Tayrona national park (Photo: Julian Castro)

Colombia’s state council has ordered a tourist ban on spots in the northern Tayrona national park that are considered sacred by local indigenous tribes, reported news website CM&.

According to the ruling, authorities must first consult with four local indigenous tribes and agree to a compensation of damages before any tourist is allowed near the spots considered holy by the natives of the Sierra Nevada near the Caribbean city of Santa Marta.

The high court gave the National Parks agency 30 days to organize consultation meetings with the four indigenous tribes living in the area where the government allowed the country’s biggest tour operator, Aviatur, to begin ecotourism operations.

Additionally, the high court ordered the agency to conduct a census of sacred locations within the territory to avoid a further violation of indigenous rights.

Aviatur told CM& that it will wait for the results of the consultations and respect their outcome. The National Parks agency said it was still studying the verdict and will respond within days.

Parque Tayrona is one of Colombia’s most popular natural tourist destinations. Located along the Caribbean coast, the mountains are home to the Jate Teluma, Terugama, Jave Nakumake and Uleilaka tribes that are maintaining indigenous cultures that stem from the ancient Tairona people.

Tayrona National Park

Sources

  • Consejo de Estado limita explotación turística en el Parque Tayrona (CM&)

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