Farallones de Cali Natural National Park, the Land of the Tororoi Bailador

In west of the city of Cali you will find páramos, waterfalls, trails, mountains and rivers hidden in the  youngest rock formations of the Western Cordillera of the Andes: Farallones de Cali Natural National Park.

This protected area, distinguished by its majestic blue peaks that rise above a plain that separates the basins of the Pacific and the Cauca River, is recognized for its great natural wealth and therefore becomes a must-see destination when it comes to nature tourism in this region of the country.

Below you will get the information you need to enjoy and fall in love with the largest natural reserve in Valle del Cauca.

Discovering Farallones de Cali Natural National Park

Farallones de Cali National Park is located in southwestern Colombia, in the department of Valle del Cauca, between the municipalities of Cali, Jamundí, Dagua and Buenaventura, covering an area of 1,500 km².

The “farallones” are rock formations of about 20 million years ago, being the youngest of the Western Cordillera of the Andes, formed by the folding of the South American and Nazca tectonic plates.

The protected area is the largest in Valle del Cauca and allows the conservation of more than 540 bird species and more than 30 rivers that originate there. The rivers and streams that originate in this area are divided into two basins: the Cauca and Pacific basins, and supply the southwestern part of Colombia.

Pance Peak, Farallones de Cali National Park, CC Parques Nacionales Archives

The elevation gradient is between 200 and 4,100 meters above sea level, where the following ecosystems are present:

  • Tropical Rainforest (200 and 1,200 meters above sea level);
  • Humid Sub-Andean Forest (1,200 and 2,000 meters above sea level);
  • Humid High Andean Forest (2,000 and 3,500 meters above sea level) and
  • Páramo (above 3,500 meters above sea level).

Farallones de Cali NNP has the only paramo ecosystem in Colombia that does not have frailejones. However, the park is considered one of the richest in flora and fauna Colombia.

How to get to Farallones de Cali Natural National Park


Take a 145- minutes flight from El Dorado Bogotá (BOG) to Alfonso Bonilla Aragón International Airport (CLO) at Palmira city. Once at the airport, take an approximately 45- minutes ride to Pance at Centro de Educación Ambiental El Topacio.

What to do in Farallones de Cali NNP

Colombia’s National Natural Parks announced that as a contribution to the country’s economic reactivation and as a continuation of the reopening of protected areas with an ecotourism vocation, the Farallones de Cali National Natural Park reopened its doors so that visitors can enjoy its natural and cultural values.

Authorized sectors for entry

The organization, in charge of administering and managing the Natural Parks System and coordinating the National System of Protected Areas of Colombia, announced the following points that will be authorized for visitors:

  • Puesto de atención a visitantes el Topacio, located in Vereda el Topacio Corregimiento de Pance, Distrito de Cali, access to the attractive Pico de Loro.
  • Quebradahonda Visitor Service Station, located in the Quebradahonda Village, Corregimiento de los Andes, District of Cali, access to the Peñas Blancas attraction.
  • Km 81 Visitor Service Station, located in La Cascada, municipality of Dagua, access to the Cañón del Anchicayá attraction.

Schedules and measures to take into account

National Parks informed that visitors will be able to enjoy the protected area “in day trip mode” and it is important to follow the instructions of the park rangers, the National Police and members of the communities that provide ecotourism support.

The entrance hours are from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. and the departure time should be no later than 5:00 p.m.

Biosecurity protocols

At the same time, the entity highlighted the recommendations and biosecurity protocols, which have been developed given the pandemic situation and among which are: maintaining social distance, permanent use of masks and glycerin alcohol, as well as avoiding crowds.

Additionally, the tourist load capacity of each of the trails has been reduced to 30% for this reopening stage, and also police accompaniment is provided.

What to enjoy in Los Farallones?

In this protected area you can spot species such as the spectacled bear and the anteater, along with guans, chachalacas, parrots and eagles.

Los Farallones de Cali National Natural Park, located in the Western Cordillera of Colombia, allows visitors to enjoy relaxing landscapes, which are also home to marsupials and monkeys, as well as camping and hiking activities.


Hiking is an exciting activity in Farallones de Cali National Park. You can hike on 4 trails: Pico de Loro Trail; Burbujas Trail; Peñas Blancas Trail and Anchicayá Canyon.

  • Pico de Loro Trail: Starting point 1718 masl to 2860 masl arrival point. Difficulty level: Medium – High and maximum capacity of 50 people per day. (3 hours)
  • Burbujas Trail: Starting point 1676 masl to 1735 masl arrival point. Degree of difficulty: Low and maximum capacity of 267 people per day.
  • Peñas Blancas Trail: Starting point 1987 masl to 2886 masl arrival point. Degree of difficulty: Medium – High and maximum capacity of 50 people per day.
  • Anchicayá Canyon: It is a natural well with a depth of approximately 80 cm to 6 meters. Degree of difficulty: Low-Medium and maximum capacity of 200 people per day.


