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9 World Heritage in Colombia that you have to visit

AUTHOR: Travelgrafía

Among the incredible landscapes that can be found in Colombia there are 9 places that have been honored by UNESCO with the title of World Heritage, of these six are areas of cultural character, natural and recent destinations can be combined.

Although we believe that the list can be much longer, here we show you the officers and to which of them you can travel.

1/9 NATIONAL PARK NATURAL SERRANÍA DE CHIRIBIQUETE

In the interior of the Colombian Amazon, between the departments of Guaviare and Caquetá, is the majestic and extensive Serranía del Chiribiquete, also called by the indigenous Karijona as La Orilla del Mundo.

Coat of Arms of Chiribiquete World Heritage
Photo: @gaboeisenband
Tepuyes

Although access to the park is not allowed for the public, some have managed to fly over it and capture the dense and predominant jungle from which the gigantic Tepuyes stand out. A rocky chain almost 1,000 meters high that make up the Serrania.

Serranía de Chiribiquete
Photo: @cesardavidmar

In some scientific expeditions that have been made inside Chiribiquete, miles of rock paintings have been found, all of a high archaeological value and whose age is estimated at 20,000 years.

Reasons why Chiribiquete has become one of the natural subjects with the greatest number of pictorial samples of America and World Heritage.

Tepuyes de Chiribiquete
Photo: @gaboeisenband
Tepuyes de Chiribiquete
Photo: @cesardavidmar

Finally, you should know that Chiribiquete is the largest national park in Colombia. Its territory is 2.7 million hectares and is home to the jaguar and puma, being one of the most important wild areas in the world.

2/9 NATURAL NATIONAL PARK KATIOS

Between the departments of Chocó and Antioquia is located the Natural National Park Katios, a natural corridor cradle of biodiversity which allows the movement of species between South and Central America.

Los Katios National Park, World Heritage Site
Photo: @gaboeisenband

Katios has big waterfalls with even 100 meters high. It’s home to indigenous communities and different ecological systems such as: the tropical rain forest, the marshes and the flood forests. Definitely this is a heritage of humanity with great water, natural and cultural wealth.

Flora of the Katios National Park
Photo: @neotropicall

In the past the Natural Park Katios was included in the list of world heritage on danger but in 2015 thanks to a reforestation process and an environmental control the park was removed from the list.

However, the commitment to conservation and protection is still present, for both state agents and travelers like you.

Forest of the Katios
Photo: @gaboeisenband

If you are wondering how to get to Katios, we’re sorry to say that currently the park is closed for the public and ecotourism, because first efforts are being made to guarantee the self-sustainability of the place and mostly the care of endangered species that inhabit it.

Surely in the future we will be able to visit it and in Travelgrafía you will find a travel guide.

3/9 FLORA AND FAUNA SANCTUARY MALPELO – VALLE DEL CAUCA

The Flora and Fauna Sanctuary of Malpelo is also known as the natural jewel of Colombia or the Living Rock since is a small rocky island in the middle of the giant pacific ocean.

Diving in Malpelo
Photo: @Ferolea

To go to Malpelo you must be older than 18 years old and have an advance Diver certification or 2 stars and have a minimum of 25 dives in logbook.

Here during the whole year, in the surroundings of the island concentrations of more than 300 hammerhead sharks can be observed.

Malpelo World Heritage
Photo: @Juanes3h

If you have the necessary to go to Malpelo you have to start from the Buenaventura harbor and the journey takes at least 22 hours by boat, it is really an epic trip for the lovers of the marine life because when you get to the Living Rock about 400 species of fishes and an infinity of chorales will be waiting for you.

Malpelo marine life
Photo: Manu San Félix

If you are about to plan your adventure to Malpelo keep in mind that you have to go with a Diver leader properly certificated, who knows the area and who lead a group of maximal 6 people. In addition you have to take all your equipment in order and be sure to carry dive knife, whistle, buoy of personal localization, flashlight and position lamps.

Sunset in Malpelo
Photo: Waskyo

Finally remember that to travel to the Malpelo Sanctuary you must have been vaccinated against tetanus and yellow fever with a minimum of 10 days before your trip.

Here I leave you an article that shows you the other places in Colombia where you have to go vaccinated against yellow fever.

4/9 ARCHEOLOGICAL PARK OF SAN AGUSTÍN – HUILA

The Archeological Park of San Agustín is believed to have been an antique astronomical and ceremonial center from the mysterious culture that inhabited this part of the Huila department. But the truth is that everything is still a big mystery.

Sculpture of San Agustín Patrimony of the Humanity
Photo: Alexander Schimmeck

Throughout the Park you can see figures carved in stone representing warriors, priests, dignitaries and mythical animals. The journey can take 3 to 4 hours overall, everything depends on how many stops you make to detail and speculate about the origin of the Hypogeum.

Waterfall of San Agustín
Photo: Alexander Schimmeck

To get to San Agustín you should arrive first to Neiva City, there you find direct transport that will take you to the municipality of San Agustín for $6.000 COP Then they take you to the municipality of San Agustín, from which you only have to walk 3 kilometers to reach the park.

The cost of entry the Archaeological Park of San Agustín is $ 25,000 COP

Tombs of the San Agustín Archaeological Park
Photo: Alexander Schimmeck

When you visit San Agustín do not settle for visiting only the archaeological park, go out and enjoy other natural attractions such as the Strait of Magdalena and the waterfalls of Los Tres Chorros, the jump of Mortiño and Bordones, these last two falls of natural water have a height greater than 400 meters.

