We traveled south of Colombia, Specifically the Putumayo Department, to meet one of the most magical places in South America. There, near the city of Mocoa a beautiful natural place hides and wrapped in the mysterious halo of legends: the Churumbelo.
In fact, Churumbelo is the name of a mountain range that occupies more than 12.000 hectares of jungle. A green and thick labyrinth full of life through which numerous river courses run. This scenario is highly inspiring for anyone who has the happy idea of discovering it. Its remote and hidden corners are the ideal setting for myths and legends.
The legend that we are going to talk about today has very ancient origins, even before the arrival of the Spanish to the American continent. The truth is that this entire region was inhabited centuries ago by an ancient civilization related to the current tribe of the Ingas (not to be confused with the Incas), as witnessed by the numerous archaeological remains that extend throughout the area.
It is truly amazing that this legend has managed to travel back in time and reach us thanks to the oral tradition of the indigenous peoples of the Colombian jungle. This is what he tells us:
The treasure of Churumbelo
The entire Churumbelo region is full of waterfalls and waterfalls. Tourists, attracted by the beauty of the landscape and its natural wealth, come to many of them to enjoy a refreshing swim in its crystal clear waters. However, many are unaware that one of them hides a fabulous treasure.
In its fall, the Churumbelo waterfall, formed along the riverbed Ponchayaco river, forms a small lagoon surrounded by the dense forest. A heavenly landscape. It is said that deep down it hides a solid gold statue in the shape of a child. A valuable object that was perhaps thrown there to hide it from the greedy hands of the conquerors.
According to legend, the gods of the jungle have since taken care to keep this treasure away from the curious and looters. And they chose the waties For this task.
According to the old traditions of the indigenous peoples of the area, the Watis are spirits that inhabit the jungle. They are the ones who conjure up the heavy rains and violent gales that hit the area, making the forest an insurmountable green fortress. They are also the ones confuse explorers and adventurers with mirages and circling paths. Apparently, the Watíes are somewhat more benevolent with tourists, who let them approach the Churumbelo to enjoy the landscape.
Myth or Reality? It is difficult to say, but half seriously half joking there are many tourists who browse the lagoon in search of treasure during their visit to the waterfall, searching among the rocks and cavities in the terrain. Some claim to have seen golden sparkles underwater when the sun's rays hit it directly.
Naturally, no one has been able to find anything to date. Most likely, the Churumbelo treasure does not exist, but that is something that no one can assure with certainty.
Serranía de la Macarena Natural Park
El Churumbelo and its mysterious treasure of legend are within the limits of the Sierra de Macarena Natural Park, one of the many parks and natural reserves of the Colombian Amazon.
This park has its origins in the Biological reserve of La Macarena, instituted in 1948. This space encompassed the vast geological region of the Guiana Shield, with an approximate extension of 130 kilometers from east to west and about 30 kilometers from north to south.
The Sierra de La Macarena keeps inside a great variety of landscapes and ecosystems, from humid forests and flooded jungles to scrub areas and areas of Amazonian savanna. These landscapes are the habitat of innumerable plant and animal species, many of them endemic.
In addition to an exuberant and wild nature, in the Sierra de Macarena Natural Park there are also archeological sites very important in the basins of the Duda and Guayabero riversMysterious petroglyphs and pictograms have been unearthed there that are the testimony of the indigenous cultures that inhabited the area centuries ago.
Unfortunately, the memory and knowledge of many of these peoples have been lost forever. It is a pity, because perhaps they could clarify the details of the legend of the Churumbelo and its enigmatic and elusive gold figure.