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The Natural Environment


              A humpback whale comes up for air
Two examples of the abundance of rivers in an area that
is one of the rainiest places on earth.









Bahia Malaga contains an immense divirsity of flora and fauna, both terrestrial and aquatic, which supports the hypothesis that this is a Pleistocene Refuge, classifying the area as an ecological "Hotspot", thus making its conservation imperative. The bay is recognized worldwide as a destination spot for Humpback whales, which use its rich and calm waters for reproduction. The protected area is a result of coordination between the government agency Parques Nacionales Naturales de Colombia (Colombian National Parks) and the five community councils of La Plata, Ladrilleros, Juanchaco, La Barra, and Puerto Espano-Miramar.
The Bahia Malaga region is one of the wettest areas on Earth, with approximately 300 days of rain a year. It is rare to witness more than 20 days without rain. The majority of precipitation takes place at night and lasts till the early hours of morning.  Lightening storms are frequent, although short, and the humidity maintains levels of saturation at times higher than 80%.   Effectively, there is no dry season, only parts of the year with between 300 and 400 mm/month, with the rainiest season, between August and December, reaching up to 700 and 900 mm/month (Cienpacifico, 1986) This extreme amount of rain has a potent effect on the zone's hydrology, causing heavy drainage that, due to the steepness of the terrain, lead to very strong water flows. Most of these result in short canyons, which, with the exception of the larger rivers of Agujeros, Valencia, Luisico, el Morro, and La Sierpe, fall directly into the bay in the form of small waterfalls approximately 5 meters in height.
These canyons are equally effected by the sea, where the volume of water increases during high tide (Cienpacifico, 1986) Completing the hydraulic base of the region are the canyons of la Despensa, Juanchaquito and Arrastradero, and the Bongo, Bonquito, and San Juan rivers. Supported within this extensive system of estuaries is a large network of mangroves, whose health relies on the delicate balance of sea and fresh water in this tropical zone.
                                                                                                                                                                    Touring through the estuaries to a natural pool in the jungle
An example of the immense network of mangroves that exists around Bahía Málaga