Los Katios National Park in Darien Gap – Colombia

The Los Katios National Park is one of the finest nature reserves in Colombia. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is highly regarded for its diverse wildlife.

Location and How to Get to This Specific Site

The park is situated to the northwest of the country. It is to the north of the Choco Department between the Atrato River and the Panama frontier. It can be reached by public transportation.

What to See There

The park features a wide variety of animals and vegetation. The grey-headed chachalaca Ortalis cinereiceps and mouse Heteromys desmarestianus are in the park. You will also see some rufous-cheeked hummingbirds, violet-capped hummingbirds and over 450 types of birds.

25% of all Colombian birds can be found in the Los Katios National Park. There are also 550 types of vertebrae in the park. Several types of endangered species are kept in the area.


In 1974, the executive order to establish the park was released. That same year, the regulations concerning the park’s creation was set up. In 1980, the size of the site was expanded from 52,000 hectares to 72,000 hectares.

Through the years, different types of animals would be discovered in the site. In 1884, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today, all the land is government property. The whole area used to be inhabited by the Cunas indigenous group, but fled due to tribal wars.


When traveling in the country, keep in mind that there are several toll crossing. The fee is around $3. The bus fares vary, but they usually cost no more than a few dollars.

Other Info

About 50% of the park is covered by lowland swamp forests. The Atraro wetlands are full of diverse plants and vegetation. Over 660 plant species are found in the site, about 25% of which are endemic. The park goes beyond the Serrania del Darien foothills and undulates.

The Darien Mountains make up half the park. The eastern portion is comprised of the Atrato river floodplain. This area is characterized by 250 m high hills.

The Atrato River dispenses 4,800 cubic meters of water into the Caribbean per second. This makes it the fastest flowing river on the planet. The annual rainfall average is 2,000 to 4,500 millimeters (mm).

The average temperature of the Los Katios National Park is 27 C. The humidity is around 75% to 95%. The driest months are from December to March.