Cueva de los Guácharos

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This article is about a Colombian national park. For the similarly-named cave and national park in Monagas, Venezuela, see Cueva del Guácharo National Park .
Cueva de los Guacharos
IUCN category II (national park)
Location Departments of Huila and Caqueta, Colombia
Nearest city Florencia, Caqueta, Colombia
Coordinates 1°33′N 76°8′W / 1.550°N 76.133°W / 1.550; -76.133Coordinates: 1°33′N 76°8′W / 1.550°N 76.133°W / 1.550; -76.133
Area 90.78 km²
Established October 1960
Governing body SINAP

The Cueva de los Guácharos National Park (Spanish for cave of oilbirds), created in 1960, is the oldest of the 51 protected areas of Colombia. The park is located in the western face of the Colombian Eastern Andean Range (Cordillera Oriental) in the departments of Huila and Caquetá. It covers an area of 90 km2 corresponding to the karstic zones of the Magdalena and Caquetá Rivers.

The park is intended to protect the cloud forest and páramo ecosystems. This area hosts one of the last intact oak forests in the country (with the native oak species Quercus humboldtii (Bonpl.) and Trigonobalanus excelsa (Lozano, 1979)).

The park was named after the nocturnal guácharo bird (Steatornis caripensis, ordo Caprimulgiformes, family Steatornithidae), which lives in caves in the park.


Cueva de los Guacharos is located in Colombia
Cueva de los Guacharos
Cueva de los Guacharos
Cueva de los Guacharos (Colombia)
Spider monkeys (Ateles belzebuth)
Tapirus pinchaque

Research to determine the exact number of species in the area is inadequate for a complete statement. Some recorded species are:


Biodiversity in Cueva de los Guácharos
Species family common name range conservation status
Lagothrix lagotricha lugens (Humboldt) Cebidae/Atelinae churuco monkey High Amazon valley ?
Cebus apella (Linné) Cebidae/Cebinae corn monkey Andes\Amazonas ?
Ateles paniscus (Linné) (!) Cebidae/Atelinae marimonda mid and low Amazon valley (!) ? specie is maybe Ateles belzebuth
Mazama americana (Erxleben) Cervidae/Odocoileinae páramo deer Neotropic ?
Mazama rufina (Lesson) Cervidae/Odocoileinae páramo deer ? ?
Pudu mephistophiles (De Winton) Cervidae/Odocoileinae rabbit deer North andean: N Ecuador- S Colombia ?
Tapirus pinchaque (Roulin) Tapiridae páramo tapir North andean: N Ecuador- Colombia threatened


To date there are 296 registered species in the park.

Environmental issues[edit]

Settlements for agriculture and cattle cause problems as well as the timber industry and hunting in the park grounds. Illegal crops such as coca and opium poppy (heroin) are cultivated illegally in the park.


  • INDERENA, 1984. Colombia. Parques Nacionales. Fondo para la Protección del Medio Ambiente José Celestino Mutis. FEN Colombia. Bogotá. 264 pp.
  • Grzimek, Bernhard, 1979. Tierleben. Enzyklopädie des Tierreiches. Band 4-13 (Fische, Lurche, Kriechtiere, Vögel und Säugetiere). DTV. München. ISBN 3-423-03206-5

External links[edit]

  1. Parques Nacionales de Colombia-Parque Nacional Natural Cueva de Los Guácharos official website