Tororoi Bailador. CC Diego Calderón (Colombia Birding)

The most representative birds of the park are the:

  • Long-wattled umbrellabird (Cephalopterus penduliger);
  • Multicolored Tanager (Chlorochrysa nitidissima);
  • Yellow-green tanager (Chlorospingus flavovirens);
  • Cauca guan (Penelope perspicax);
  • Andean Cock-of-the-rock (Rupicola peruviana);
  • Banded ground cuckoo (Neomorphus radiolosus); and,
  • Baudó guan (Penelope ortoni).

Land of the Tororoi Bailador, or the Dancing Grallaria

Species number 562 was named Tororoi Bailador, which was discovered in the Dagma conservation area, immersed in the Farallones de Cali National Natural Park.

Thus, the Tororoi Bailador is an endemic bird recorded in the park, and it is known to be present in five rural territories near the park.

Wildlife Tours

In Farallones de Cali NNP you can observe small bats up to pumas, in addition to panthers, ocelots, foxes and spectacled bears.

The amphibian community includes the Lehman’s poison dart frog, Oophaga lehmanni. Check our dart frogs tour here.

Orchids tours are also a very well developed activity to do in the park. Know more about orchids of Colombia in our entry The Richest Country in Orchids in the World: Colombia.

Where to stay in Farallones de Cali NNP

Thanks to the proximity of Farallones de Cali NNP with the city of Cali it is not necessary to stay overnight in the park.

We recommend you to stay in Cali, where there are plenty of nice hotels you can stay. Our recommendations for you are:

  • Hotel Casa del Hidalgo
  • Hotel Dann Carton Cali
  • Cali Marriot Hotel

Best time to visit Farallones de Cali NNP

We recommend that you visit the park during the 2 dry seasons, between the months of January and March, and between July and August.

Keep in mind that Farallones de Cali NNP has an average temperature of 25º C (77º F) in most of the marked trails but in the summits it has a temperature of 5º C (41º F).

Farallones de Cali NNP Entrance fees

Farallones de Cali NNP does not currently charge admission to visitors.

What to consider before visiting Farallones de Cali NNP

  • The park currently has regulated access, so you must request access to the following email farallones@parquesnacionales.gov.co.
  • The hours of entry and permanence of the trails allowed in the park are:
    • Pico de Loro Trail: Entrance from 6 am to 8 am; departure 4 pm maximum;
    • Burbujas – Pance: Entrance from 6 am to 5 pm;
    • Peñas Blancas Trail: Entrance from 6 am to 8 am; departure 4 pm maximum;
    • Anchicayá Canyon: stay from 7 am to 5 pm.
    • The Pico Pance trail is currently restricted because it is in an intangible zone.
  • The entry of pets or domestic animals is prohibited.
  • The use of flash when taking photographs is prohibited.
  • Use of binoculars to watch animals’ behavior is recommended.
  • Bring along valid identification documents and health insurance.
  • It is recommended to be vaccinated against yellow fever and tetanus.
  • If you take specific medications, take them with you a personal first aid kit.

Some prohibitions

Feeding, bothering or hunting animals, alcoholic drinks and drugs, throwing cigarette butts, burning garbage, felling, and capturing wildlife.

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  • Colparques
About the authors

Sara Colmenares

The current director of Sula. Doctor in Biological Sciences. Her main interests are to explore and understand the organism-environment interactions, taking advantage of emerging knowledge for the management and conservation of species and ecosystem services. She is currently working as a consultant in functional ecology, ecosystem services, and conservation projects in Colombia related to ecotourism and birdwatching.

Luisa Martin

Engineer, world traveler, amateur photographer, traveling blogger, and foody.

The Richest Country in Orchids in the World: Colombia

Did you know that Colombia is very rich in orchids? Not only it is very rich, but it is the richest country in the world in orchids with 274 genera, and 4270 species. Of these, around 1572 species of orchids are unique and exclusive to Colombia. However, this is a small number.

Epidendrum melinanthum Schltr.

Given their size and taxonomic complexity, it is difficult to have an accurate estimate of the number of species of orchids that exist not only in Colombia, but in the entire world.

Some botanists estimate that there are between 15,000 and 22,500 species of orchids, while others consider that there are as many as 30,000 to 35,000 species of orchids in the world.

Orchids in Colombia

In Colombia, each natural region has its own richness and diversity of orchids: 2542 species in the Andes, 533 species in the Pacific, 143 species in the Orinoco, and around 130 species distributed between the Amazon and the Colombian Caribbean regions.

Find out more at http://www.magiasalvaje.org/

Additionally, Colombia’s 42 National Natural Parks have 819 orchid species, representing a quarter of the total registered in the country.

