The National Parks office has moved to place restrictions on guests at one of Colombia’s most visited parks after reports of extensive harm caused by unregulated use.
The new controls include making visitors pay in advance to enter the park, limiting access to trails and camping areas, and prohibiting horse riding on park grounds. The park is located in the Andes mountains in the department of Boyaca.
The new regulations are thought to have been prompted by reporting in newspaper El Tiempo that denounced the environmental damage being caused to the park by uncontrolled tourism. Evidence of the degradation includes the shrinking of a glacier from 128 square kilometers to just 17, according to expert estimates.
There have already been some attempts to curtail the amount of visitors. For instance, non-Colombians must pay a higher fee of 49,000 pesos to enter the park.
The Cocuy covers a vast expanse of land, covering three departments close to the Venezuelan border. It was recently ranked as one of the most beautiful places in the world by The New York Times.