Building peace in the minds of men and women

Cinturón Andino Biosphere Reserve, Colombia

The Cinturón Andino Biosphere Reserve is located at the Macizo Colombiano, in the Andean Chain in south Colombia. It comprises three National Parks: the Cueva de los Guacharos National Park, the Purace National Park and the Nevado del Huila National Park. The Cueva de los Guacharos National Park comprises complex and special geological formations and caves created by the Suazas River.

Designation date: 1979


Regional network:  Red de Comités y Reservas de Biosfera de Iberoamérica y el Caribe (IberoMAB) 

Ecosystem-based network:




    Surface : 175,300 ha

    • Core area(s):  175,300 ha
    • Buffer zone(s):  N/A
    • Transition zone(s):  N/A

    Location: 00°51' to 03°59'N; 75°16' to 77°22'W

    Administrative Authorities

    Jorge Eduardo Ceballos Betancur
    Calle 49 No 78ª-67
    Medellín, Colombia.

    Tel.: (57) (4) 4220883- 4220884


    Website ǀ Facebook ǀ Twitter



    Ecological Characteristics

    The relief is sloped, covered by humid and cloud forests. The biosphere reserve also includes the snowy peaks of the Nevado del Huila National Park that rises to a height of 5,750 meters above sea level.Vegetation ranges from sub hygrophyte to snow levels and includes cloud forest and high barren plains. The park is specially rich in birds, as the condor (Vultur gryphus) the Colombian national emblema, the real eagle (Accipiter collaris), and the danta (Tapirus pinchaque). The volcanic chain of Purace’s National Park includes seven craters, with sources of thermal waters, 30 lagoons and waterfalls and the Magdalena’s, Cauca’s and Caqueta’s river head as a fluvial star.



    Socio-Economic Characteristics

    Eight ethnic groups (Guambianos, Paeces, Yanconas, Kokonucos, Polindaras, Totares e Ingas) (2000), with their own culture and traditional practices, live in the Andean belt. Traditional, modern peasants, and ’colons‘ are engaged in different activities from agriculture practices to cattle grazing and also extraction of high-value timber, affecting the mountainous ecosystems. Destruction practices of ’illicit cultures‘ with herbicides provoke serious impacts on natural ecosystems, increasing social conflicts. Institutions, associations of indigenous peoples and peasants start to work jointly in regional planning efforts to manage sustainable agroecosystems, recuperate river basins, and implement indigenous ’life plans‘.

    Tourist attractions include visits to thermal and archeological sites, as well as volcanos and cascades.



    Back to Biosphere Reserves in Colombia
    Back to Biosphere Reserves in Latin America and the Caribbean
    Back to World Network of Biosphere Reserves

    Last updated: June 2019