Over the last few years, Los Llanos Orientales has become a top favorite nature destination in Colombia. Travelers have fallen hard for the incredible landscapes, the safari experiences, the culture, and food.
With 16-17 million ha in the country, there is a long list of things you want to see and do. So I put together a bucket list with some of the most remarkable Colombian Llanos travel experiences and destinations.
From Caño Cristales in La Macarena to rafting in the Güéjar River Canyon, bird watching in Restrepo, aero-safari in Altagracia, horse riding and cowboy experience in El Encanto de Guanapalo, cocoa experience in Arauca, sport fishing in the Bita river in Vichada, glamping in the Corocora Camp to boating along the Manacacias River chasing dolphins in Meta— The Llanos Orientales is full of incredible adventures!
Here’s our ultimate Colombian Llanos Orientales travel bucket list!
Meta is one of the top bird watching destinations in Colombia. The multiple ecosystems you can find in Meta offer some of the most varied bird species checklists from the paramo to vast plains with echoes of the Amazon forest and parts of the Guiana Shield.
It also offers more than 47 festivals and cultural events throughout the year. The International Folkloric and Tourist Festival of El Llano is one of the most important and has the Cuadrillas de San Martín horse exhibition, which is Cultural Heritage of Colombia.
Another highlight for Meta is the Caño Cristales river, along with wonderful natural landscapes and adventure destinations. In Meta, you will have incredible gastronomic, cultural, wellness, nature and adventure experiences just a 20-minute flight from Bogotá. It is a great destination for those who have little time, or for those who travel with their families.
Top Experiences in Meta
Llanero Dawn Route (Amanecer Llanero): Safari and dolphins
More Bucket List Experiences in Meta
- Birdwatching at UNAMAS Nature Reserve: Amazon jungle transition Orinoquia-Amazon
- World Cowboy Meeting
- 51st International Joropo Tournament.
- Los Ocarros Biopark
- Lomalinda Regional Natural Park
- Guaicaramo Hot Springs (Barranca de Upía)
- Ostrich Park
- Las Malocas Park
- Obelisk of Puerto Lopez
Casanare is one of the top safari destinations in Colombia. The multiple nature reserves in the flooded plains of Casanare offer some of the best wildlife viewings in northern South America, especially during April and December.
Another highlight of Casanare is the cowboy’s rich culture. Discover the Cowboy culture in the Ranchón del Llanerazo, a museum that invites you to live the life of the Llanero man. There you will know the “Cantos de Trabajo del Llano”, which is a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of the world.
Top Experiences in Casanare
Colombian Cowboy Experience
More Bucket List Experiences in Casanare
- Birdwatching at La Primavera
- Visit Corocora Camp for Luxury Glamping
- Wildlife Photography tours
- Horseback Riding Expedition
- Culture & Traditions
- Conservation Experiences
Vichada is the biggest department of the Colombian Llanos and is blessed with an incredible richness of water. It is the place where the Orinoco River forms its natural border between Colombia and Venezuela. From the spectacular El Tuparro national park to the mighty network of rivers, lagoons and canals and abundant wildlife – it’s the perfect destination for anglers and nature lovers.
To get to Vichada, you need an air connection since there is no direct road in good condition. You will find the airport of Puerto Carreño its capital, and also other airfields in other places in the department. You can also get there by boat, through the rivers that run on its territory: Orinoco, Meta and Vichada.
Top Experiences in Vichada
Tuparro Natural National Park
Streams of Maypures and Ventanas
Bojonawi Nature Reserve
Pink river dolphin at Meta, Bita, and Orinoco Rivers
More Bucket List Experiences in Vichada
- Hills of Casuarito
- Orinoco and Bita Rivers beaches
- Streams of Tuparro
- Azul and El Pañuelo lagoons.
- Peinillas Canal
- Mesetas Canal
- Rancho Barú and Rancho Wisi
- Tomo, Tuparrito, and Tuparro rivers
- Pedro Camejo Island
- Guahibos and Cuibas Tribes
- Maipures Indigenous Cemetery
- El Unuma Indigenous Reserve
- Gaviotas Center
- Marandúa Project
Arauca is a diamond in the rough for nature and adventure tourism in Colombia. Its poor development is related to the presence of illegal armed groups. Here oil and livestock play an important role in the national economy.
In 2018, this area of Colombia was supported as a Tourism, Peace and Reconciliation zone with Creata Foundation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia, and USAID collaboration. However, despite the efforts, it is still a conflict zone in the country.
Its attraction lies in the richness of its landscapes. Its territory is divided into a mountainous part, an alluvial plain of the Orinoco, and the foothills of the plains with vegetation of savanna and tropical forest. Thus, the contrasts between mountains and plains offer you exotic landscapes and a great diversity of flora and fauna.
Top Experiences in Arauca
“Cotizas” of Arauca – handmade shoes and handicrafts
Llanero Experience and Vaquería Songs
La Barcaza: Boat trip on the Arauca River
More Bucket List Experiences in Arauca
- Cravo Norte
- José Antonio Páez International Bridge
- Las Toninas Aquapark
- Arauca River
- Los Morichales Park
- El Alcaraván Experimental Farm
- Rondon Port
If you want to know more about Colombian nature tours, or want to visit the Llanos Orientales, follow us, write us comments, or just contact us.
- SITUR Meta
- Fundación Omacha
About the author
Current director of Sula. Doctor in Biological Sciences. Her main interests are to explore and understand the organism – environment interactions, taking advantage of emerging knowledge for the management and conservation of species and ecosystem services. She is currently working as a consultant in functional ecology, ecosystem services and conservation projects in Colombia related to ecotourism and birdwatching.[/vc_column_text]