East of Bogotá is a high range of mountains, the northern end of the Andes. In them are two national parts, Sumapaz Páramo and Chingaza. Together they preserve two huge stretches of Alpine tundra, one of the world's rarest ecosystems.
The locals call this terrain Páramo, It is cold, wet, cloudy, and harsh.
I didn't at first understand what I was looking at because of all the plants that look like desert succulents.
But this is a wet, wet place; one reason so much of it has been protected is that it provides most of the water for Bogotá and many other communities downstream. The foliage is tough for protection against cold, thin air, not drought.
These parks are home to hundreds of species of rare plants. Of course, to see most of them you would have to hike in at the rainiest part of the year. But people do.
Besides the plants there are also lots of animals, including spectacled bears. And lots of deer; to judge from tourists' photographs, almost as many as my neighborhood in Maryland.
Both parks are popular hiking spots, so much so that you need a reservation to enter. But they're so close to Bogotá that they're easy to reach and lots of companies offer guided hikes. And what a place this would be to see.
"And lots of deer; to judge from tourists' photographs, almost as many as my neighborhood in Maryland."
The Captree/Fire Island area of southern Long Island along the ocean too.
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