María Alejandra López, special envoy
Exotic, fascinating, surprising; This is Guaviare, a paradise full of wonders located in the southeast of Colombia that, due to its rich biodiversity, has become a destination for nature tourism in the Colombian Amazon.
It has a great variety of ecosystems that make it a tourist power, such as its tropical forests, savannahs, rivers and lakes, which are home to a wide range of flora and fauna species. It is home to several nature reserves and national parks, such as the Serranía de Chiribiquete National Natural Park, considered a World Heritage Site by Unesco.
EL NUEVOS SIGLO had the opportunity to enter their territories and witness the majesty of the place that, despite its natural beauty, has been affected by the Colombian armed conflict. However, recent years have seen significant efforts by the national government and civil society to promote peace, tourism, economic development, and environmental protection in the department.
Its capital is San José del Guaviare, a city that has experienced significant growth in recent years. This is the administrative, commercial and cultural center of the region. The economy of the department is based mainly on agricultural, livestock and extractive activities, with the production of rice, plantain, cassava, cocoa and cattle as the main economic activities.
Without a doubt, tourism in Guaviare has been on the rise, as more and more people discover the natural wonders that the region has to offer. Visitors can enjoy activities such as walks through the jungle, bird watching, sport fishing, canoeing through the rivers and the opportunity to meet the indigenous communities that inhabit the area.
One of these places is known as Túneles Naturales, located eleven kilometers from San José del Guaviare, a journey that lasts approximately 20 minutes where you can find rock formations covered in moss in some areas. This environment, in addition to defying gravity, has two spouts called Cristalino and Lajas; in both you can see a waterfall that exceeds 10 meters in height.
Damas de Nare Lagoon
On the other hand, there is the Damas de Nare Lagoon that presents an experience to share with freshwater dolphins, a species called Toninas of gray color that generally walk in groups and feed on bocachico. Likewise, you can enjoy a canoe tour on Lake Caño Nare, where you can see different species of monkeys and wild birds, revealing the habitat in which they are found.
Blue Hill Paintings
Another of the attractions of this region is Pinturas de Cerro Azul, considered Colombian Cultural Heritage for its rich archeology that can be seen in the great variety of pictograms, which according to archaeologists and historians belong to pre-Columbian communities.
“These paintings have suppositions about how they were formed and it is even thought that it was the way for them to communicate and barter between their ancestors,” says William Rojas, also a tourist guide in the area.
During the tour you can enjoy the Cerro Azul Viewpoint, where you can see the Amazon, the Guayabero River, part of the Virgin of Guaviare jungle and the Macarena Meta jungle.
Just 30 minutes from there, you can find the Natural Wells, they are colored waters that flow from excavations and crystalline lagoons that descend from the mountains; there you can enjoy the mosses and ferns; perfect setting for an ecological adventure.
One of the wonders of this area is the millenary past that is framed in the Nuevo Tolima, the third largest rock art mural in the Serranía la Lindosa in San José del Guaviare.
There the rock art speaks for itself, its history and its majesty make this site an archaeological heritage of Colombia. White, yellow and ocher paints are observed, which exceed 1,000 years of existence, data that supports the study of these mineral pigments with which they were made by the ancestors.
El Guaviare also has a notable farm called Trankilandia, from there you can see the Caño Sabana; a natural attraction full of vegetation in which you can see a plant called Macarena, according to the tour guides, it is semi-aquatic, unique in the Orinoquía and the Amazon, which naturally gives a pinkish reddish color to the water, pipes and rivers that surround it. In the summer season, between June and November, they bloom in the depth of the water thanks to sunlight, which is why they become a marvel to the human eye.
To conclude the tour, there is the Orion Gate, an imposing stone more than 12 meters high by 15 meters wide at its semicircular base that has two entrances. This place is built in labyrinths, where you can admire the extensive nature of La Sabana. During the summer season it is normal to see the Orion constellation.
In short, Guaviare is a Colombian department that stands out for its natural beauty, its biodiversity, and its tourism potential. As it progresses in its peace-building process, the department is expected to continue to develop and become an increasingly popular destination for nature and adventure lovers.