Sanctuary of Fauna and Flora of Iguaque

The Sanctuary of Fauna and Flora of Iguaque, located in Colombia, is a remarkable natural area that holds both historical and ecological significance. This sanctuary preserves diverse fauna and flora, bearing testament to the coexistence of indigenous communities and nature’s ancient history.

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History of the Island

The Iguaque Sanctuary’s history is closely tied to the indigenous Muisca, who revered it as sacred land.

According to Muisca mythology, the Iguaque Lagoon is considered humanity’s birthplace. It’s where the goddess Bachué emerged, giving life to the first Muisca people.

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Location and Accessibility

The Iguaque Sanctuary lies in the Eastern Andes of Colombia, close to Villa de Leyva, forming a vital part of its natural landscape. Its proximity to this charming colonial town makes it an attractive destination for both local and international tourists. Covering about 6,750 hectares/16,680 acres, this sanctuary includes diverse ecosystems from high-altitude Andean forests to wetlands and páramo landscapes.

Accessing the sanctuary is relatively convenient. Visitors can reach Villa de Leyva from Bogotá by road, covering a distance of around 150 kms/93 miles. From Villa de Leyva, a guided tour arranged through Bnb Colombia Tours or a hike can lead visitors to the heart of the sanctuary, where the Iguaque lagoon lies.


Climate and Landscape

The climate and landscape of the sanctuary are characterized by their diversity and unique features. Due to its varied elevations, ranging from 2,800 – 3,800m/9,186 – 12,467’ above sea level, the sanctuary experiences different microclimates. This diversity supports a wide range of flora and fauna, making it an ecological hotspot.

The landscape shifts from lush forests of oak and other native trees to high-altitude paramo ecosystems, displayed by unique vegetation adapted to cold and windy conditions. Iguaque Lagoon itself is a stunning glacial relic, nestled amidst mountain peaks and surrounded by picturesque landscapes.


Indigenous People and Biodiversity

Indigenous communities have maintained a deep spiritual connection with Iguaque for centuries. The Muisca people, known for their intricate goldwork and advanced agricultural practices, inhabited this region long before the arrival of Spanish colonizers. Their cultural practices and close relationship with nature have left a lasting impact on the sanctuary’s significance.

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Why Tourists Should Visit

The Sanctuary of Fauna and Flora of Iguaque is a biodiversity hotspot, hosting numerous species of plants and animals, many of which are endemic or endangered. The sanctuary is home to various mammals, birds and amphibians, such as the spectacled bear, the Andean condor and the wax palm. This ecological richness makes the sanctuary an ideal destination for ecotourism and wildlife enthusiasts.

For tourists, visiting the sanctuary offers a unique opportunity to connect with nature, learn about the Muisca culture and engage in sustainable tourism practices. Guided hikes and interpretive tours with Bnb Colombia Tours provide insights into the ecological importance of the sanctuary and its historical significance to the Muisca people. Tourists can witness the transition from Andean forest to páramo landscapes and gain a deeper appreciation for the delicate balance between humans and nature.

Moreover, the sanctuary’s location near Villa de Leyva enhances its appeal. The town itself is renowned for its well-preserved colonial architecture, charming cobbled streets, and vibrant cultural scene. Visitors can combine their exploration of the sanctuary with a cultural immersion in the town, creating a comprehensive and enriching travel experience.


Highlights of Sanctuary of Fauna and Flora of Iguaque

Iguaque Sanctuary, steeped in history and indigenous ties, is a captivating ecological destination. Its diverse flora and fauna, near Villa de Leyva, attract nature and culture enthusiasts. Sustainable practices secure its beauty and historical value for future generations.


Like to create or customize a fantastico package tour of Colombia? Use our Plan My Trip page to start planning your dream Colombian vacation now!

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