The Farallones de Cali National Natural Park abounds in water resources
The Farallones de Cali National Natural Park is a spectacular site where the forms of cultural and natural diversity of the Andean mountains and the Pacific slopes converge. The impressive blue peaks of Los Farallones, which rise up from the plain separating the basins of the River Cauca and the Pacific, are visible from Cali on clear days.
The rich water resources of the protected area are represented by the volume of almost 213 cubic metres per second on the slopes of El Cauca and the Pacific which, besides supplying the main district aqueducts and towns of Cali, Dagua and Jamundf, also feed the reservoirs of the Upper and Lower Anchicaya to generate electricity in interconnection with national and international lines. The River Pance serves as a foretaste of this wealth as it accompanies visitors to the entrance gate to the protected area, in the El Topacio zone.
There are other major navigable rivers in the area, whose waters are suitable for domestic consumption by the local communities. Hence the fact that protection of their basins is a national priority. These rivers are the Anchicaya, Cajambre, Cali, Claro, Jamundf, Naya, Pance, Raposo, Timba and Yurumanguf.
The Park comprises four ecosystems, source of considerable animal and vegetable wealth: the high Andean rainforest, the Andean rainforest, the sub-An-dean rainforest and the paramo.
The lowest regions of the Park, between 200 and 1,000 metres towards the Pacific area, are characterised by rainforests with trees reaching a height of up to 40 metres. Tall grasses thrive in the undergrowth and there is a profusion of lianas and epiphytic plants (which grow non-parasitically on others).
Characteristic species include palms and arborescent ferns. There is a predominant presence of the common oak in significant extensions and in an excellent state of preservation.
Birds are the lords of the Park fauna. It is reckoned that at least 700 species exist with a high proportion of endemic species, such as the solitary eagle and the Andean cock-of-the-rock. The Park is also home to numerous species of mammals: from the spectacled bear to small bats (80 species). There are also eight species of marsupials, five of primates – prominent among which are the tufted capuchin, the grey-bellied night monkey and the red howler, squirrels, anteaters and sloths.
The Pacific watershed, along the rivers with influence in the Park, is occupied mostly by Afro-Colombian communities, whose concept of territory allows us to understand the community logic that marks the guidelines for environmental and land planning in the pacific. These communities are organised in community councils.
Thanks to the ethnic wealth and diversity of the Park, visitors may appreciate not only the enormous natural biodiversity but also the unique culture of the area, represented by the rural, indigenous and black communities.
- Established: 1968
- Area: 150,000 hectares
- Altitude: Between 200 and 4,100 metres above sea level
- Climate: Cold – temperate – warm
- Average temperature: Between 5°C and 25°C
PLANNING YOUR VISIT
- LOCATION: The Farallones de Cali National Natural Park is located in Valle del Cauca Department In the Cordillera Occidental, under the jurisdictions of the municipalities of Cali, Jamundi, Dagua and Buenaventura. Before travelling to the Park you must contact the National Natural Parks Office where they will inform you of the prerequisites for visiting the protected area.
- HOW TO GET THERE: HOW TO GET THERE: There are three overland and one water routes to the Park, The water route begins in Cali and ends in Buenaventura, where you may take an outboard motor launch at the wharf from which trips up and down the rivers are organised, The three overland routes may be undertaken by car from Cali, and they are the following:
- 1.- overland route: Duration: 40 minutes, Itinerary: It takes in the Centro de Visitantes Quebradahonda and the Penas Blancas sector in the River Cali basin.
- 2.- overland route: Duration: 40 minutes, Itinerary: From the south part of the city to the El Topacio environmental education centre, r the River Pance basin.
- 3.- Duration: 60 minutes, Itinerary: By taking the former Buenaventura road, Carretera Simon Bolivar, you reacr re Centro de Visitantes El Queremal, in the Anchicaya River basin (third area of the Park ry. may reach the small paramos of Los Farallones after a hike of ten or twelve hours afcnc very steeply sloping paths and trails.
- WHERE TO EAT: No establishments in the area serve food; consequently, it is advisable to carry a special camping stove and all necessary provisions. If the worst comes to the worst, you may be able to purchase food in the local villages.
- WHERE TO STAY: There are two environmental education centres in the Park, El Topacio and Quebradahonda, each with room for ten people.
- WHERE TO GET MEDICAL ATTENTION: Bear in mind that though there is a health centre in Pance, the nearest hospital is in Cali.
- HOW LONG TO STAY: Staying time depends on the research work plan or specific activity authorised by the National Natural Parks Office.
- WHEN TO GO: The best month is February, because it is the only one that coincides with the driest period, both on the western and eastern sides. January, March, July and August are also relatively dry months on the eastern side, though not on the western side.
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