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Santuario de Flora y Fauna Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta - Other Activity Ciénaga - Colombia

Santuario de Flora y Fauna Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta is a mangrove eco-system comprised of 23,000 hectares within the deltas of the Río Magdalena and rivers streaming from the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Created in 1977, it was declared a Ramsar site in 1998 and a UNESCO Human and Biosphere Reserve in 2000. The reserve lies on the southern and eastern shores of the main lagoon.

This mangrove ecosystem, almost totally destroyed by the Troncal del Caribe highway’s construction which cut off its connection with the sea, is undergoing recuperation efforts.

Its swamps are refuge for mangrove fox (Procyon lotor), several types of monkeys (Alouatta seniculus, Cebus albifrons), capybara (Hydrochaerys hydrochaeris), manati, babillas (Caiman crocodilus fuscus) and caiman (Crocodilus acutus), boas, rattlesnakes and slider turtles (Trachemys scripta). Thanks to conservation efforts, once more it is becoming a haven for flamingos and other waterfowl and a bird watcher’s heaven.

A hiking path heads into the Ciénaga at Los Cocos (Km 12 via Barranquilla-Ciénaga). The national park service is working with the community at Villa Parque Isla de Salamanca to provide lodging and other tourism services. For more information about the Santuario de Flora y Fauna Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta, stop by the national park office in Santa Marta (Calle 17, 4-06. Tel: 423-0752).

Ciénaga, Colombia

Other Activity Types:
Wildlife refuge, Natural park

Getting There

From Santa Marta or Barranquilla, travel as far as the Puente de la Barra, where you can hire a privately operated boat to take you south through the Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta to the mouth of the Río Fundación and the El Jobo canal. You may also reach the Santuario from Fundación and Pivijay in the south, arriving at Las Casitas and continuing by boat through the El Condazo canal eastward to the ranger office. This route is only recommended to those who know the area well.

Travel Tips:

At El Jobo and La Conda are upper-scale cabins. Due to the swampy nature of the ground, camping is impossible anywhere else. The abundance of mosquitoes makes sleeping in hammock difficult.

Relative price: Mid-Range

Open Hours from:Dawn

Open Hours to:Dusk

Travel Skills: None

You Need to Bring:

Take binoculars, hat, sunscreen, insect repellant; water, snacks.

The town of Ciénaga and the Aguas Termales de Ciénaga; Aracataca, the original Macondo; museums, beaches and different water sports in Santa Marta, El Rodadero and Taganga; Tayrona and Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta national parks.

Currencies accepted
Colombian Peso

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