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SALINAS DE MANAURE SALT FLATS, GUAJIRA, COLOMBIA [2020]

Salt Flats of Manaure, Guajira, Colombia

The Salt Flats of Manaure, Guajira, Colombia, have a long history of conflict between the Wayuu and the government of Colombia about satl exploitation rights. In fact, Spanish explorer already that some indigenous people of the area traded salt for gold. In those day salt was a highly valued comodity. In 1777 the Spanish government ordered the administration of the Salt flats. During the 19th century salt at the Guajira peninsula was exploited in natural lagoons at Honda and Quebrada Bay, part of what is now the municipality of Manaure. In 1824 the government of Colombia declared the salt mines a national patrimony, thus setting salt prices. In the 1920s the government gave concessions to individual corporations to mine salt, which lasted until the 1940s, thus replacing traditional small scale winning. By 1948 salt production in Manaure was between 20,000 and 30,000 tons a year, which continued to grow to a million tons a year by 1970.

However, the Wayuu began to claim the area as their ancestral land and historical owners of Manaure. In 1991 the government of Colombia recognized the claim by the Wayuu and agreed to reorganize production and work conditions under a mixed economy.

 

Currently the proceeds are divided as follows: the Ministry of Development (51%) the indigenous Association "Sumain Ichi" (25%) and the municipality of Manaure (25%).

 

Why consider booking our Colombia National Parks Tour? Because for the same price, our tour gets you to ALL places for which Colombia is famous, and on top of that, you get to see 7 National Parks/Reserves accompanied by a naturalist guide. There is nothing similar on the market. As Colombia can be combined with other countries, we organize tours in modules: Bogota and surrounding Andes, Caribbean Coast and the Amazon of Ecuador; the latter for the Colombian Amazon still not being recommended for foreign visitors. Colombia is a very large country, so you need to fly. To do so at hardly any additional costs, you need to book both Bogota and Cartagena - and Quito if you want to include the Amazon module - in your international ticket.

Destinations Overview:  Bogota old town, Cartagena, Villa de Leyva Zipaguira Salt Mine Church, Chingaza Reserve, Iguaque National Park, Flamencos Reserve, Cienega Mangroves Reserve, Lake Fuquene, Tayrona National Park, Manaure Salt Flats.

 

SALINAS DE MANAURE SALT FLATS, GUAJIRA, COLOMBIA [2020]: SALINAS DE MANAURE SALT FLATS, GUAJIRA, COLOMBIA [2020]:

The salt company uses large man-made evaporation basins, in which salt is being pumped, left to concentrate and evaporate. Brine shrimps, Artemia, color them pink.

As the salt concentrates in the tanks it gets bulldozed on heaps after which it gets collected for transportation.

 

SALINAS DE MANAURE SALT FLATS, GUAJIRA, COLOMBIA [2020]: visitors come and visit the lagoons.SALINAS DE MANAURE SALT FLATS, GUAJIRA, COLOMBIA [2020]: Others tourists come to visit the area on their own.

Lined by low levies, increasingly, visitors come and visit the evaporation basins to learn about the salt exploitation process; sometimes in groups, while.....

Others come to visit the area on their own.

 

Gradually salt concentrates on the bottom of the lagoons and heaps are being collected to measure the thickness of the salt on the bottom.

 

SALINAS DE MANAURE SALT FLATS, GUAJIRA, COLOMBIA [2020]: A salt heap to determine the concentration process.SALINAS DE MANAURE SALT FLATS, GUAJIRA, COLOMBIA [2020]: An interesting phenomenon is the growth of small crustaceans that make the water turn pink.

A salt heap to determine the concentration process.

An interesting phenomenon is the growth of Artemia, or Brine Shrimp, small crustaceans that live in extremely salty conditions and make the water turn pink.

 

Visitors love to take their pictures in the bright environment of white salt and blue skies and pink lakes.

 

SALINAS DE MANAURE SALT FLATS, GUAJIRA, COLOMBIA [2020]: Tourists at a salt accumulation island.SALINAS DE MANAURE SALT FLATS, GUAJIRA, COLOMBIA [2020]: Tourist at a natural salt rising.

Tourists at a salt accumulation island.

Tourist at a natural salt rising.

 

While industrial mining predominates the exploitation, some individuals still continue to produce salt manually in small evaporation pools.

 

SALINAS DE MANAURE SALT FLATS, GUAJIRA, COLOMBIA [2020]: SALINAS DE MANAURE SALT FLATS, GUAJIRA, COLOMBIA [2020]:

Hand dough heaps dug by individuals for direct sales.

Small-scale production near a small dwelling at the entrance of the production plant.

Municipality of Manaure

Manaure itself is a small dormant village with a town square, a church a monument and a statue to honor the salt workers.

 

SALINAS DE MANAURE SALT FLATS, GUAJIRA, COLOMBIA [2020]: Manaure has a town plazaSALINAS DE MANAURE SALT FLATS, GUAJIRA, COLOMBIA [2020]: Manaure has a statue honoring the salt workers.SALINAS DE MANAURE SALT FLATS, GUAJIRA, COLOMBIA [2020]: Manaure has a town plaza, with a church

Just a dormant little town in the desert, Manaure has a town plaza, a church a monument and a statue honoring the salt workers.

Flamingos

An additional tourism attraction of the salt pans is a seasonal colony of flamingos, which at its peak, rises to about 1500 individuals. This may be the same group or part of the same group that spends a part of the year at the salt flats of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. The flamingos don't nest at the salt flats, but a part of them nests in the Fauna and Flora Sanctuary Flamencos.

 

SALINAS DE MANAURE SALT FLATS, GUAJIRA, COLOMBIA [2020]: Flamingoes flock at the lagoonsSALINAS DE MANAURE SALT FLATS, GUAJIRA, COLOMBIA [2020]: Flamingos at the Flamenco Santuary.

Brightly colored flamingos use the salt flats for filtering crustaceans from the saline water.

Part of the flamingos nest in the Fauna and Flora Sanctuary Flamencos.

 

Beach Tourism in Manaure

Tourism is the fastest growing economic activity for Manaure.

 

SALINAS DE MANAURE SALT FLATS, GUAJIRA, COLOMBIA [2020]:  Increasingly more important is the beach tourism, at Manaure beach particularly the kite surfing.SALINAS DE MANAURE SALT FLATS, GUAJIRA, COLOMBIA [2020]: Spending a lazy afternoon at a quiet beach near Manaure.

Increasingly more important is the beach tourism, at Manaure beach particularly the kite surfing.

Spending a lazy afternoon at a quiet beach near Manaure.

 

SALINAS DE MANAURE SALT FLATS, GUAJIRA, COLOMBIA [2020]: A little sand crab at the beach.

A little sand crab at the beach.

 

SALINAS DE MANAURE SALT FLATS, GUAJIRA, COLOMBIA

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Parks Man Dr. Daan Vreugdenhil is author of this website. He dedicated his life to the conservation of nature. https://www.facebook.com/DrDaanVreugdenhil, https://www.linkedin.com/in/drdaanvreugdenhil/. He was part of the team that selected the first 39 protected areas of Ecuador in the 1970s and he initiated the Cuyabeno Lodge in Ecuador's Amazon in 1985, making him one of the world's eco tourism pioneers. A speaker of 8 languages and having traveled to 80+ countries, Dr Daan Vreugdenhil has is one of the world's greatest connoisseurs of nature and national parks in the world. 

This website and its programs have been created by the renowned conservation biologist "Parks Man" Dr. Daan Vreugdenhil