The Colorados Flora and Fauna Sanctuary (Spanish: Santuario de Fauna y Flora Los Colorados)is named after Los Colorados mountain for the abundance of red howler monkey (Alouatta seniculus) it has
Los Colorados Fauna and Flora Sanctuary is a small mountain range formed from sedimentary rock, which is home to around 105 timber-yielding tree species, some of which grow to a height of 50 metres.
The Park’s main ecosystems are the rainforest, the riverine forest and, above all, the tropical dry forest, which is one of the largest in the San Jacinto mountains, an isolated geological formation between the Bolivar coastal plain and the savannahs of Corozal and Sincelejo. The tropical dry forest presents certain alterations caused by the winds that create humidity variations, which in turn condition the presence of tropical rainforest, riverine forest and lowland species. The hills that comprise Los Colorados are El Escondido, La Leo-nera, La Planada, El Yayal, Un Solo Horcon, Cerrito Bongo, La Gervede-ra and Tamarindo de Mico.
The Sanctuary is bathed by two rivulets, Los Cacaos and Salvador, which border it to the south and north respectively. Inside the Sanctuary, a great number of small valleys pour their waters into these rivulets.
The Colorados forest is the only one within a radius of 100 kilometres. Prominent among its characteristic species is the wine palm.
The Sanctuary has become the last major refuge for species characteristic of the local dry forests, such as a few populations of deer, squirrels and primates. Indeed, the name Montana de los Colorados derives from the abundance of monkeys of the same name (mico Colorado – red howler), although it is also home to other primates like the cotton top tamarin.
It is also a strategic feeding ground for migratory birds from the north and south of the continent and a genetic bank for the study of national biodiversity. Such birds include the macaw, the crested guan and the loucan.
In the Sanctuary archaeological remains have been found, such as ocarinas, petroglyphs and the famous centellas stones -which in fact are axes and stone utensils that, according to legend, ‘fell from the sky’- belonging to the ethnic groups that inhabited the area in the XVI century, between Bo-cas de Ceniza and the swamps of the Momposina depression.
Today, the local inhabitants have established a close relationship with the Montana de los Colorados, rich in beliefs and cultural practices, which take the form, for example, of prayers and treatment using medicinal plants.
- Established: 1977
- Area: l,000 hectares
- Altitude: 240 metres above sea level
- Climate: Warm
- Average temperature: 27°C
PLANNING YOUR VISIT
- LOCATION: The Sanctuary Is located in the Caribbean region, In the Montes de Marla sub-region, Bolivar Department, municipality of San Juan Nepomuceno.
- HOW TO GET THERE: An overland route will leave you by the eastern driveway into the Sanctuary. Take the road from Cartagena to Sincelejo. On the way you will pass through the towns of Turbaco, San Cayetano and Carreto until you reach San Juan Nepomuceno, 90 kilometres south of Cartagena.
- WHERE TO EAT: There are restaurants in San Juan Nepomuceno that serve typical regional cuisine.
- WHERE TO STAY: There are hotels and other kinds of establishments in San Juan Nepomuceno, where you may also camp. There is no accommodation in the Sanctuary.
- WHERE TO SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION: The nearest hospital is in San Juan Nepomuceno, although there are a further two in Cartagena and Turbaco.
- HOW LONG TO STAY: Three days and two nights would be the perfect stay to enjoy the Park.
- WHEN TO GO: The best option is to take advantage of the dry seasons, that is, the months of July and August and the period between December and April. It is advisable to avoid the months of October and November, which are the wettest.
WHAT TO VISIT IN THE PARK
Some of the places of greatest interest are the Los Cacaos rivulet, the Canada del Escondido, the El Tigre cave, El Mirador, the Piedra del Toro, the Los Chivos Falls and El Tina-mO. You are allowed to take photographs and shoot videos; indeed, this is highly recomendable.
WHAT TO DO IN THE PARK
The main activities are hiking and flora and fauna observation (mainly birds), Outstanding among the inner circuits are two nature trails, ideal for a good hike supplemented by the observation of birds and other animals: Infantil Planeta Bosque and El Yayal (with 15 interpretation centres).
The Sanctuary also offers visitor attendance with environmental education and research programmes and appreciation of natural and cultural values.
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