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Santuario de Flora y Fauna Isla La Corota - National Park - Colombia

A woman, bewitched by jealousy, was made an island that to this day floats in the middle of Laguna de la Cocha. The fruit of her womb is the water that bathes her shores…or so legend tells us. This island was a sacred place for the Quillacinta and other indigenous nations. Today it embraces two sanctuaries: a nature one, Santuario de Flora y Fauna Isla La Carota, and a shrine to Our Lady of Lourdes.

The smallest of Colombia’s national parks, Santuario de Flora y Fauna Isla La Corota comprises only eight hectares (19.8 acres). A half-kilometer path leads up to the island’s highest point, at 2,839 meters (9,312 feet). Its ecosystem is low mountain humid forest, exhibiting a great diversity of birds, amphibians and vegetation. At least 32 species of fowl roost here, including pullets, turtledoves, hummingbirds, ducks, wood pigeons, wrens, finches, tanagers, blackbirds and sparrows.

Over 500 species of plants carpet the small island, amongst them fraillejón, motilón (Hieronima colombiana and others), encinos (Weinmannia spp.), majua (Tropaeolum tuberosum), anturios (Spathiphyllum), cancho (Brunellia tomentosa), paloerosa, sietecueros, tinto (Ilex spp.), cucharo (ironwood) and cerote (Hesperomeles spp.), as well as myrtle, alder, orchids, mosses and ferns.


National Park

Getting There

Take a boat from Vereda El Puerto (5 minutes, approximately $7).

Travel Tips:

The environment is quite sensitive. Do not stray off the path. Do not pick any flowers or plants. Take out all your trash.

A curious custom is 50 meters (165 feet) before the summit of the island, visitors will take off their shoes, watches and metal items and go hug the Wish Tree. Some claim to be healed of illnesses.

Price Description:

Entry $0.50

Travel Skills: None

Visit one of the family and community-run reservas naturales; go trout fishing.

By Lorraine Caputo

Upon re-declaring her independence at age 29, Lorraine Caputo packed her trusty Rocinante (so her knapsack's called) and began...

26 Sep 2011

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