Los Estoraques Unique Natural Area is a protected
area with natural geologic formations in the Cordillera Oriental
mountain range in the Norte de Santander Department of Colombia. It
covers a total area of 562 km2 (217 sq mi).
Description The Los Estoraques Unique Natural
Area takes its name from a plant species called "Istoraque" (Styrax
guianensis), which is now non-existent in the area due to its
indiscriminate use for medicine and soaps.
In Los Estoraques
desert characteristics are observed product of an accelerated
erosion and a unique landscape beauty, for its millenary formations.
Wind and water have formed hundreds of geological forms, among which
columns, caves and countless pedestals stand out. To these forms,
popular wisdom has bequeathed several names among which stand out:
The cave of skeletons, the chalice, the ship, the lost city, the
path of the virgin, among others.
Near the park,
archaeological remains have been found such as urns, mummies, caves
with bones and petroglyphs, however they have not been attributed to
any particular culture.
Due to agricultural and hunting
activities, many plants and animals have been decimated to the point
that some species are no longer found in the area surrounding the
Location Los Estoraques is between 8 ° 13 'and 8 °
15' North and between 73 ° 14 'and 73 ° 16' West, fully included
within the department of Norte de Santander, under the jurisdiction
of the municipality of La Playa.
Its limits are, in the north
the Piritama and La Terneria streams, to the east the Playón river
and the Cenicero road, to the south the Alcantarilla ravine and the
La Honda and Las Tapias roads, and finally to the west the Caldo
Huevo, La Honda streams and Swamp
Weather The park's
climate is warm temperate, predominantly dry. This, added to the
lack of rain most of the year and at an average temperature of 22 °,
makes the vegetation semi-desert type. However, being within the
Eastern Cordillera there are also fogs that bring moisture to the
site and favor agriculture.
geology The area corresponds
to a part of the Ocaña batolith, with quite weathered rocks; It also
includes igneous rocks of granite and other types. There are also
metamorphite rocks of Paleozoic origin.
It should be noted
that there is almost no presence of lake sediments in the area. The
shape of the rocks is due to high weathering and erosion caused by
rain. Also the faults and tectonic movements have helped to form the
rock columns that we see today in Los Estoraques.
soils are poor or moderately evolved, which allows sparse
Hydrography The annual rainfall is about 870
mm, with a dry season from January to March. Evotranspiration (which
consists of the evaporation of soil water added to the transpiration
of plants) is twice that of precipitation, which causes a water
deficit for plants and causes that most of the streams have no flow
at times dry
The main basin is that of the Catatumbo River,
and Los Estoraques is watered by the La Media, La Vaca, Blanco
Volcano, Pantanillo, Caldo Huevo and Del Medio streams. Of all of
them, the Pantanillo and Del Medio streams have their birth in the