar to the ones at the Lost City but in a drier forest with many beaches to enjoy and comfortable lodging.

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Another option is an excursion of 3d/2n in the spiritual hearth of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, in the Arhuaco village of Nabusimake at an elevation of 2000 m, and where you will enjoy short walks in the Sierra.

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