Gorgona: an island steeped in history and natural wonders

Friday, August 15, 2014

From the air, Gorgona is shaped like a whale. Seeing it from a distance looks as blue as the sea itself that custody. At other times the thick forest green colors of the Colombian Pacific island surrounded by endless deserted beaches where it's easy to tune out the world and surrender to the will of nature.

To reach Gorgona must travel from Cali to Guapi, in the department of Cauca, and then take a boat up the beach of El Poblado, in the western part, after just over an hour and a half trip between waves and pelicans.

Luis Jimenez, Administrative Technician National Park which is this island, which was declared a World Heritage Site in 1984, has here two of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world meet: coral reefs and rainforest directly húmeda.Saltamos the sand and the first surprise is thick and dense forest that covers the island almost completely. No pier. Which was accidentally dropped him years a Navy ship; he never rose again and now sits on the seabed near the coral reef.

Lucho, as they say, speaks of more than 800 humpback whales that come between June and November in a long journey of over 8,000 kilometers from Antarctica to mate; dolphin jumping at the sight of tourists and whale shark, the largest fish that exists and that you can dive in these waters.

En Gorgona habitan varias especies de reptiles.In Gorgona various species of reptiles.

In Gorgona also live sloth bear, endemic species like blue lizard and freshwater crayfish, the white-faced monkey, the bird nest and five of the eight species of turtles in the world and come to spawn beaches like Palmeras, the most beautiful of the island.

Whoever comes here should know that is in a natural sanctuary and be willing to comply with strict rules: forbidden alcohol, loud music, shows species, shells, stones or plant material. It is mandatory to walk the trails with rubber boots and if it is night, do not forget the flashlight to avoid accidents.

A trip to the past

Worth who knows some piece of your history. This has not always been an island lost somewhere in the Colombian Pacific.

Inhabited since the thirteenth century BC, was discovered in 1524 by the Spanish Diego Almagro, who named San Felipe; years later, the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro also rested on its beaches after their campaigns in Peru and named Gorgona; He called because he remembered the mythological and ruthless female monster after poisonous snakes found to tread these lands had just over half of his entourage. Those are just a couple of data.
En Gorgona conservan algunos artículos de la cárcel que funcionó allí. In Gorgona retain some items of jail that worked there.

For years it was a refuge for pirates until Simon Bolivar gave it to his aide, Eliseo Payan; In 1965, then-President Alberto Lleras expropriated the island and ordered up there one maximum security prison with the planes of an extermination camp, inspired by the dreaded prisons of the era: the 'Diablo', in French Guyana and Italian Helena. The Gorgona prison, as it was known, operated until 1984.

"Oh, ye who enter, leave all hope!" Reads a sign at the entrance to the remainder of this prison hell that nature is recovering in its wisdom. Among the ruins of the penal nursing is where Dr. Bernardo Ocejo "performed surgery and amputations head with a saw and a knife." The site is scary.Somebody get me out of here, please! I want to forget this nightmare going through horrific punishment cells, tiny wooden bunks without mattress or pillow and common view of all visitors latrines.

On 25 June 1984 the prison of Gorgona was closed under the government of Belisario Betancur after pressure from several associations of defenders of human rights and environmental organizations.
Gorgona es un paraíso ubicado entre la selva y el Pacífico colombianoGorgona is a haven nestled between the jungle and the Colombian Pacific

After this trip to the dark past of the island with just contemplating the landscape recovers breath. Gorgona is one of the best places in the Colombian Pacific scuba diving. What a wonderful swim among snappers, jacks, goat, flute, predatory fish, eels, starfish and all types of reef fish. Those who prefer to snorkel can walk, always accompanied by a guide to the Aquarium, the only coral beach open to the public.

Gorgon has an area of ​​24 square kilometers, a relative humidity of 90 percent and 85 percent of its territory is covered by thick and deep jungle. And it is after Chocó site rainiest in the world. So much water falls in winter 75 streams of pure, clear water irrigate the island. Also we are lucky in a destination that remains calm, without hordes of tourists. A place no one wants to say goodbye.
Los pelícanos en su vuelo, una postal típica de Gorgona.Pelicans in flight, a typical postcard Gorgona.

How come?

Satena fly from Cali to Guapí Mondays and Fridays. From there you go by speed boat to Gorgona on a journey of an hour and half. Another option is to Buenaventura (12 hours by bus from Bogota) and there board a vessel of goods and 12 hours of sailing. Aviatur has several hosting packages.

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