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.
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.
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.
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.
The Pipra Filicauda, more commonly known as the wire-tailed manakin, is a small stunner. Only about 25 km from Yopal we operate tours across a private gallery forest that has revealed itself to us as a "manakin hotspot" with guaranteed sightings of this colouful species. Whether you are into birdwatching or not, observing this little tricoloured "moonwalker" won't leave you indifferent.
A habitant of South America's rainforests and swamps the anaconda can be found easiest in the Llanos, which, for most parts, are more accessible to humans than the dense Amazon rainforest. Dry season (January through March) is best to locate the anaconda, as anacondas have less water and swamps to hide, and so we set out to find it. Here's a short insight report to the reptile's habits, habitats and the myths it has evoked over time.
Aventur Eco Tours is based in Yopal and helps nature lovers discover Colombia's Llanos Orientales through