This Sunday we went with one of the 16 walking groups in Bucaramanga through the Cañon de las Iguanas (Canyon of the Iguanas!). The walk starts on the road from Girón to Zapatoca just before it drops down into the Canyon of the Sogamoso river. You can see the GPS track here Wikiloc track of Canyon de las Iguanas
Apart from a few small farms near there top, the canyon is empty of people, and it´s pretty hot so we needed lots of water for this 11.5 km walk. The route drops about 500m and in places the path is very narrow with sheer drops which I hate. Other parts have steep descents (or ascents if you want to suffer more by going the other way). Once along the small river, much of the walk is over large boulders so all-in-all pretty hard work!
The vegetation is mostly desert-type plants with many spines and stings to catch the unwary on the overgrown path. There are several types of cactus, a type of nettle Cnidoscolus urens I think (nettles are called pringamosa or ortiga in Colombia) and many bushes with thorns including uña de gato (cat´s claw) with wicked hooks. The small trees do however provide plenty of shade, just beware of touching anything!
I didn´t see any Iguanas on this walk, just one large lizard. Snakes are common here though we didn't see any this time perhaps because we were in a large group. I didn´t see many interesting birds on this walk though no doubt there are a few there. One species in particular is worth looking for here, the endemic Chestnut-bellied Hummingbird (Amazilia castaneiventris) which is classified as endangered and only occurs in a few places in this part of Colombia. With almost no flowering plants or trees in sight, I didn't have much hope of seeing one. I´ve now been to 4 of their known locations and not seen one yet!