Travel Guide: All you need to know to visit the Orinoquia region of Colombia

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Orinoquia Region

The Llanos Travel Guide

Travel Guide: All you need to know to visit the Orinoquia region of Colombia
  • Area: 20% of the total territory (285,437 km²)
  • Population: approx. 1.7 million
  • Indigenous population: approx. 60,000 divided into 39 different ethnic groups
  • Departments: Arauca, Casanare, Meta, Vichada
  • Main towns : Villavicencio, Yopal, Arauca, Granada, Tame, Puerto Lopez, Puerto Carreño
  • Climate: Tropical dry and monsoonal
  • Average temperature: 27 °C

Orinoquia General information

The Llanos Travel Guide

The Orinoquia region is perhaps Colombia’s least-known region. It is otherwise known as the “Llanos region”, the region of the plains, and it’s easy to see why when you visit! Located to the east of Bogotá, its immense plains stretch for thousands of kilometers to the Venezuelan border, and are devoted to traditional livestock farming. The two main activities in the Llanos are cattle breeding and oil extraction. It’s a bit like the Colombian Far West!

Tradition, music, dance – the entire llanera culture is linked to the activities of these true Colombian cowboys. The Orinoquia is a unique world that has to be seen to be believed, a world totally apart in Colombia: you can admire the most beautiful sunsets in Colombia (in the world?) and a wildlife that is simply stunning! The Llanos are probably the region where we saw the greatest number of wild animals in Colombia. Watch out!

All our posts about the Orinoquia region in Colombia

The Llanos Travel Guide

So far we’ve only visited part of the Orinoquia region, but it’s been a revelation for us! We loved our few days in Yopal and our stay in La Macarena to see Caño Cristales. And we can’t wait to discover the other treasures of this unexplored region of Colombia.

We’re thinking in particular of the Tuparro Natural Park, but also of the little secret destinations around Villavicencio and surely lots of places we don’t know yet!

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Best things to do in the Llanos region

Orinoquia Travel Guide

Did you know? One of Colombia’s most famous tourist destinations is located in the Orinoquia region! Indeed, Caño Cristales and its five-coloured river is one of the tourist sites that the Meta department in the Orinoquia region boasts.

These colors can be found in the rivers around San José del Guaviare, but above all in the rock paintings dating back over 12,000 years in the so-called “Sistine Chapel of the Amazon” at Cerro Azul.

It’s here that we understand that this Orinoquia region, which is mostly associated with economic activities (livestock and oil), and which might seem a poor region for tourism, possesses an unsuspected natural and cultural wealth.

Villavicencio in Meta and Yopal in Casanare are surely the most accessible destinations in Orinoquia. Here you can experience the llanera culture, visit hatos, traditional farms and discover the incredible wildlife that resides there.

Further afield in the department of Vichada lies the Parque Natural del Tuparro, another of the region’s natural wonders, with its rivers and rock formations and its totally preserved flora and fauna. There’s also the Ventanas nature refuge near Puerto Carreño.

Contact a local guide to visit Orinoquia region

The Llanos Travel Guide

There is some destinations in Colombia that are supposed to be in the edge of Amazonian region and Orinoquia region. So here you’ll find San Jose del Guaviare and Cerros de Mavecure which should also be part of the Amazonian part. Anyway.

Book a tour in Casanare

Tour Casanare (#56)

To contact Heiler, our local partner in Casanare, you can use the form below. You won’t pay more, but it will let him know you’re coming from us.

IMPORTANT: Heiler is a real local guide, a true llanero, who is often lost in the depths of the Casanare to discover new lands or to accompany visitors. He and his wife are the only people who handle bookings, so you may need to be a little patient to get a reply.

Book a tour in Caño Cristales, La Macarena

Gaia Tours La Macarena (#42)

To visit Caño Cristales you can contact Alejandra, our local partner in the village of La Macarena, using the form below. You won’t pay more, but it will let her know you’re coming from us.

IMPORTANT: If you don’t hear from our partner within 72 hours, please check your SPAMS first before contacting us.

Sample price 4D/3N (4 days and 3 nights) for 2 people :

$1.560.000 COP per pers. – En tour compartido de máximo 7 personas. (Si necesitas tour privado es más caro)

This rate includes :

  • local transport (4X4, lanchas, tuktuk, horse)
  • accommodation
  • all meals
  • activities (Caño Cristales, Cristalito, Laguna del Silencio or Raudal de Angostura, llanero sunrise)
  • guided tour by professional guides
  • national park entrance fees
  • administrative procedures
  • financial contribution to the community
  • insurance
  • assistance
  • logistics

This price does not include

  • airfare to La Macarena (between $600.000 and $1.000.000 COP per ticket)
  • tourist tax ($211.000 COP)

Book a tour in Los Cerros de Mavecure

Colombia Oculta Cerros de Mavecure (#66)

To get in direct contact with Ivan and visit Los Cerros de Mavecure, you can use the form below. You won’t pay more, but it will let her know you’re coming from us.

IMPORTANT: If you don’t hear from our partner within 72 hours, please check your SPAMS first before contacting us.