Photo: Louis Vest

The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is one of South America’s great natural wonders, and highest coastal mountain range in the world, rising from the sandy beaches of Tayrona National Park to snowcapped peaks of its highest elevations: Pico Colón (5,775 mts a.s.l) and Pico Bolívar (5,730 mts a.s.l).

Home to the indigenous communities of Arhuacos, Kogi, Wiwa and Kankuamo, the Sierra Nevada has been the protagonist of documentaries, location for film crews, and for research on the impact of climate change on a unique ecosystem referred to as “El Corazón del Mundo” – Heart of the World.

The Sierra Nevada also covets the Lost City – Ciudad Perdida – a terraced settlement of the Teyuna civilization that dates back 2,000 years and among the best preserved archaeological sites in the Americas, rivaled by Machu Picchu (Peru), Tikal (Guatemala) and Chichen Itza (Mexico). In 1979, UNESCO declared the mountain’s two parks – Tayrona and Sierra Nevada a Biosphere Reserve of Man and Humanity.