Bahía Portete – Kaurrele National Natural Park

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Bahía Portete – Kaurrele National Natural Park
PNN Bahía Portete – Kaurrele
Bahia hondita.JPG
Bahía Hondita, close to the park
Map showing the location of Bahía Portete – Kaurrele National Natural Park
Map showing the location of Bahía Portete – Kaurrele National Natural Park
 PNN Bahía Portete – Kaurrele
Location  Colombia
Nearest city Uribia
Coordinates 12°07′00″N 72°02′00″W / 12.11667°N 72.03333°W / 12.11667; -72.03333Coordinates: 12°07′00″N 72°02′00″W / 12.11667°N 72.03333°W / 12.11667; -72.03333[1]
Area 14,080 ha (54.4 sq mi)
Designation National Natural Park
Established 20 December 2014
Administrator SINAP
Official website

Bahía Portete – Kaurrele National Natural Park (Spanish: PNN Bahía Portete – Kaurrele) is a national natural park in Uribia, La Guajira, Colombia. The northernmost national park of mainland South America is located at the Caribbean coast of the La Guajira peninsula in Bahía Portete, between Cabo de la Vela and Punta Gallinas. Established on December 20, 2014, it is the most recently designated national park of the country. As of 2017, 59 nationally defined protected areas are incorporated in Colombia. The park hosts a high number of marine and terrestrial species.


Bahía Portete Park is located in the northern part of the municipality Uribia
Green pog.svg
Bahía Portete Park is located in the northern part of the municipality Uribia

Bahía Portete – Kaurrele National Natural Park, with an area of 14,080 hectares (34,800 acres), is located in the extreme north of Colombia, at the northern coast of La Guajira peninsula between Cabo de la Vela and Punta Gallinas, Colombia's mainland northernmost point. The park is within the boundaries of the municipality Uribia. The climate is hot and arid, due to the desert of La Guajira. Average temperatures range between 28 and 30 °C (82 and 86 °F). The coastal area is characterised by humidity caused by the inland winds.[2] The marine bay area has an average depth of 9 metres (30 ft), ranging from 3 to 20 metres (9.8 to 65.6 ft).[3]

At the Spanish conquest in the sixteenth century, the bay was known as El Portichuelo, an area where slaves were brought into Colonial Colombia. The sparsely populated area is inhabited by approximately 500 indigenous Wayuu.[1][4] On April 18, 2004, approximately forty paramilitaries tortured and assassinated six people, four of which were women. They burned various houses and dishonoured their cementaries. More than 600 Wayuu fled to Venezuela.[5]

Bahía Portete – Kaurrele National Natural Park was designated number 59 of the National Natural Parks of Colombia to protect the marine and littoral ecosystems of the La Guajira peninsula on December 20, 2014.[3] The declaration of the park as a protected area was initiated in 2003. The indigenous communities of the Wayuu, Kamushiwoü, Alijunao, Yariwanischi, Puerto Portete, Ian, Youlepa, Kayuuswaarraaloü and Punta Cosos Espacios contributed in the planning of the establishment of the protected area.[6][7] At the declaration of the park, president of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos said "Biodiversity is to Colombia, what oil is for the Arabs".[8] Mining and industrial fishing are prohibited.[9]


Crested caracara in La Guajira desert

Bahía Portete – Kaurrele Park comprises 25 species of reptiles and amphibians, relatively few mammals and marine fauna of 217 species have been registered in Bahía Portete.[10] The biodiversity of the park is rich in various other species.[11][12]


