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Colombiafrank’s Villavicencio Colombia Travel Guide

Rafting on Rio Guejar in Villavicencio Colombia

Updated on 05/17/2024

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.

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Why visit Villavicencio?

Villavicencio, also known as “La puerta del llano” (the gateway to Los Llanos) is an undeniably beautiful town.

The city connects the interior with the region of Orinoquia and is characterized by its vast plains and its great diversity of fauna and flora.

But Villavicencio also has a wide range of cultural activities, such as the “llanera” music, which represents the hardworking and honest people of the inhabitants very well.

Facts about Villavicencio

  • Villavicencio is at an altitude of 467 meters above sea level.
  • The first Spaniard to arrive on the plain was Nicolas de Federman.
  • The urban area of Villavicencio consists of the municipalities of Restrepo, Cumaral, Acacías and Guamal.
  • Villavicencio has a warm climate with temperatures between 20°C and 39°C.
  • Villavicencio was founded on April 6, 1840.
  • Villavicencio has 235 districts divided into 8 municipalities.
  • The main industries in Villavicencio are livestock, agriculture and mining.
  • Villavicencio has around 560,000 inhabitants.
  • The city’s anthem was written by Isaac Tacha Niño in 1957, who describes the most outstanding details of Villavicencio.

Tourist attractions in Villavicencio

Here are some of the city’s top attractions:

Artisan Park

If you like culture, don’t miss the arts and crafts park. It is located in the city center next to the Villavicencio Court of Accounts. You can find various personalized accessories such as hats, Arhuaca backpacks, keychains, ponchos and much more.

In addition to all the handicrafts, there are also green areas, benches to rest and a large point of sale with typical local foods.

Centauros Park

In the city center is the Parque de Los centauros. In this park is the monument dedicated to the Chigüiro (Capybara), a very representative animal of the region, also known as the largest rodent in the world. You can also find the monument to the man of the plains, on which a rider can be seen with his horse.

Biopark of the Ocarros

If you like fauna and flora, the Biopark de los Ocarros, named after a giant armadillo that lives on the eastern plains, will surely fascinate you.

The Biopark is 3 kilometers from Villavicencio, on the road to Restrepo. There you can enjoy the more than 5.5 hectares of the park where you will find more than 600 animals from 130 species divided into 7 sectors and 38 habitats.

In the park there is also a beautiful lake, a restaurant with local dishes and an attention and evaluation center that houses the animals rescued after abuse or illegal trade.

Orinoquia Jaguar in Ocarros Biopark Villavicencio Meta Colombia

La Piedra del Amor viewpoint

This viewpoint is located in Buenavista, 15 minutes from Villavicencio.

From here you have a wonderful view of the capital.

Parque de la llanura de la Memoria Histórica

The park is a meeting place to commemorate the more than 288,000 victims of the armed conflict in the Meta department.

If you decide to visit this park you can enjoy green areas, children’s playgrounds, a water fountain and a very large wall with an engraved timeline where you can read the various facts of the war and the peace gestures of the last 74 years in Meta.

This park is located diagonally across from Bello Horizonte – Rey Pelé Stadium and Sikuani Park.

Monument Puerta de Agua

In the Parque Los Fundadores is the Monumento Puertas de Agua, which was inaugurated in 2001.

This incredible monument consists of 4 blue iconographic figures forming a waterfall.

Los Libertadores Central Park

In the center of the city, opposite the Meta Governorate and the Nuestra Señora del Carmen Cathedral, is the Parque Central los Libertadores, an iconic place with more than 100 years of history.

In the park you can see a large sign with the name of Villavicencio, a fountain and of course the statues of the Liberator Simón Bolívar and General Francisco de Paula Santander, created by Álvaro Vásquez Sánchez.

Tiuma Park theme park

The Tiuma Park theme park is located at kilometer 15 of the Puerto Lopez – Villavicencio road and offers more than 12 attractions that introduce visitors to the local culture.

The park offers various activities such as B. a raft trip on the Cacique river, horseback riding by day and by night and much more.

The park also offers accommodation in rooms, tents and cabins with breakfast, dinner, swimming pool and hikes.

Arawana Park

Arawana Park is an ideal place to enjoy nature while engaging in various activities such as zip-lining, cycling and nautical tourism.

It is located 47 km (29 miles) from Villavicencio on the road to Puerto López.

Monument to the Folklore of Llanero

Llanero Folklore Monument is in front of the Hotel Rosado and near the Central Cemetery.

There you can see a beautiful piece of art that pays homage to the Llanero culture. It consists of the following figures: 3 artists playing maracas, harp and cuatro, instruments representing the music of the llanos.

