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What are the best places to observe the fauna and flora in Colombia, which is considered the country with the second greatest biodiversity in the world, after Brazil. It is the country that has the largest number of endemic species in the world on its territory! From the most colorful flowers to the rarest and most extraordinary animal species, we give you all the information and good advice to be able to observe this unique “wild magic”.
Do you want to be amazed? Discover the wonderful documentary Colombia Magia Salvaje, a hymn to nature.
Colombia, natural and wild treasure
Colombia has over 1,800 species of birds, 470 species of mammals, 520 species of reptiles and over 750 species of amphibians.
Regarding the flora, 10% of the world’s plant species grow in Colombia! A breathtaking number, which makes Colombia a place of varied and breathtaking nature.
Some information on the flora in Colombia :
The national flower is, since 1936, an orchid with blue, red and yellow colors called “Flor de mayo“. You will see orchids everywhere you go, because there are more than 3,500 species of orchids in Colombia, of all kinds, colors and shapes.
The “Palma de Cera” (Wax Palm), is the national tree of Colombia and can measure up to 70 meters high! They are the tallest palm trees in the world and you can see them in the Cocora Valley, near Salento, or near Salamina, a beautiful destination off the beaten track.
See the fauna and flora in Colombia by region
The Andean mountains
Divided into three massifs, the Andean mountains are full of landscapes. Each level of altitude will take you to a different universe, from lunar landscapes above the clouds to green meadows. The most impressive: the paramo landscapes, a unique ecosystem, where we find the endemic plant Frailejones (also called Espeletia). It lives in these unique landscapes, together with more than 5,000 species of plants, the Andean Condor, the Lunette Bear, the White-tailed Deer and the Hummingbirds!
Further down in the mountains, colorful flowers abound, and the hills are green. It is a paradise for hummingbirds of all kinds, but also for the Golden-cheeked Parakeet, the Puma and the Heavenly Toucan. It is also the ideal place chosen by man to place coffee plantations.
Between tropical jungle and sea with colorful marine fauna, the Caribbean coast and the highest coastal massif in the world, the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, are a refuge for many animal and plant species.
It is in this region that you will see many monkeys, like in the Tayrona Park for example, or along the Don Diego River, in the heart of the Sierra Nevada.
Would you like to explore the ocean floor? You will find an exceptional variety of fish in protected areas, such as around Taganga, or in the islands of San Andres and Providencia.
The Sierra Nevada is also the ideal place for bird watching. Toucans, hummingbirds, kingfishers, egrets… the show is enchanting! Another great spot, the department of La Guajira, with the Sanctuary of the pink flamingos. You will see hundreds of them!
The Caribbean coast, beyond a rich tropical forest, is also a territory of mangroves, with a very particular and vital ecosystem for the preservation of the local fauna and flora. You can go by boat along the mangroves to admire this peaceful show.
With 8,000mm of rain per year, it is the rainiest place in the world! This rain has made this place a temple of biodiversity, where the concentration of plant and animal variety is breathtaking. In a pristine and protected setting, you will find endemic plants and flowers, amazing animals like the sloth or the spider monkey, but also many amphibians like poisonous frogs!
Underwater, the show is just as breathtaking. Every year between mid-June and the end of October, humpback whales are visible, even from the beach! The island of Malpelo, off the coast, is also known to be the best diving spot in the world! Ideal to swim between hammerhead sharks and morays.
The lung of the planet, the refuge of plants and animals… the Amazon represents a third of the Colombian territory, between savanna, tropical rainforests and mountainous forests. It is a paradise for adventurers who want to observe its extremely rich and diverse fauna and flora.
The Amazon is the refuge of the jaguar, a mysterious animal, very difficult to see. It is also in the heart of the Amazon River that you can observe the pink dolphins, for some a legend, for others a natural wonder. Thousands of birds, butterflies, monkeys, reptiles… the Amazon is the jungle! Get ready for a wild and wonderful show.
The llanos… a surprising territory, between green plains as far as the eye can see and landscapes of the Guyana plateau, the oldest rock formations in the world! Here, the fauna is surprising and varied. It is the ideal place to go on safari, to see pink dolphins, caymans, piranhas or the matamata turtle, the oldest species of turtle in the world! Here, the trophy is to see an Anaconda, the snake that can weigh more than 120 kg! On your way, you can even see a Capybara, a kind of huge guinea pig, the biggest rodent in the world, but also the famous Tamanoir!
The region is full of unique flora and fauna, diverse and surprisingly beautiful. It is the ideal place for an excursion far from the beaten track, to leave totally to the adventure!
The National Parks of Colombia to observe the fauna and flora
There are 59 national parks and natural reserves in Colombia, which is equivalent to 12% of the territory. Among these national parks, we have selected the ones that we think are worth a visit and where you can easily see the local fauna and flora.
- Tayrona National park
- El Cocuy National Park
- Sierra La Macarena National Park
- Santuary of Iguaque
- El Tuparro National Park
- Amacayacu National Park
- Ensenada de Utría National Park
- Los Nevados National Park
- Puracé National Park
Where to watch birds in Colombia?
Colombia has about 1,885 species of birds, 73 of which are endemic. It is therefore the perfect place for bird watching! But where to go?
We advise you to go :
in Minca and in the whole Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta
in the Antioquia region with the Alto de San Miguel reserve or the Colibri del Sol reserve
Santuario de Fauna y Flora Los Flamencos, near Riohacha in Guajira
in the Amazon in the Maloka Zacambu reserve or the Calanoa reserve
- in the Pacific region and particularly in the Ensenada de Utria National Park
- in the Cocora Valley, where you will see hummingbirds at La casa de los Colibris (also called Acaime)
Where to see humpback whales in Colombia?
Whales can be seen on the Pacific coast of Colombia from late June to mid-October. Humpback whales travel more than 18,000 km to give birth in the warm waters of the Pacific. Their songs and dances are enchanting, it is a unique and moving spectacle, in the heart of a virgin and wild nature.
You can observe them inside Utria National Park, in Bahia Solano, in Nuqui and in many other places along the Pacific coast.
We offer many tours and excursions in the Pacific to observe whales. Don’t hesitate to take a look at them!