Name Species Image
nine-banded armadillo Dasypus novemcinctus
Armadillo-Florida-3000x2175 4.4MB-2009.jpg
southern long-nosed bat Leptonycteris curasoae
Southern long-nosed bat.jpg
red-tailed squirrel Sciurus granatensis splendidus
Sciurus granatensis - Weimar Meneses (6976842218).jpg
crab-eating fox Cerdocyon thous aquilus
Crab-eating Fox.JPG
white-lipped peccary Tayassu pecari
Tayassu pecari.jpg
brown hairy dwarf porcupine Coendou vestitus
American crocodile Crocodylus acutus
Large group of american crocodiles.jpg
green iguana Iguana iguana
Iguana iguana Portoviejo 04.jpg
rainbow whiptail Cnemidophorus lemniscatus
Rainbow Ameiva.jpg
brown vine snake Oxybelis aeneus
Brown Vinesnake (Oxybelis aeneus) (10598997254).jpg
South American rattlesnake Crotalus durissus
Crotalus durissus terrificus (1).JPG
green sea turtle Chelonia mydas
Green Sea Turtle grazing seagrass.jpg
loggerhead Caretta caretta
Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta) .jpg
hawksbill sea turtle Eretmochelys imbricata
Tortue imbriqueeld4.jpg
leatherback sea turtle Dermochelys coriacea
Leatherback sea turtle Tinglar, USVI (5839996547).jpg
olive ridley sea turtle Lepidochelys olivacea
Olive ridley hatchling in Mexico (8218893828).jpg
Mastigodryas pleei
Phimophis guianensis
Rivero's toad Bufo granulosus humboldti
Guayaquil dwarf frog Physalaemus pustulosos
American flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber
American flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber).JPG
anhinga Anhinga anhinga
Anhinga in tree.jpg
bicolored conebill Conirostrum bicolor
Bicolored Conebill (Conirostrum bicolor).jpg
brown pelican Pelecanus occidentalis carolinensis
Brown Pelican21K.jpg
cocoi heron Ardea cocoi
Cocoi Heron (Ardea cocoi) (28977964910).jpg
Crested caracara Caracara cheriway
Crested caracara perched on a cactus.jpg
magnificent frigatebird Fregata magnificens
Fregata magnificens1.jpg
maguari stork Euxenura maguari
Ciconia maguari San Miguel del Monte - crop.jpg
Neotropic cormorant Phalacrocorax brasilianus
Neotropic Cormorant, Cotúa Olivácea (Phalacrocorax brasilianus olivaceus).jpg
roseate spoonbill Platalea ajaja
Roseate spoonbill (Ajaia ajaja).JPG
scarlet ibis Eudocimus ruber
2016 Roter Ibis.JPG
American white ibis Eudocimus albus
American White IbisII.jpg
American yellow warbler Dendroica petechia chrysendeta
Wilson's plover Charadrius wilsonia
Wilson's Plover male RWD2.jpg
slender seahorse Hippocampus reidi
Hippocampus reidi brasil.jpeg
common snook Centropomus undecimalis
Centropomus undecimalis1.jpg
hogfish Lachnolaimus maximus
striped mojarra Eugerres plumieri
Eugerres plumieri SI.jpg
cubera snapper Lutjanus cyanopterus
lane snapper Lutjanus synagris
Lutjanus synagris.jpg
mutton snapper Lutjanus analis
Lutjanus analis SI2.jpg
red porgy Pagrus pagrus
Pagrus pagrus.jpg
itajara Epinephelus itajara
Epinephelus itajara.jpg
Nassau grouper Epinephelus striatus
3846 aquaimages.jpg
rainbow parrotfish Scarus guacamaia
Rainbow parrotfish.jpg
Atlantic tarpon Tarpon atlanticus
Megalops atlanticus.jpg
Atlantic wreckfish Polyprion americanus
Polyprion americanus.2 - Aquarium Finisterrae.JPG
bonefish Albula vulpes
Bonefish Albula vulpes.jpg
Tayrona blenny Emblemariopsis tayrona
Lebranche mullet Mugil liza
Cotuero toadfish Batrachoides manglae
crucifix sea catfish Arius proops
Jenny mojarra Eucinostomus gula
blue land crab Cardisoma guanhumi
Blue crab.jpeg
Caribbean spiny lobster Panulirus argus
Panulirus argus NOAA.jpg
Atlantic seabob Xiphopenaeus kroyeri
queen conch Strombus gigas
Sanc0493 - Flickr - NOAA Photo Library.jpg
mouse cowry Muracypraea mus
Cypraeidae - Muracyprea mus - Venezuela, Amway Bay.JPG
Atlantic triton Charonia variegata
magpie shell Cittarium pica
Cittarium pica 003.jpg
Cassis madagascariensis
Cassis madagascarensis 001.jpg
Haematopus palliatus
Penaeus notialis
Anachis coseli
Ancilla glabrata
Carpilus carallinus
Cassis flamea
Litopenaeus schmitti
Penaeus brasiliensis
Penaeus schmitti
red cushion sea star Oreaster reticulatus
spiny flower coral Mussa angulosa
Mussa angulosa.jpg
elkhorn coral Acropora palmata
Elkhorn coral.jpg
staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis
blushing star coral Stephanocoenia intersepta
Stephanosoenia michelinii 1.jpg


The coastal Bahía Portete Park is richer in flora than the surrounding desert. Common land plants are the cactus Opuntia wentiana and the mangrove tree Avicennia germinans.[13] Meadows of sea grasses of Thalassia testudinum and Syringodium are widely distributed in the marine portion of the park.[14][15]

Other protected areas in La Guajira[edit]

Los Flamencos Sanctuary, west of Bahía Portete in La Guajira

La Guajira contains eight protected areas, three national and five regional.[7]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Gutiérrez Moreno et al., 2008, p.191
  2. ^ (in Spanish) Bahía Portete – Colparques
  3. ^ a b (in Spanish) En esquina norte de la Guajira, Bahía Portete – Parques Nacionales Naturales de Colombia
  4. ^ (in Spanish) Nueva reserva de Bahía Portete aumenta áreas protegidas en el paísEl Espectador
  5. ^ (in Spanish) Bahía Portete, regalo de NavidadEl Espectador
  6. ^ (in Spanish) Parque Nacional Natural Bahía Portete – Kaurrele – Parques Nacionales Naturales de Colombia
  7. ^ a b (in Spanish) Bahía Portete: parque natural tiene aval wayuuEl Heraldo
  8. ^ (in Spanish) Nuevo Parque Nacional Natural de Colombia Bahía PorteteMinisterio de Ambiente, Colombia
  9. ^ (in Spanish) La bahía sagrada que se volvió parque nacionalEl Tiempo
  10. ^ (in Spanish) Biodiversidad Parque Nacional Natural Bahía Portete – Kaurrele
  11. ^ Gutiérrez Moreno et al., 2008, p.199
  12. ^ Díaz Pulido, 1997, p.138
  13. ^ Díaz Pulido, 1997, p.89
  14. ^ Díaz Pulido, 1997, p.48
  15. ^ Díaz Pulido, 1997, p.52