The Parque Nacional Natural Serranía de Chiribiquete is currently the largest rainforest national park in the world. UNESCO has now declared the park a World Heritage Site because of its uniqueness and intactness.
The National Park was founded in 1989. Along the equator it stretches over the Departamentos Caquete and Guaviare on the Amazon. So far, it has covered an area of 2.8 million hectares, making it the largest national park in Colombia.
President Juan Manuel Santos has now announced the expansion of the Serrania del Chiribiquete nature reserve by a further 1.5 million hectares. The protected area in the south of the country now covers more than 4.2 million hectares, slightly larger than the Netherlands.
Chiribiquete is an untouched and hardly explored natural paradise without equal. It is unsurpassable in its beauty and naturalness. Steep table mountains rise ruggedly out of the dense, moist jungle. It is a mystical landscape full of different habitats. Deep gorges, torrential rivers, green thickets in the lowland rainforests and stony savannahs in the higher regions.
The enormous biological value of the National Park is equally obvious. It connects four different ecosystems with the Orinoco Savannah, the Andes, the Guianese Highlands and the Amazon, making it one of the last protected retreats for endangered species such as the jaguar, pink river dolphin, tapir, giant salamander and various parrot species. And its biodiversity is simply gigantic. An expedition through the national park in 2017 delivered incredible results for science. 4,854 animal and 1,676 plant species were recorded, five of which are endemic, 32 species are new to science (as of today's research) and 57 species have never before been observed in Colombia. This extraordinary biodiversity makes this region so precious to our planet.
Precious because of the Stone Age cave paintings alone. On the rugged rock faces in the middle of the dense rainforest of Chiribiquetes there are over 75,000 wall paintings, some of which are estimated by archaeologists to be over 20,000 years old, making them probably the first evidence of human existence at all in the Amazon region. They show hunting, war and dance scenes. Because of this, the National Park represents an archaeological cultural heritage of international importance, as it is said to be the largest and most impressive site of prehistoric rock art on the American continent, if not worldwide.
Chiribiquete is also the home of the indigenous people. Although the area is hardly populated any more, some indigenous groups still live in the national park. Some of them live here in voluntary isolation. It is assumed that there are also indigenous groups that have not yet been contacted. The expansion of the national park will protect the settlements of various indigenous peoples and thus preserve their isolation and authenticity.
A visit to the park is still severely restricted. Helicopter sightseeing flights over the national park are possible at fixed times. Outside the national park, in the south of the area of Chiribiquete, there are already today the possibilities to admire the unbelievable and untouched nature. Read for yourself.
Expedition to the reserve Monochoa - Araracuara
Here some video impressions of the national park