PNN La Paya

PNN La Paya

La Paya National Natural Park

La Paya National Natural Park is located in the department of Putumayo, within the jurisdicion of the Puerto Leguizamo municipality.  This protected area was named after one of its most emblematic sites, the 300-hectare La Apaya Lake wetlands.  The park’s 422,000 hectares consists of water, forests, marshes and various other ecosystems that are no longer found elsewhere in Putumayo, in great part due to colonization and of the territory. 

This park is one of the most important places for Amazonic species, due to its geological history and the presence of various endemisms.  While there are no up-to-date inventories of the different groups 84 fish species, 9 amphibian species, 17 reptile species, 291 bird species, and 58 mammals have been found in the area. 
In La Paya, the primary ecosystems have great potential regarding their richness in species.  The park also includes secondary forests that have been generated by large-scale human interventions (logging, razing, slashing and burning) in the natural forest.  The parks area includes a varied water system consisting of large rivers of Andean origin (Caquetá and Putumayo), the Amazon (Caucaya, Sencella and Mecaya), and major lagoon systems.

To the north, the park is bordered by the Mecaya and Simple rivers, which are tributaries of the Caquetá River. To the south, it is bordered by the Putumayo River, which in turn receives water from small streams and creeks and rivers such as the Caucaya, which runs along nearly the entire length of entire park. La Apaya (or La Paya) Lake occupies 3,000 hectares and is an essential part of the Park's water system.

At the moment, the priority activities in La Paya Park are the research and conservation of the original vegetation cover of its tropical rainforest.  The park has identified several types of these forests: primary interventions, early secondary stage such as abandoned pastures whose ecosystems have begun their natural recovery processes, and varzea forests that flood periodically during the year.

One of the most important aspects of the zone is its cultural diversity.  Diverese indigenous communities inhabit the areas surrounding La Paya Park.