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Cerros de Mavecure: Splendours of Colombia

In the heart of Colombia, in the department of Guainía, stand the majestic Cerros de Mavecure, geological formations that bear witness to the age of our planet. These mountains – the oldest in Colombia – are symbols of the region’s natural beauty and cultural diversity, offering a breathtaking spectacle and an unforgettable immersion in the local indigenous culture.

 

Guainía: Land of diversity and culture

Cerros de Mavecure (Crédit : Antonio Galvis)

Cerros de Mavecure (Credit: Antonio Galvis)

Located in the east of Colombia, the department of Guainía – land of great waters in the Yurí language – is a mosaic of Amazonian forests, mountains, rivers and plains. Bordered by the Venezuelan and Brazilian borders, this region is home to almost 30 indigenous communities, including the Puinave, Tukano, Curripaco and many others. These peoples, guardians of ancestral traditions, live in harmony with nature, practising agriculture, livestock farming, hunting and fishing.

 

The mountains: Windows on an ancient world

Indigenous Puinave (Credit: Francisco Contreras/ProColombia)

Indigenous Puinave (Credit: Francisco Contreras/ProColombia)

The Cerros de Mavecure are made up of three main mountains: Mavecure, Mono and Pajarito. The Cerro de Mavecure, accessible to hikers accompanied by a local guide, offers panoramic views of the surrounding jungle. Although the climb is demanding, the view from the summit is a priceless reward.

 

Experience authenticity at El Remanso

The El Remanso community, belonging to the Puinaves ethnic group, welcomes travellers at the foot of the Cerros de Mavecure. Staying here means immersing yourself in the local culture, sampling traditional dishes, discovering ancestral rites, learning about the history of ancient peoples and bathing in the peaceful Inirida river.

 

The petroglyphs of Guainía

Coco Viejo petroglyphs (D.R.)

Coco Viejo petroglyphs (D.R.)

The department of Guainía is also home to historical and cultural treasures. Among them, the petroglyphs of the Coco Viejo community stand out. These ancient engravings, carved in bas-relief on huge rocks, are silent witnesses to the ancestral cultures of the region. According to the oral tradition of the indigenous Curripacos who live here, these engraved symbols were languages left behind by the “antigüeros”, the pre-Columbian natives. These thousand-year-old drawings offer a fascinating insight into the lives, beliefs and traditions of the first inhabitants of Guainía.

 

Beyond the mountains, Guainía is full of natural and cultural wonders, including some must-see attractions:

Flor d'Inírida (Credit: Julio Duarte)

Flor d’Inírida (Credit: Julio Duarte)

Estrella Fluvial del Oriente: This is the confluence of the Inírida, Guaviare and Atabapo rivers, all of which flow into the mighty Río Orinoco. This site is renowned for its rich biodiversity and cultural significance.

Caño Sabana: This is a stream with red waters, where you can bathe and observe an astonishing natural phenomenon: the skin takes on hues ranging from yellow to orange.

In search of the Inírida flower: The symbol of the Guainía department, this endemic flower grows only in the region’s flooded savannahs of white sand.

Local wildlife: The biodiversity of the region is impressive. If you’re lucky, you might spot pink dolphins, giant otters, caimans and a multitude of birds.

 

The Cerros de Mavecure are more than just mountains; they are a living reflection of the Earth’s ancient history, a testament to Colombia’s rich culture and a sanctuary of biodiversity. Travelling through Guainía, you can’t help but marvel at the perfect symbiosis between man and nature, where traditions, landscapes and wildlife coexist in harmony. To visit this region is to experience the very essence of Colombia, where nature and culture intertwine to create an unforgettable experience.

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