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Parques Nacionales

Stay Wild

Photo and words by Randy P. Martin // @randypmartin


National parks are one of my favorite things on the planet. Learning about their history, exploring them as much as possible, and crossing each one off my list are the most fun things I can think of. Last year I got to experience some of Colombia’s best preserved spaces when I visited a handful of their Parques Nacionales with my 35mm camera on my hip and a tent in my pack. 

Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona: This place is exactly why national parks exist. No development is taking place in this jungle paradise, which is still home to native tribes, howler monkeys, ocelots, sloths, and 40 different species of bats.

Frailejón plants start their spring bloom under the snow-capped peak of Pan de Azúcar.

After getting rained on and scrambling up an embankment in Chorro Aguabendita, the clouds cleared and two bright blue, glacially fed alpine lakes came into view. 

 

Parque Nacional Natural El Cocuy (The Bogeyman): Above the clouds at 15,000 feet without another single soul around. Don’t stand up too quickly or you might find yourself face first in the dirt at this high of an altitude.

 

 

Cocora Valley boasts the tallest palm trees in the world. Walking around under the 200-foot wax palms made me feel like I was on the set of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.