Sumapaz Paramo


Location: Cundinamarca Department Map

Area: 178,000 ha


Description of Sumaraz Paramo

Sumaraz Paramo or Páramo de Sumapaz is an unique biosphere located in a Altiplano Cundiboyacense mountain range in the Cundinamarca Department of Colombia.  Sumaraz Paramo covers a total area of over 178,000 hectares. The name of these mountainous grasslands is translated as "peaceful moorland" in Spanish.


The moor has an area of ​​333,420 hectares. It is one of the most important water sources in the country. Within its ecosystem inhabit bears of glasses, deer, eagles and condors, in addition to other species.

It houses a large number of lagoons, all of them of glacial origin. They include: lagoons of Boca Grande, Laguna de Chisacá, Laguna Larga, Laguna La Guitarra, Laguna El Cajón ,, Laguna del Nevado. Additionally, it houses one of the highest peaks near the capital of Cerro Nevado del Sumapaz with a height of 4306 m.

The Sumapaz wasteland was considered a place of love for the Muisca aborigines. It was associated with the sacred forces of creation and the origin of man, a domain where humans should not enter.

During the 16th century, German adventurer and conqueror Nikolaus Federmann led an expedition from the Plains, crossing the Sumapaz through the upper Ariari river basin, looking for the mythical treasure of El Dorado. The place was named by the Spanish "Country of the Mist" because of the dense clouds at the surface level, which generate a great decrease in visibility.

In 1783, José Celestino Mutis led the Botanical Expedition, with the purpose of studying the flora and fauna of the region. However, the moor was not visited due to its difficult climatic conditions. The naturalist Alexander Von Humboldt made the first description of the moor and local plants in 1801. He described the presence of glacial valleys and associated the characteristics of the region with those observed in alpine geomorphology.

During the early twentieth century, the Spanish naturalist José Cuatrecasas conducted important investigations of the moor. Other scientists who described and studied the Sumapaz moorland were the Colombian Ernesto Guhl who carried out a research of almost 3 decades on plant communities, and Thomas van der Hammen.