Ethnotourism in Colombia, Indigenous Peoples of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in the Tourism Industry
Ethnotourism in Colombia

Ethnotourism in Colombia is so sustainable that in the specific case of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the indigenous people of the Wiwa ethnic group have developed a model of Indigenous Tourism in which excursions are made to native communities with indigenous guides. The Gotsezhy Refuge It is the Cultural Destination of the Wiwa, where they trained some indigenous people to handle travelers in their territories.

At present, all indigenous cultures, in one way or another, they have managed to preserve their culture and customs in the midst of that globalization that, over time, many have been gradually disappearing, either by acculturation, the imposition of religions and state pressure with an education promoted in the Castilian language or the internal conflict in Colombia, alien to the interests of those peoples.
Currently, Colombia is the leader in Latin America in terms of rights for indigenous peoples within their territories, this from the new constitution of 1991.

“The State recognizes and protects the ethnic and cultural diversity of the Colombian Nation.” Art. 7. Constitution of 1991. But it must be admitted that many of these rights are found on paper and not in daily life, which is why for many it has been a constitution on paper and that this reality is part of the historical abandonment of the State to indigenous peoples since ancient times unmemorable. Although, in the Colombian constitution of 1886, the indigenous peoples of Colombia were delegated to the churches to be subjected to a civilizing education and this implied indoctrination leaving aside the millinery practices, in the new constitution this reality changes a little, but even so there are many things to improve.
Now, with the immediate reality facing Colombia’s indigenous peoples, It is with the tourism industry, where large multinationals have hoarded sites that for these indigenous peoples have historically belonged to them, but now due to non-local economic interests, the same State has allowed them and given them attractive sites within these territories that by means of concessions have been allowed these processes. On the other hand, the indigenous peoples of Colombia own more than 30% of the national territory in which the same State recognizes these territories as a historical community construction through the Ministry of the Interior.

It’s not for more, no doubt Colombia has many of the riches that in no other part of the world can be found, only in this part of the planet we have a greater diversity of birds, frogs, also the Ethno-tourism, the country also has the best landscapes, stories and snow-capped mountains, the two oceans, the Atlantic and the Pacific, as well as the beaches.
But as we mentioned, these places also have a lot to do with the territories that still belong to some indigenous communities in the area, from Amazonas to the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and Guajira. It is of great importance that as these types of policies are created they can be taken into account at the National Tourism Plan to the leaders of the indigenous peoples who will be most impacted by tourism, to put the development and local economy of these peoples on the table.

Indigenous Operated Sustainable Travel Agency

The initiatives of the Wiwa community of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, in the Magdalena region, in the Guachaca basin, in the town of Gotzezhy, the idea of creating a Wiwa foundation, to support cultures in legal and social aspects, as well as to promote productive projects and support for education and health.
In 2007, when the Wiwa Foundation saw that tourist guiding in the Sierra Nevada was an activity that the indigenous people could clearly carry out, they bet on this sustainable project, since there is harmony between the indigenous people and Mother Nature.

The possibility of creating a company that could provide Real information about the indigenous peoples of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta to travelers who visited places of cultural interest, to guarantee the adventurer the best experience with the indigenous communities of the Sierra Nevada.
Thus, after an intense management and work with the indigenous authorities, in 2008 Wiwa Tours was formally born, a company unique in its sustainable characteristics in the tourism sector of the Caribbean and Colombia.
This company currently operates in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.

Since the creation of the company, foreign entities such as Aventure Colombia, of French origin, as well as the New York Times photographer, the French embassy in Colombia, as well as the London magazine The guardian have accompanied the company.
Currently, (2022) Wiwa Tours operates touristically with approximately 30 professional native indigenous guides between Kogui’s and Wiwa’s.
We are specialists in trekking through trails (Trek’s) guided by our professional indigenous guides in trekking through trails and cultural sites of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.
We have commercial alliances in La Guajira and very soon we will have the operation from Santa Marta to spectacular places such as Cabo de la Vela and Punta Gallinas.
For more than 10 years in the tourism market, we have acquired a lot of experience, since we take into account the opinion of all our travelers, in this time we have made a difference as a company that aims 100% at the sustainability and that supports indigenous communities, the community economy and the recovery of sacred and tourist areas within the territories and rearguards of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.

To date Wiwa Tour, has several agreements with international organizations and companies, we defined as part of our project to improve the basic conditions of local indigenous communities and aim at sustainable tourism.
It is in this way that Wiwa Tour integrates more than fifty (50) indigenous and peasant families to date. Now it is projected to improve all its services and create new paths for Colombian tourism, especially taking care of natural resources, indigenous peoples and ancestral and sacred territories.

We are currently working on new tourist destinations that we will soon bring to market for those who like to travel with indigenous guides, support local communities and enjoy the true cultural stories of the sites visited.

Although this travel agency was born in the Wiwa indigenous community, one of the native cultures of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, its work has been extended to the Kogui and Arhuaco communities through agreements to support the different commercial and tourism processes within the indigenous reserves. We also support the social processes of these peoples, participating with materials for internal meetings and supporting the quality of education for the new youth and leaders of the indigenous peoples of Colombia.
If you want to know in detail this great tourist project, you can travel and enjoy with the best travel agency in Santa Marta, Wiwa Tour and its outstanding destinations, you will surely feel in harmony with nature.

Did you like this article?
Well, help us share it so more travelers can get to know the Indigenous Travel Agency, Wiwa Tours.

Excursions to Lost City Colombia

hike to the lost city colombia
Book now 10%

Hike to the Lost City Colombia 6 days

In this new plan to the Lost City Tayrona, you will enjoy a unique and fascinating adventure for 6 days with indigenous guides, ✅ you will be part of a native community and you will have an ancestral journey through natural trails full of jungle
6 days
7/10, 8/10
lost city tour with indigenous wiwa guides
Book now 10%

Lost City Trek Colombia 4 Days

Why don't you challenge yourself by trekking through the jungles of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta with indigenous guides? It is a demanding but worthwhile experience. You will conquer the top of the ruins of the Tayrona settlements.
4 days


Leave a Reply