Darien National Park World Heritage Site
Parc national du Darien, Panama
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Darién National Park (Spanish: Parque Nacional Darién) is a world heritage site in Panama. It is about 325 kilometers from Panama City, and is the most extensive of all national parks of Panama and is one of the most important world heritage sites in Central America.
The Darién National Park is a natural bridge spanning the two Americas.
In 1972 an area of 700,000 hectares (7,000 km2) became part of the Alto Darién Protection Forest. In 1980 the area was declared a National Park. In 1983 an area of 859,333 ha (8,593.33 km2) became a UNESCO biosphere reserve. The park covers 5,790 km2 (579,000 ha).
It is located in southernmost Panama in Darién province and its southern boundary extends along 90% of the Panama Colombian border. It lies between the Serranía del Darién range, which parallels the Caribbean Sea 16 km to the northeast, and the Pacific Ocean coast. It is adjacent to the Los Katios National Park in Colombia.
The Darien National Park has a myriad of habitats, ranging from rocky coastlines to sandy beaches to mangroves. The park also has expansive swamps and large areas of tropical forests.
Its most common species include macaw, parrot, and tapirs. The harpy eagle also calls this national park home. It is noted for its incredible genetic value. The park is home to regional endemic species and some that are so rare and endangered that they are on the IUCN Red List. These species include the Spotted Paca, Guatemalan Black Howler, Night Monkey, Black-headed Spider Monkey, Central American Agouti, American Crocodile and the Capybara.
The park is one of the few examples remaining in the world of a protected area inhabited by humans. To this day two Indian tribes dwell in the park.
Visitors will usually fly into El Real, the closest town to the park.
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