Among the national natural parks of Colombia, the greatest representation of the total endemic and threatened species of orchids is found in the: National Park Las Orquídeas in Antioquia, Tatamá in Risaralda, Los Farallones de Cali in Valle del Cauca, Puracé in Cauca, Chingaza in Cundinamarca, and Munchique in Cauca.

Moreover, the departments (Colombian states) with the largest number of orchid species are Antioquia, Chocó, Cundinamarca, Cauca, and Valle del Cauca.

Finca Romelia Colors of Life

Endemic Orchids of Colombia

In Colombia, 36.8% of the country’s total orchid species are endemic. Most of the endemic species are distributed in very few genera, as about half belong to only five genera.

Thus, Lepanthes, with 239 species, is the orchid genus with more endemism in Colombia, grouping 15% of the species in this category. Other genera with high richness of endemic species are Epidendrum (186 spp.), Stelis (114 spp.), Pleurothallis (106 spp.), and Masdevallia (99 spp.).

The Andean region is the area with the highest number of endemic orchid species in the country with a total of 944, representing 78% of the endemic species registered for Colombia. It is followed by the Pacific region with 98. The Orinoco region has the fewest orchids native to Colombia with 15 species.

Why are there so many Orchids in Colombia?

The high diversity of orchids found in Colombia is attributed to the great variety of habitats generated by Colombia’s broken and discontinuous topography, which gives rise to strong altitudinal and climatic gradients.

As incredible as it may seem, in Colombia it is possible to find trees that can hold more orchid species than an entire forest in a country with seasons.

On the other hand, the genera with the most orchid species in Colombia are Epidendrum, Lepanthes, Stelis, and Pleurothallis.

Importance of Orchids

The orchid family (Orchidaceae), is permanently admired for its colors, smells, shapes, textures, and sizes. Also, for their beauty, their uses, the way they grow, and the contribution they make to the ecosystems.

Ornamental, medicinal, edible, aromatic, aphrodisiac, and ritual uses are some of the best-known use options for orchids since ancient times. In addition, they also play a key ecological role in the functioning of ecosystems as well as an indicator of their state of conservation.

Cattleya trianae. This flower can be seen at Hacienda Combia. Ph. ©Mario Carvajal – Flickr

As a curious fact, and even without knowing the importance of orchids for the country’s biodiversity, in 1936 the Cattleya trianae (endangered) orchid was named Colombia’s national flower emblem.

Also, notable Colombian architects have used these plants as an important element in their works.

Curious Facts about Orchids

  1. Orchids can be terrestrial, and they can also grow on many types of substrates. Most are epiphytes, meaning that they grow on trees or other structures such as power lines, telephone lines, or roofs.
  2. It is estimated that 93% of tropical orchid species are epiphytes and that many of the terrestrial species grow in lowland forest areas, which are characterized by less illuminated environments, higher humidity, and soils rich in organic matter.
  3. The orchids present in their roots a specialization known as “velamen”. This structure works like a sponge, allowing the plant to quickly absorb moisture from the environment. For this reason, the roots of the orchids remain almost always uncovered, looking for good aeration.
  4. The variety in sizes, shapes, colors, and aromas of its flowers respond to its close relationship with pollinators, thus ensuring the loyalty of its visitors.
  5. Its fruit is a capsule that opens naturally and exposes thousands of seeds that are dispersed in the wind.
  6. The seeds can also withstand long periods of freezing and drought without losing their germination capacity.
  7. Most orchid roots have a strong relationship with fungi (mycorrhizae), which is fundamental for seed germination and nutrient absorption.
  8. Rare orchids are worth more than gold worldwide. It is estimated that the global orchid trade is worth at least $6 billion.
Miniature Orchid at Finca Romelia Colors of Life

Where to find Orchids in Colombia


There are many orchid farmers in Colombia. The main orchid crops are in Antioquia, Boyacá, Caldas, Cauca, Cundinamarca, Huila, Putumayo, Quindío, Risaralda and Valle del Cauca.

Orchids Fairs and Shows

There are also many events such as exhibitions and fairs. The main ones are the Orchid Show in Medellin, during the Flower Fair, and held at the Medellin’s Botanical Garden.

The second event is the Annual National Orchid Exposition at the José Celestino Mutis Botanical Garden in Bogotá.

Orchids Tours

Some of the destinations where you can do orchid tours in Colombia are:

Finca Romelia Colors of Life

Discover the amazing beauty of orchids and at the same time, the biodiversity of a unique destination like Colombia. Book your trip with us!


About the author

Sara Colmenares

Current director of Sula. Doctor in Biological Sciences. Her main interests are to explore and understand the organism – environment interactions, taking advantage of emerging knowledge for the management and conservation of species and ecosystem services. She is currently working as a consultant in functional ecology, ecosystem services and conservation projects in Colombia related to ecotourism and birdwatching.