Colombia is home to an astonishing natural marvel—the Giant Fig of San Marcos. Nestled deep within the Caribbean region, this colossal Ficus tree is often mistaken for a hill from a distance due to its sheer size. Standing tall at approximately 30 meters and boasting an impressive diameter of 75 meters (though exact measurements vary), this magnificent tree commands awe and wonder as visitors approach it.
Unlike its iconic counterpart, the Samañ of Guacarí, which once featured on Colombia’s 500 peso coins in the ’90s, the Giant Fig of San Marcos belongs to the Ficus family, commonly known as fig trees. Its breathtaking foliage resembles a verdant mountain, with branches gracefully reaching the ground, as if paying homage to Mother Earth. Interestingly, these branches not only touch the ground but also function as supportive pillars that the tree has generated from aerial roots extending from its outermost branches.
The tree’s immense canopy is so vast that it requires these self-grown pillars for support. Some people in Latin America affectionately call it “The Tree That Walks” due to its unique method of expansion. As it continues to grow, the tree extends its branches and aerial roots, covering a larger area to receive direct sunlight and find more fertile soil for sustenance.
What’s even more fascinating is that the Giant Fig of San Marcos is not just one tree—it’s an amalgamation of six separate trees that have merged over time. The story of its formation dates back to 1964 when the owner of the Alejandría farm sought to protect a young yellow cedar tree. To safeguard it from cattle damage, six fig tree rods were placed around the sapling. However, the fig tree struts began to sprout buds and branches, eventually absorbing and enveloping the young cedar, creating the awe-inspiring spectacle we see today.
The Giant Fig of San Marcos stands as a symbol of nature’s resilience and adaptability. Protected by its sprawling branches, visitors can’t help but feel small yet enriched by its powerful energy.
If you ever find yourself traveling to Colombia’s Atlantic coast, make sure to visit San Marcos and be embraced by the shadowy extremities of “The Most Beautiful Tree in Colombia.” Even from afar, approximately three kilometers before reaching the Alejandría farm, you’ll catch the first glimpse of this majestic “green mountain.”
May this living wonder continue to stand tall and inspire awe for generations to come.