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
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.
History 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
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.