How to visit the birthplace of humanity

When visiting Columbia in South America, there are many interesting national parks to explore. Amacayacu National Park, Cocuy National Park, and Tayrona National Park are all natural points of interest in the country. Iguaque National Park, however, has one very unique feature that makes it a must-see stop on any trip to Columbia, as it is said to be the birthplace of humanity.

Iguaque National Park is located in Boyacá, about 142 miles away from Bogota. Having an elevation that ranges from 7,874 to 12,467 feet above sea level while covering 16,679 acres, you can imagine there is a lot to see. Whatever areas you decide to stop at, however, make sure to visit Iguaque Lake, located in the highest part of the mountain. According to the indigenous Muisca people, the sacred site is said to be the place where “mother Earth” (Bachué) emerged from the water carrying a baby boy in her arms. When the boy became a man, he populated the Earth before disappearing back into the lake as a snake. It is believed that a visit to Iguaque Lake cleanses the soul and purifies the spirit.

Want to make the pilgrimage yourself? To get to Iguaque National Park, you can go from Bogota to Villa de Leyva via Tunja. Once in Villa de Leyva, you can catch a bus to the park, and from there you will walk about a mile to the entrance to pay the fee. Because there is so much flora and fauna to discover, as well as hiking trails, there is an interpretative path in the beginning of the trek to help visitors understand the area. Keep following the path and you will to be taken to spiritual and historical site of Iguaque Lake.

Note: One thing visitors must be aware of is how important it is to leave early, as weather changes frequently in the area, posing the risk of hypothermia if the temperatures drop too low.