The 7 Best Places to Visit in Guaviare, Colombia
The Department of Guaviare is a bit of a hidden gem in Colombia. This area on the northern edge of the Amazon is a nature lovers paradise with a ton to offer. An improved security situation after Colombia’s peace agreements has positioned it to quickly become one of Colombia’s premier eco-tourism destinations. Learn about 7 great things to see in Guaviare here.
1. See Ancient Rock Wall Paintings
This area was once home to a variety of ancient indigenous tribes. They left behind traces of their existence and ways of life with red paintings on rock faces scattered around the area. It’s remarkable to see these records of human life, some thought to be from as long as 12,000 years ago.
There are several sites that are accessible to the public where you can see these paintings. Seeing these unique and ancient historic sites are fascinating and a can’t miss thing to do in Guaviare. You can read more about each of the 3 sites here.
Both Cerro Azul and Nuevo Tolima, plus all the other sites on this list of things to do in the Guaviare are included on our 4-day tour of Guaviare and 12-day Historical Colombia package.
2. See the Rainbow River of Caño Sabana at Tranquilandia
One of the neatest things you can see in Colombia is the macarenia clavigera. It is an aquatic plant that doesn’t grow anywhere else in the world. It blooms into beautiful colors. Caño Cristales is the most famous place to see this effect. However, it’s not the only place. There is also a river of 7 colors in Guaviare.
At Tranquilandia, a section of the Caño Sabana river is also home to the macarenia clavigera. While the river may not be as long or have multiple sites where the plant grows like at Caño Cristales, the area here is actually wider than anywhere along its more famous cousin. Most of the flowers bloom bright red here, but if you look closely, you can find areas of pink, white, and even different shades of green.
It’s a beautiful site. The colored effect is only visible from July to November when the plant blooms. The amount of sunlight each plant receives during the first half of the year determines how bright red it will be, and the river is prettiest on a sunny day.
3. Swim with Pink Dolphins at Naré Lagoon
If you’ve visited the Amazon River, you may have seen the pink river dolphins. However, in Guaviare, you can actually swim with them up close and personal.
In Naré, a couple hours outside of San José del Guaviare, there is a group of dolphins that are especially curious and friendly. After hopping off the canoe to swim in the lagoon, keep your eyes open for them as they often will come to inspect just who is swimming in their watering hole.
While it’s not always a guarantee, especially if they get shy because there is a large crowd, the dolphins often swim right up to you, and sometimes will even touch swimmers. They especially like to play with ropes, and it’s really neat to see these animals so close.
It is important not to wear deodorant, sunscreen, bug repellant, or other chemical products that might harm the dolphins.
You can also see pink river dolphins during a visit to the Amazon River itself, part of both our 11-Day Nature and Culture of Colombia and 23-Day Ultimate Colombia Experience packages!
4. Swim in Natural Rock Pools
Not far outside of San José, you’ll find the natural pools known as natural wells. After a short hike through the forest from the road, you’ll reach the river flowing through the rocky ground.
Along this section of the river are a series of circular holes that go as deep as 3 meters in the center and are perfect for a refreshing dip. You can jump in from the rocks, try to hold your breath and touch the bottom, or just float relaxedly. There is a small waterfall too. It’s definitely another great thing to do in Guaviare.
5. Visit Orion’s Gate
The area around Guaviare, known as the Serranía la Lindosa, was once covered by water millions of years ago. The evidence is the interesting rock formations you’ll find scattered around.
One of the most fascinating is the site known as Orion’s Gate. This impressive rock formation looks like something out of a science fiction film with a circle near the top of this ridge rising off the ground. It’s a neat site and another of the top things to see in Guaviare.
6. Hike Through Rock Tunnels
Another of the neat rock formations and things to do in Guaviare is to walk through The tunnels. Not actually underground tunnels, this is a formation of rocks close together that create the impression of being tunnels, although there are some parts of the path that go through the inside of rocks themselves.
7. Hike Over Natural Rock Bridges
Closing out this list of things to do in Guaviare is another neat rock formation. The natural bridges are a series of three rock formations that span a chasm and creek below. Hike down below them first where you can appreciate how large and neatly formed they are. It’s incredible to think these were formed naturally. At the top, you’ll be able to cross over the largest one.
Things to See in Guaviare Conclusion
There are the 7 best things to see in Guaviare. At all of these places, keep your eyes peeled for monkeys and birds. It is really one of the neatest natural destinations in Colombia and nature lovers should absolutely include it during a visit to the country.
Keep in mind it is a tropical climate and many of these areas require walking over uneven, rocky, and at times slippery terrain. Bringing along rain gear, light long-sleeved shirts, and long pants to protect from the sun and bugs, and comfortable walking shoes, preferably hiking boots, is recommended.
If you’d like to experience all these places to see in Guaviare yourself, you can do it on our 4-day Amazon package or on our 12-day historical Colombia tour. If you would prefer to build your own custom-made trip to the Guaviare or multiple places in Colombia, contact us for a quote.
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