This work was created in 1997 by the painter and sculptor Álvaro Vásquez.

La Cruz Park

In La Cruz Park there is a monument in the shape of a cross, dedicated to the priest Luis María Mauricio Dieres Monsplaisir was built in recognition of the Montfortian religious community.

This park is an ideal place to rest, clear your head and, of course, admire the beauty of the colonial houses.

Coleo monument

This monument was dedicated in 1997 to commemorate the first world festival of Coleo, a sport native to the region. It is located on Avenida del Llano, which connects Villavicencio to the municipality of Restrepo.

The memorial consists of a cowboy holding a bull by the tail with great skill and skill.

This magnificent work of art was created by the artists Carlos Lozan and Nidia Patricia Valdivieso.

Monument to Progresso

If you visit Villavicencio you cannot miss the Monument to Progress. It is a beautiful work of art by Master Miguel Roa Iregüi and is located on Avenida 40, very close to the Llanocentro Shopping Center.

The bronze work consists of four figures: an Afro man, a “llanero” on horseback, a resident of the department and an indigenous woman, pulling a rope representing the region’s tireless search for progress.

Park Monument to the Fallen (Monumento a los Caidos)

The park was built to commemorate the members of the armed forces who lost their lives in the armed conflict.

There you can see a monument in the shape of a man in uniform surrounded by Colombian flags, a black stone engraved with the names of those who died on duty and finally several palm trees that are really beautiful and imposing.

The park is on the outskirts of town, specifically at kilometer 8 of the road to Puerto Lopez.

Karmanu Water Park

30 minutes from Villavicencio is the Karmanu water park. It is an ideal place to have fun. There is a pool for adults with a water slide and waterfalls, a children’s pool, table tennis tables, billiards, frog, bowling frog, beach volleyball courts.

The park also has a restaurant called Asadero de la Novillada de Falla, where visitors can enjoy local dishes such as fried mojarra, lanera -style veal, and sancocho.

Fundadores Park

The Parque los Fundadores has a variety of gardens, areas for cultural activities, platforms, more than 200 parking spaces, a gym area, a representation of the Llanero landscape with characters and instruments of the region, a food shop and the most striking work, a 22-meter-high Work depicting a man, emblematic of a founder, holding a Corocora in his arms while riding two horses.

This monument was created in honor of the Lanera race and executed in bronze by Rodrigo Arenas Betancourt, a well-known Colombian artist.

Luceros de Paz Monument

This work of art was created by James Barrero and was inaugurated in March 2021.

The monument was erected in honor of the people who fell victim to the genocide of the political party Unión Patriótica in the Department of Meta. That is why the names of 200 murdered leaders are worked into the 2.40-meter-high metal structure with a diameter of 2 meters.

The House of Joropo

Galán district of Villavicencio is the Casa del Joropo, a place to enjoy the folklore and culture of the Llanera region.

If you decide to visit this place you can enjoy live shows with the most famous songs of the different folklore artists while tasting a wide variety of typical dishes of the region.

Vuelo Libre memorial

The Vuelo Libre Monument is one of the first works of art that tourists coming from Bogotá to Villavicencio see, as it is located just before the last tunnel of the Bogotá – Villavicencio road.

The work was created in 2005 by Miguel Roa Iregüi and consists of two Corocoras (the flagship of the region), which simulate a flight with spread wings in the air.

Monument to the Harps

The Harp Monument is located at the roundabout leading to Vanguardia Airport.

If you visit this place you will find 3 metal structures with water falling, representing the strings of the harp.

Malocas Park

Inaugurated in 2003, this place is one of the symbols of the city and is located in Las Malocas Theme Park, known for its attractions and varied activities that represent the culture of the eastern plains.

There are the Pueblito Llanero , Stables, the Santa Helena Herd and the Path of Myths and Legends.

Monument “Homenaje to Cuatro Llanero”

At the entrance to Villavicencio, on the connecting road to the municipality of Acacias, stands the monument” Homenaje al Cuatro Llanero”, a spectacular work created in 2020 by the sculptor Julián Arias Melo, in which he honors the customs of the “llanero” with four iconographic figures in steel.

Art gallery Flor Amarillo

Meta departmental governor’s office houses the Flor Amarillo Art Gallery, a space where the works of the Meta department’s plastic artists are exhibited.

The name of this place pays homage to the Guayacán or also called Flor Amarillo, the most representative tree of Meta.

Monument to Biodiversity

In the center of town is the Monument to Biodiversity, which consists of a large yellow hand with five differently colored rings on the fingers, symbolizing the different types of life that make up the ecosystem.

Villavicencio has such a rich flora and fauna that it has become a reference town for ecotourism.

