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SAJAMA NATIONAL PARK

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SAJAMA NATIONAL PARK

The pioneer National Park in Bolivian lands owes its name to a giant guest that plays with the clouds, and rest deeply in spite of the bustling "voices" of the birds and other animals that maraud through this charming place.

We speak about the Sajama volcano, the highest peak in Bolivia with 6,542 m.a.s.l. Without a doubt, the biggest attraction in the National Park that takes its name, because its figure seduces and enchants to any visitor that goes into this marvel of the nature.

In the surroundings of the imposing Sajama, there is a forest of Keñua, the tree that grows at the highest point in the world (5,200 m.a.s.l.). At the beginning of the last century, their wood was used limitlessly in the foundries and in the construction of the railroads.

To avoid the extinction of one of its favorite sons, the government decided to protect them by means of the creation, in 1939, of a National Park, with an extension of 100,223 hectares, located in the Sajama, Laguna, Cosapa, Caripe and Curahuara cantons of the district of Carangas, Sajama county, department of Oruro.

Since then, a beneficial campaign began in favor of the protection and care of the natural resources in Bolivia. So far, they have been created more than 30 protected areas in diverse regions of the country, but not all of them have been appropriately developed due to the lack of economic resources and poor tourist vision.

Flora and fauna

Among the most important rivers, we find: Sajama, Tomarapi and Esquillani and some of the lagoons of the area, numerous characteristic birds of the Andean fauna inhabit, some of them are the flamingos (parihuanas), ducks, gulls, the water hen and the Andean avoceta, among others.

It also covers coloful and beautiful animals that are in extinction danger. Among them, we have the suri (Pterocnemia pennata), the quirquincho (Chaetophractus nationi) and the vicuña (Vicugna vicugna), besides other South American camels, as the llama and the alpaca, domesticated since ancestral times and that today constitute the support of the economy in this part of the continent.

Besides, the forests of Keñua (Polylepis tarapacana), the bofedales with big yaretales and humid pastures are also imporant in the area.

Population

The population of this National Park resides in the small communities of Sajama and Caripe that are located in the skirts of the sleeping volcano; but, numerous farms are also observed; in those, circular housings are still built, following the traditional aymara techniques.

Most of the population that surrounds the area of the Sajama Park is dedicated to the breeding cattle of South American camels, particularly of Alpacas. They extract the wool and then use it for the production of very appreciated fabrics popular for their warming capacity, at the same time that they make beautiful handmade pieces.

Place of history and tradition. Sajama stores many archaeological vestiges of great cultural importance. Among them Chullperios or necropolis, pictography and pre Columbian ruins. In the near communities there are colonial churches of magnificent characteristic.

Region of the Andes that invites us to meditate about the importance of protecting and conserving the environment, in a world that is progressively destroying its natural wealth. The pioneer of the National Parks of Bolivia, welcomes you.

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