5 days / 4 nights
Welcome to Casanare Adventure Tour, in the heart of the great Eastern Plains. The llanos orientales stretch from the foothills of the Andes all the way to the mighty Orinoco River in the far east of Colombia, and are home to both Colombian cowboys and some of the most diverse wildlife in the country.
A wildlife safari across these vast tropical grasslands is an experience unlike any other in Colombia. This is a dream trip for nature lovers and photographers alike.
Fly from Bogota to Yopal in the late afternoon before transferring to Villa Lisseht, a guesthouse just 15 minutes from the airport. You’ll spend the night at this peaceful little oasis surrounded by woods and fruit orchards, where you will enjoy a freshly prepared dinner and have the chance to take a dip in the swimming pool or relax on a private terrace.
After some coffee and fresh fruit, there will be an early transfer to Finca La Independencia, where you will take a short walk in the open savannah and gallery forest in search of giant anteaters, monkeys, and local birds, and enjoy a picnic breakfast in the countryside.
After breakfast you will discover what it means to be a Colombian cowboy, when you lasso and saddle up your horse and take a ride through the various ecosystems surrounding the finca, including palm forest, gallery forest, wetlands, and savannah. You will learn all about the traditions of the Eastern Plains and the llanero lifestyle as well as spotting myriad birds and animals from horseback.
There will then be a transfer to Hato Berlin – another traditional Llanos ranch – where lunch will be served. After a short walk in the forest alongside the house – where eagle-eyed guests will be able to spot owls and howler monkeys – there will be a sunset canoe trip. During this tour you will really understand why Casanare is such a dream destination for wildlife lovers, as you drift past herds of capybaras, basking caiman, and giant flocks of birds, including the surreal horned screamer, before enjoying the breathtaking spectacle of the arrival of hundreds of scarlet ibises and white egrets as they come in to roost.
After the canoe tour there is a short transfer to Posada El Diamante, where you will eat dinner and spend the night.
Day Three –
It’s worth waking up early at Posada El Diamante to enjoy a stroll through the forest down to the Pauto River, where there’s a good chance of spotting anteaters and agoutis. Then, after a delicious breakfast including organic hot chocolate made in the hotel grounds, we will head off to Hatos Matepalma and Altamira for a full day 4x4 wildlife safari.
These two huge adjoining ranches are a true haven for wildlife, and during the course of the day there will a chance to see species such as cabybaras, white-tailed deer, giant anteaters, tamanduas, caiman, armadillos, and even, if you are extremely lucky, a puma! Most of the safari will be enjoyed in an open-top 4x4, with some short walks along forest trails and down to lakes to see if we can find an anaconda.
There will be a break for lunch at the ranch house, after which you will have some time to escape the midday heat in a hammock overlooking a lake (keep an eye out for capybaras wandering past, and the Great Horned Owl that lives in the tree overhead). After your siesta, we will head out again to search for more wildlife, before ending the day with a spectacular sunset as our local guide plays guitar and sings some traditional llanos songs. Dinner will be served at the main house before we retire for the night.
On the final morning we will be up at dawn for one last wildlife safari (the hours before 7am are the best time to find anteaters and pumas). After breakfast, there will be time for a walk around the lake before we pack up and head back to Yopal for an afternoon flight.
Optional Extra Day
There is also the option to extend your Casanare experience by one day and discover more of the unique llanero cowboy culture. Following the second night at Posada El Diamante there is the possibility of taking a boat along the Pauto River* to visit the farm of the “Gran Llanerazo” Seudiel Gualteros. At this riverside ranch you will experience Llanos culture and customs, as well as enjoying the company of Seudiel himself, who was famously crowned “The Great Llanero” after winning a Colombian TV contest. A traditional Llanos lunch will be served on outside tables, before we return to Posada El Diamante by river in the late afternoon. The boat trip itself is a mini-safari, as we journey along the Pauto, surrounded on both sides by lush forest. Keep an eye out for monkeys, toucans, iguanas, and even the bizarre hoatzin, one of the oldest bird species on the planet!
*Boat trips are only available during the wet season between May and October when the water level is high enough to navigate. Vehicle transfers are available for anyone wishing to include this extension during the dry season.
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