The Unique Natural Area Los Estoraques is one of the smallest protected areas in Colombia.

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Área Natural Única Los Estoraques

Boyacá, Santander & Norte de Santander

This 6-sq-km protected area, one of Colombia's smallest, is an otherworldly delight of eroded and weathered brownstone rock formations sprouting skyward – columns, pedestals and caves – that have formed over time due to rainfall and tectonic shifts. If you use your imagination, it's vaguely reminiscent of Cappadocia (without all the folks living in fairy chimneys). The park is 350m north of where the pavement ends on Carrera 3.

At present the park is the subject of a dispute between the government and the local landowners and, if you ask the authorities, it is technically closed. However, you can still go in – one of the landowners runs a small kiosk by the access point and charges a small admission fee.

Guides are not obligatory but a few locals hang around working for tips only and can guide you on a walk through the area. Budget on paying around COP$20,000 per group for a short circuit and COP$30,000 for a longer tour. Beware of the snakes!

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Boyacá, Santander & Norte de Santander attractions

1. Mirador Santa Cruz

0.52 MILES

For a bird's-eye view of the pueblo and surrounding rock formations, head up to this lookout point above town, a straight 15-minute ascent east on Calle 4.