The alleged smuggler was arrested at Bogota’s El Dorado International Airport by authorities on Monday (29 January) after the poisonous animals were discovered packaged inside small film canisters.
Officials described the amphibians, also known as poison-dart frogs, to be in a “dehydrated” and “stressed” condition.
The highly toxic Harlequin frogs found in Central and South America are considered a critically endangered species. Small animals and predators including birds, can be killed by their poisonous skin glands.
According to Bogotá police commander Juan Carlos Arevalo, the amphibians are worth up to $1,000 (£780) each and are highly sought after by international private collectors.
In total, officials estimate the woman was carrying around $130,000 (£102,707) worth of the contraband frogs on her journey to Brazil.
Adriana Soto, the Bogotá environment secretary, said the woman claimed the tiny Harlequin frogs, just shy of 5cm long, were a “gift” from a local community in southern Colombia.
The possession of the vibrant animals could see the unidentified woman charged up to 56 million pesos (£11,300).
It’s not the first time that thousands of dollars worth of rare wildlife has been smuggled across borders.
In 2022 a man pleaded guilty to two counts of smuggling and one count of wildlife trafficking after bringing 1,700 animals into the US.
The reptiles brought by Jose Manuel Perez from Mexico to the US included turtles, lizards and crocodiles worth at least $730,000.
Andrei Zhestkov was detained at Ngurah Rai International Airport with the two-year-old monkey sleeping in a rattan basket.