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World Heritage Site

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Los Katios National Park

Los Katios National Park
Photo provided by Jarek Pokrzywnicki

Los Katíos National Park is known for its high biodiversity and high regional endemism.

It lies in northwest Colombia and is contiguous to Darién National Park in Panama. Because of its location on the Darien isthmus, it filtered the interchange of flora and fauna between North and South America.

The park comprises two main regions:

- the mountains of the Serranía del Darién

- the floodplain of the Atrato river, with lowland swamp forests

Notable fauna species found in Los Katios include the giant anteater, tapir, jaguar, spectacled caiman and American manatee. More than 450 species of birds have been recorded.

Map of Los Katios National Park


  • Natural

Community Reviews

Jarek Pokrzywnicki Poland 05-Sep-15

Los Katios National Park by Jarek Pokrzywnicki

Visited November, 2011. Oficially off limits to foreign tourists due to security reasons but you can try to get permit in Turbo (NP headquarters). There is base for scientists in Sautata (access by boat only) - very basic standard but at least you are on National Park premises ....

Unoficial and the only possibility to see at least some parts of National Park without any permits is to take a boat Turbo-Riosucio and in Riosucio take collectivo back to Turbo via bumpy road (the same day). During your boat trip there will be a chance to see Los Katios from Atrato river

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Site Info

Full name: Los Katios National Park

Unesco ID: 711

Inscribed: 1994

Type: Natural

Criteria: 9   10  

Link: By Name By ID

Site History

  • 2015 - Removed from Danger list 
  • 2009 - In Danger "To help mobilize international support for the preservation of the property which is threatened by, notably, deforestation in areas inside and around the property due to the illegal extraction of timber"
  • 1994 - Inscribed 


The site has 1 locations.

  • Los Katios National Park


The site has 18 connections.



  • Crocodiles: American crocodile
  • Siraneans: West Indian manatee. "The manatee Trichechus manatus (V) has recently been found in the Ciénaga de Tumurado" AB
  • Rainforests: pre-montane tropical rainforest (UNEP-WCMC)
  • Tapirs: Baird's tapir
  • Sloths: brown-throated sloth, two-toed sloth
  • Anteaters: giant anteater, silky anteater, northern tamandua
  • Biological Corridor: Mesoamerican Biological Corridor Link



  • Early Pleistocene: Acted as a filter or barrier to the interchange of fauna between the Americas during the Tertiary and Pleistocene. lt is thought to be the site of a Pleistocene refuge, a hypothesis supported by the high proportion of endemic plants (AB ev)


WHS on Other Lists

World Heritage Process

  • Recommended for combination by AB: IUCN ev "The addition of Los Katios to the existing Darien National Park and World Heritage site will have several important benefits..... Los Katios should be added to the World Heritage List on the basis of criteria ii and iv and it should be inscribed as a transfrontier site with Panama's Darien National Park. " And the minuted decision: "The Committee inscribed this site, which adjoins Darien World Heritage site in Panama, and represents a rich biota comprising elements of both the North and the South America and is a centre of endemism for flora and fauna. The Committee commended both the Colombian and the Panamanian Governments for the bilateral cooperative management agreement and recommended that the two States Parties consider the inscription of the transfrontier site as a single entry on the List."
  • Former In Danger List sites: 2009 - 2015


1 community members have visited Los Katios National Park.