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Colombiafrank’s San José del Guaviare Colombia Travel Guide

Puerta de Orión Rock in San josé del Guaviare Colombia

Updated on 03/14/2024

Dear readers
My name is Frank and I run a tour operator in Bogota, specializing in custom-made and Colombia luxury travel.
At the end of this guide you will find a list of many other helpful travel guides for Colombia.

Why visit San Jose del Guaviare?

Today’s San José del Guaviare served for many years as a stopping place for settlers traveling to Calamar (another rubber mining community 80 km/50 miles away). San José del Guaviare is the capital of the department of Guaviare and is located in the southeast of the country on the river of the same name.

The community was founded on March 19, 1938, when some men passing through decided to name the place after Saint San José. In gratitude, they added the name of the river that was next to their little houses.

Over the years and with the large influx of people traveling to Calamar, the population grew. Many chose to stay in San José del Guaviare as it was close to the Rubber Department. In 1943 and 1958 structures such as a granary, churches and finally the first fishing company were built in the area.

These buildings helped increase the population of San José del Guaviare. Even if it doesn’t sound that flashy, San José del Guaviare offers one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in Colombia.

Tourist activities an attractions in San Jose del Guaviare

The beauty of Colombia’s flora and fauna is undeniable, but this destination isn’t for everyone. However, if you like being in contact with nature, this is a great destination for your next vacation.

San José de Guaviare – a natural paradise

In the vicinity of the municipality of San José del Guaviare you will find numerous natural attractions.

Cave paintings

47 kilometers from San José del Guaviare is La Serranía de La Lindosa, a gigantic rock formation. There are about 1,200 square meters of ancient indigenous rock paintings.

According to experts, these paintings could be around 12,000 years old.

Rivers and lagoons

In Guaviare there are a large number of rivers, lagoons and streams.


A few kilometers from San José del Guaviare is Tranquilandia, a natural pool where the water is colored green, pink, purple and intense red. Many people call this goal the “caño cristales del Guaviare” (Crystalline River of the Guaviare).

Lagoon Damas del Nare

65 kilometers from San José del Guaviare is the Damas del Nare Lagoon, where you can swim with freshwater dolphins.

The dolphins are already used to the presence of humans, as locals say they have always lived in harmony with them. Hiring knowledgeable staff is recommended to have the best possible experience.

Natural fountains

Just 8 km (5 miles) from the capital of Guaviare, there are natural fountains that could be called natural pools in the river, but whose water has red and orange tones due to the richness of the vegetal and mineral soils.

Rock formations

18 kilometers from San José del Guaviare is the town of Piedra, where you can find gigantic structures of labyrinths and corridors. This place is under the observation of scientists, as they have not yet been able to determine with certainty whether these formations were formed with human help.

Regardless of how the stone city came to be, it is still one of the most mystical places to visit in Colombia.

Best time to visit San Jose del Guaviare

It’s always a good time to visit Guaviare.

  • The months with the least rainfall are from December to February, but the average temperature is 32°C.
  • From February to June, the chance of precipitation is high, but the average temperature is only 27°C.
  • From July to November, the chance of rain is slightly higher and the average temperature is around 30°C.

If you like the colorful Balneario If you want to see Tranquilandia (the river colored by a rainbow-colored plant), you should plan your visit between June and November, as this is when the Macarenia clavijera (aquatic plant) grows.

Cultural program in San José del Guaviare

There are two important celebrations in San José del Guaviare.

Feast of the Colonies

Held annually in June, it is celebrated in honor of San José (the saint after whom the departmental capital is named).

At this festival there are folkloric performances such as typical dances, parades and cultural manifestations, and there is also space for gastronomic tastings.

International Festival of Yuruparí de Oro

Every August, homage is paid to the legend of Yurupari, a hero of the indigenous peoples of Colombia and Brazil.

There are folk shows such as a coplas contest, craft markets and the Coleo events, which reenact the activities of cowboys with oxen and bulls.

Typical cuisine of San José del Guaviare

Some recipes that you cannot miss in San José del Guaviare are:

Pescado moqueado

An indigenous recipe in which certain types of fish (dorado, rayado, and pujon) are wrapped in banana leaves and then cooked over a fire for about two hours.

Chicha de Moriche

It is a fermented drink where the moriche palm is the main ingredient.

The drink is made by removing the pulp from the seeds and soaking them in water.

The mixture is then strained to remove impurities and the juice can finally be sweetened with panela (cane sugar).

If a strong drink is desired, it can be left to ferment for two days.

Casabe de yuca

At first glance it looks like a tortilla, but it’s something completely different because the cassava is made only with yucca, which gives it a similar appearance to a tortilla, but its texture is much harder.

Where to eat in San Jose del Guaviare?

There are many opportunities to eat typical or homemade dishes, but here are some restaurants that offer excellent service.

Catumare Comidas Amazonicas

Colonizadores # 5a-44, San Jose del Guaviare

In this restaurant you will find a wide range of Colombian-Brazilian dishes from the Amazon region.

Tiktak Cafe

Calle 7 # 24-25 San Jose del Guaviare

An excellent place to spend the afternoon with a good coffee and a dessert.

Restaurant El Diamante

Carrera 20 # 12b 7-26, San Jose del Guaviare

This restaurant serves authentic Colombian dishes.

Where to stay in San Jose del Guaviare?

Explore hotels in San José del Guaviare and discover the perfect accommodation in the most strategic areas of the city. Whether you prefer to be close to vibrant shopping centers or in a quiet location with easy access to major natural attractions, San José del Guaviare offers a variety of areas that suit your travel preferences.

How to get to San José del Guaviare?

Getting to San José del Guaviare can be a little tricky, but there are a number of ways you can get there.

By plane

You can reach Jorge Enrique Gonzalez Torres Airport on the outskirts of the city.

The airlines that offer connections are as follows:

By bus

Another way to get to San José del Guaviare is by bus, which is cheaper but takes much longer – estimated to take up to 9 hours from the Colombian capital (Bogotá).

The easiest way to buy tickets is through Pinbus.

How to get around in San José del Guaviare?

Transportation within the city center is limited to the use of single rate taxis due to the small size of the area.

Colombia Travel Guides

Here you will find travel guides for the most popular regions in Colombia, which we have put together during our extensive travels around the country.

Travel Guides to Colombia’s Small Towns

Here you will find travel guides for less popular destinations in Colombia. Some of these destinations are even real insider tips and not even known to the Colombians as travel destinations.


About Author



Hello! I'm Frank Spitzer, the founder and the heart behind Pelecanus, a specialized tour operator for Colombia travel. My journey in travel is vast and rich – I've explored over 60 countries, absorbing cultures, experiences, and stories along the way. Since 2017, I've been channeling this wealth of global experience into creating unforgettable travel experiences in Colombia. I'm recognized as a leading authority in Colombian tourism, with a deep-seated passion for sharing this beautiful country with the world. You can catch glimpses of my travel adventures and insights around Colombia on my YouTube channel. I'm also active on social media platforms like TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, where I share the vibrant culture and stunning landscapes of Colombia. For professional networking, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. Join me on this incredible journey, and let's explore the wonders of Colombia together!

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