The Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta
LThe Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta
The Sierra is the birthplace of the Tayrona, the most monumental and unique indigenous civilization in the country. There live about 30,000 indigenous people of the Kogui, Arhuaco, Kankuamo and Wiwa (Arsarios) ethnic groups.
It is a mountainous mass isolated from the mountain range of the Andes, formed by batholes of the Jurassic, located to the north of the Republic of Colombia. It rises abruptly from the coasts of the Caribbean Sea and only 42 kilometers reaches a height of 5.775 meters in its snowy peaks, with an area of approximately 17,000 km.
It is the highest coastal mountain in the world, independent and isolated from the Andes by flat and semi-arid zones. Due to its size, latitudinal variation and tropical position, a wide variety of climates and ecosystems are found, being important from the hydrological and biological point of view, being the main water factory of the Colombian north coast. Half a dozen rivers descend from the heights. And the breeze blows commonly from the mainland to the sea, unlike what happens in most of the Colombian Caribbean, resulting in cooler nights.
The communities of Santa Marta and a half dozen other towns depend on the waters of its rivers, and the entire agricultural and livestock system in the region, producing bananas, rice, cotton and grains, in the departments of Magdalena, Cesar and La Guajira.
The Sierra is of extreme scientific curiosity from the geological, ecological and anthropological point of view.
The Government declared Natural Park a good portion of the territory of the same, half a height up.
The Sierra is territory of two great areas of Protection, subject to the authority of the natives.
It was the main seat of the Tayronas (Teyuna "Ciudad Perdida"), a civilization that developed at the beginning of the Christian era, reaching its highest cultural level between the fifth and sixteenth centuries, when they were annihilated after a long Fight against the Spaniards. They generated a high level of design and technology for the construction of villages and roads and intensively exploited agricultural terraces with artificial irrigation.
Its ceramic and gold-plated products achieved the greatest refinement. They were experts in gold and silver metallurgy. All the pieces of art were built to perfection. These artistic pieces gives us an understanding of his extensive knowledge of engineering and architecture. His mythology and high knowledge of the environmental conditions of his territory are the subject of extensive anthropological studies and are collected in many current traditions of Koguis and Arhuacos, Wiwa and Kankuama.