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.
Rural guesthouse Posada El Diamante is a retreat for both human visitors and animal visitors. Located just outside the village of San Luis de Palenque, an area of pristine beauty, and about two and a half hours from Yopal it is the ideal base for a couple of days to discover the Llanos' wildlife, culture and sceneries on excursions into the surroundings. Wildlife frequents the property's pastures, orchards, gardens, forest and river beach and makes it a haven for nature lovers and birdwatchers looking for peace and tranquility - and the most amazing starlit sky at night!
There is something very special about being perched in a four or six seater propeller aircraft and flying over the vast savannas of South America's Llanos Orientales to reach a remote natural reserve of pristine wilderness and wildlife: the legendary Hato La Aurora. This journey is a text book example of a bush adventure and provides a unique perspective of one of Colombia's wildest places. Not to mention the sensation of flying in a small Cessna: the rattling, the engine roaring, the wind in your hair, the tingling sensation when it tilts, the faint smell of kerosene!
The term "Colombian Safari" was first coined at Hato La Aurora, Colombia's biggest privately owned natural reserve and Casanare's pioneering tourism project. Juan Solito lodge caters for visitors on-site and willy jeeps and horses ensure one gets even to the remotest corners inside this 18,000 hectare reserve and catches a glimpse of some seriously stunning and impressive wildlife including anacondas, capybaras, scarlet ibises, deer, wild boars, ocelots and many more - a true adventure and a good one if planned right. Here are 5 reasons why it can be beneficial to book a trip though us rather than venture out on your own or wondering how to get to La Aurora.
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.
On a trip around Colombia you want to see as much of its natural treasures as possible. You are spoilt with choices in a country that tops the diversity hit lists on all levels: people, wildlife, birds, ecosystems, culture. Where to begin? Well, that's up to you. All we say is that technically you can reach a place where you'll see hundreds of capybaras, caimans, deer, exotic birds and even more exotic fauna such as anacondas and pumas in their natural habitat within ONE DAY from Bogotá. A no-brainer if you are looking to organize a jam-packed itinerary across the country. Beware though, this isn't your usual tourist hotspot - it's an off-beat adventure to remember!
Intrigued? Read on.
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.
Aventur Eco Tours is based in Yopal and helps nature lovers discover Colombia's Llanos Orientales through