The Tayrona national park located on Colombia’s Caribbean Coast will be closed to tourists in November over ongoing drought and indigenous inhabitants’ complaints about tourists’ behavior.
Authorities were forced to close one of Colombia’s most popular tourist destinations located on the Caribbean coast, after the indigenous communities that inhabit the protected park complained that the hoards of visitors to the park has created “bad energies.”
Authorities additionally have said that ongoing drought caused by weather phenomenon El Niño has made the reserve vulnerable to wildfires.
The decision was made by the authorities under laws that protect the cultural identity and land of indigenous communities.
“Visitors will temporarily not be able to enter, so ecotourism providers to Tayrona National Park will have to find other alternatives,” said Colombia’s tourism ministry.
The park, located 21 miles from the city of Santa Marta, is a popular spot on the backpacker trail and a money-maker for tourism companies as it boasts paradise coast line, jungle trekking and the opportunity to sleep under the stars on the beach.
According to El Espectador newspaper, the month long closure will give the indigenous communities of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (Los Koguis, Arhuacos Arsarios and Kamkuamos) time to give the park a deep clean and carry out traditional rituals.
The indigenous locals say that they will clean the park of both negative energy and physical waste left by tourists, according to El Tiempo. Conscious efforts are made by tourist companies and tourist infrastructure to prevent littering and keep the park in good condition.
Tayrona National Park spans across 15,000 hectares along the Caribbean coast, and has four official entrances for tourists, who pay between $5 and around $13 to enter.
The resolution that was signed by the director general of the park states that only indigenous people will be able to stay inside the park’s periphery.
People who work in the tourism business will have to vacate the land, which according to El Espectador, will be an opportunity for them to visit relatives, as a vast majority spend large parts of the year stationed in the jungle, welcoming the millions of tourists that come from all over the world seeking a taste of paradise.