Strait of the Magdalena River
Photo: Alexander Schimmeck

5/9 QHAPAC ÑAN – NARIÑO

The imperial road of Qhapaq Ñan is an ancient network of roads and paths that was designed by the Inca Empire to comute production and ceremonial centers for political, military and administrative purposes of the powerful Inca state

Mountains of Funes Nariño
Photo: @David7guerrero

Qhapaq Ñan in the Quechua language translates The Way of the Lord and in the ancient world as in the modern one it is the oldest road in Latin America. Today this World Heritage Site connects Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia.

Sanctuary and Canyon of Las Lajas
Photo: @Viajandocomgabi

In Colombia the Qhapaq Ñan has 17 kilometers that cross 8 municipalities of the department of Nariño: Ipiales, Potosí, Gualmatán, Contadero, Funes, Yacuanquer, Tangua and Pasto.

Potosí Nariño
Photo: @Wander_katze

Historians confirm that during the Tawantinsuyo (Inca State) the road from Qhapaq Ñan reached 30,000 kilometers, from Argentina to the Southwest of Colombia.

Ruta Qhapac World Heritage
Photo: @Josemostajo

Part of the path is the Telpis Lagoon, learn how to get there and what to do here.

6/9 HISTORICAL CENTER OF SANTA CRUZ DE MOMPOX – BOLIVAR

Founded in 1540 and located on the banks of the Magdalena River, Mompox was key in the Spanish colonization in the northern part of South America.

Streets of Mompox World Heritage Site
Photo: Sergejf

Since its origin Mompox growth has been closely linked to the river, its historic center remains beautiful and preserves with great quality the harmony and comprehensiveness of the urban landscape that contrasts with the most beautiful of sunsets.

Albarrada de Mompox
Photo: Armando Calderón

Mompox is a World Heritage Site with a charm of its own, an unparalleled charm that transports travelers to the time of the conquest and its tall houses, filigree artisans and Holy Week are the preamble of a city sensitive to art.

Mompox Historical Center
Photo: James Bailey

In addition, the island of Santa Cruz de Mompox hosts important cultural events such as the Independent Film Festival and the Jazz Festival. It is an unmissable destination if you want to know how to live the Holy Week in the Colombian Caribbean.

Mompox Cemetery
Photo: Sergejf

🎁 Travel guide: how to get there, what to visit and where to sleep in Mompox.

7/9 TIERRANDETRO ARQUEOLOGICAL PARK – CAUCA

The Archaeological Park of Tierradentro is located in Cauca between the municipalities of Inzá and Belalcázar. Like its neighbor San Agustín it has an important set of statues and hypogea with characteristics that date from the 6th to 10th centuries AD.

Interior of the Tierradentro Caves
Photo: Banco de la República

The greatest attraction of this World Heritage Site are its prominent statues carved in volcanic rock and the detail with which the collective tombs that were up to 9 meters underground were decorated. A journey without equal!

Road to Tierradentro Cauca
Photo: Inyucho

To get to Tierradentro you must do it by road, either from Popayán or from Neiva.

From the Popayán Transportation Terminal you can either board a bus or a Jeep, the trip can take between 3 and 4 hours to get to Inza, keep in mind that a large part of the road is dirt road.

Tierradentro Patrimony of the Humanity
Photo: Banco de la República

From Neiva its a bit more difficult, but not impossible for adventurous souls. You must first arrive at the municipality of La Plata, which is located about 120 kilometers from Neiva and then take a jeep that goes to Inzá, this last trip can last between 2 to 3 hours.

Inza Cauca Landscape
Photo: Banco de la República

8/9 CULTURAL LANDSCAPE CAFETERO DE COLOMBIA

The coffee region of Colombia is an excellent example of the tenacious paisa culture, because beyond preserving its traditions intact, it has a landscape that is a world example in terms of the productive management of coffee.

Path of the Cocora Valley
Photo: Alexander Schimmeck

The traditional way in which coffee is grown and processed in the Eje cafetero is mostly environmentally sustainable and responsible to the community.

Coffee landscape of Colombia World Heritage
Photo: Matthew Fuentes

The Eje Cafetero landscape is recognized as a World Heritage Site and it is shared by the departments of Risaralda, Caldas, Quindío and Valle del Cauca.

Coffee landscape
Photo: Eddy Milfort
Coffee landscape
Photo: Dustin Ground

9/9 STRENGTHS OF CARTAGENA – BOLIVAR

One of the main ports of the Spanish Empire in Indias was Cartagena, to defend it from the invasion of other nations and the siege of the pirates it was designed and built with fortification of the port. A job that lasted more than 50 years in being built and it was consolidated as one of the strongest defenses of the time.

Fortitude of Cartagena World Heritage
Photo: VillegasLillo

In Cartagena still retains subdivision and colonial architecture of the San Pedro neighborhood where the nobility and upper class resided, including the Cathedral of Santo Domingo and numerous Andalusian-style palaces.

Historic center of Cartagena
Photo: Felipe

San Diego was the old neighbourhood of the merchants and of the small bourgeoisie, while Getsemaní was the place where the popular clases lived.

Interior of the Castillo de San Felipe Cartagena
Photo: Jorge Láscar

In addition to its neighborhoods we are also amazed by the constructions of its walls and the Fort of San Felipe de Barajas, a fortification that facilitated the defense of the city and established the division between neighborhoods according to the social class of its inhabitants.

Catedral Santa Catalina de Alejandría Cartagena
Photo: Elias Roviello

If these destinations that are a World Heritage Site surprised you, you will love what you will see in our Instagram.

Travelgrafía

Travelgrafía

El blog de viajes donde los viajeros confluyen para compartir sus experiencias y descubrir la Colombia inexplorada.

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