Hato El Boral, a working cattle ranch in Colombia's Eastern plains, is a surreal place in the heart of the savannas that has just opened its doors to magic seeking adventurers, nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. The 3000-hectare hacienda is home to exotic bird species, hundreds of capybaras, white-tailed deer, felines, anacondas, caimans, porcupines, anteaters and howlers, which inhabit the extensive savannas, savanna forests, wetlands and lagoons of El Boral.
Lasso roping cowboys, meals prepared over the wood fire, fishing piranhas for supper, stalking anacondas and anteaters, riding across infinite prairies and enjoying a good laugh with the locals - this is what a true Llanos adventure is all about.
Alone Together presents the extraordinary true stories of thirty-six women from all over the world. These writers have visited almost every country in Latin America – a region that many have been taught to fear.
Aventur's Julia contributed her story of how she first experienced the Llanos, rode through the prairies, met its people and ultimately lived her childhood dream of being a cowboy. Featured alongside 35 talented writers from around the world, "Could this be the Place?" is one of the anthology's beautiful and very personal accounts, which - just like travel - deal with the past's worries and the present's joys all at once.
Casanare and its villages - We look at the department's five most charming little towns
Back in time - Colombia's villages are wonderfully delightful and nostalgic. While the Llanos' main attractions are cowboys and wildlife, they still have a few lovely villages to offer visitors. Mules parked outside the 'panadería', loaded with sacks of coffee, grains or bananas, vaqueros passing through on horses or on motorbikes, elderly villagers leaning on their cane, watching the world go by and smiling at strangers toothlessly, lovingly painted window shutters and walls and neat flower beds and banana plants and papaya trees towering from patios and front yards, pebbled streets and the main square with a church, where surely a bench or two invite to have a seat and watch the villagers go about their daily lives - that's a classic when traveling Colombia and must not be missing in the Llanos either.
It is the Llanos’ tranquility, their original natural state of palm groves and gallery forests, of dry and wet savannas, their sunrises and sunsets, proud cowboy culture and impressively wide array of wildlife that enchant visitors. Yet a well-kept secret, this region may very well benefit from soft tourism and mindful travelers in the near future. "El Camino del Vaquero", a 3 day horse trek adventure is our initiative towards sustainable community tourism.
The three day horse trek near Yopal, Casanare, sees us explore seven farms in three days. We meet local farmers, stay on their farms, try their food and spot plenty of fauna in different habitats. The launch of “El Camino del Vaquero” – the cowboy’s way - is both, our go at sustainable community tourism and an attempt to connect visitors with the locals and locals with visitors. It is a cultural encounter and intercultural exchange and so much more: it is about bridging a gap, supporting local families and maintaining and showcasing culture, valuing and honoring tradition, work, food, time, nature and animals.
Rugged and lush mountain ranges, wild rivers, waterfalls, lofty villages with great views and some fine hiking trails: the Andean foothills are a mystical world of its own. Temperatures are more moderate than in the plains, enabling the cultivation of those rich Arabica beans Colombia is famous for. For a day we rolled up our sleeves and lent a hand to a local coffee farming family, as they were short on workers. (The perfect excuse for us to try our hand at bean picking)
Aventur Eco Tours is based in Yopal and helps nature lovers discover Colombia's Llanos Orientales through