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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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.
Feeding, bothering or hunting animals, alcoholic drinks and drugs, throwing cigarette butts, burning garbage, felling, and capturing wildlife.
- Parques Nacionales
About the authors
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.
Engineer, world traveler, amateur photographer, traveling blogger, and foody.