Ax Park

The Parque del Hacha is one of the oldest parks in the city and looks back on more than 45 years of history.

Named in honor of José Eustasio Rivera (writer of La Vorágine), it has resting places, green paths, a satellite library and a monument in the shape of an axe.

Cenit del Llano Monument

At the roundabout between Avenida 40 and Calle 13 there is the Cenit del Llano monument, where you can see the Corocoras, emblem of the region.

The monument was erected in 2007 by the artist Manuel Acosta Bejarano with the support of the Villavicencio City Hall as a tribute to the wildlife of the plains.

Los Periodistas Park

In the park you will find a statue of Antonio Villavicencio, a well-known governor, independence fighter and revolutionary.

In addition, the park, which incidentally got its name on February 9, 1987, has a Saman tree and a grandstand from which to observe the various artistic activities that take place there.

COFREM Park of Life

There are various green areas and attractions in the park such as a bowling alley, a fitness center, two semi-Olympic pools, a swimming pool with a slide, pool tables, soccer fields, beach football, basketball, volleyball, shuffleboard and mini-shuffleboard.

Monument un sendero hacia el future

In front of the entrance of Las Malocas theme park is the monument “A way to the future”, built as a tribute to the culture and personality of the Ilaneros.

This large work of art, weighing more than 4 tons, was created by the Colombian sculptor Héctor Lombana.

Farm La Floresta

The Granja La Floresta offers its visitors a unique experience because here they can interact with different animals such as mules, goats, ponies, rabbits, roosters and others.

Visiting this place, you can also enjoy the swimming pool, the country restaurant and the themed stations.

Monument El Machin del Petroleo

This monument is located on Avenida Fundadores, near the Unicentro shopping mall.

The approximately 40-ton structure stands for the oil industry of the Llanos Orientales.

Ecopetrol headquarters in Santander for around 30 years before it was donated to the city of Villavicencio in 1975.

Christ the King Monument

designed in 1959 by architect José Rama Kans and father Pedro Eliseo Achury. It is about 30 meters high and features the figure of Christ the King looking out over the city with his arms outstretched as a symbol of protection.

The Cristo Rey Monument is located on El Redentor Hill.

Best time to visit Villavicencio

The best time to visit Villavicencio is between June and September, when the temperatures are more pleasant and you can enjoy the different sights of the city even better.

Events in Villavicencio

Here are the main events that take place in Villavicencio throughout the year that you should not miss.

Coleo World Cup

This competition brings together participants from different parts of the world such as Mexico, United States, Venezuela, Costa Rica and Cuba.

This is where the local sport takes place, in which a rider brings down a bull on a 120-meter course.

Popular music concerts are also held during the competitions, which can be enjoyed by visitors to this important annual event.

The Mundial del Coleo is usually held in the second week of October.

International Joropo Tournament

The International Joropo Tournament has a history of more than 60 years since it was first held in 1960.

This tournament brings together the most important Llanera musicians from Colombia and Venezuela, who take part in the various competitions of the tournament as composers, performers and dancers of traditional Llanera music.

The tournament is complemented by other activities such as a gastronomic festival, bullfighting competitions, a business fair and various handicraft exhibitions.

It is estimated that the tournament attracts around 500,000 visitors each edition.

The International Joropo Tournament takes place in June-July.

Catama – Fair of Agricultural Industry, Cattle Breeding and Tourism

This is one of the most important fairs in Villavicencio as it is a trade fair that showcases products and services related to the agricultural industry and awards the best horses and cattle in the country.

Also known as Expomalocas, the fair takes place in the famous Las Malocas Park.

Visitors can also take part in business rounds, horseback riding trips and cultural exhibitions.

The fair always takes place at the beginning of January.

The Joropodrome

This is a street event that brings together various dance academies and private organizations from many parts of Colombia and Venezuela that specialize in the traditional lanero dance.

National Colombian Song Festival and Handicrafts Fair

This event brings together a variety of Llano region artisans to display their work, allowing you to purchase a variety of items such as espadrilles, hats, horsehair ribbons and hammocks.

The festival also includes bullfighting fairs, gastronomic exhibitions, concerts, competitions and other activities. The festival takes place in December.

Villavicencio’s birthday

Villavicencio’s birthday is celebrated every year on April 6th with various artistic events such as parades, fairs, concerts and of course fireworks.

World Cowgirl Competition

This event celebrates the work of the women of the prairie who, like the men of this region, spend their lives riding, saddling, milking and roping cattle.

The World Cowboy Women’s World Cup takes place held at Malocas Park.

At this event, the women of the prairie demonstrate their skills in different modalities of cattle husbandry, such as barrel, lasso and pole tests.

Feast of the Villavicencio Plain

This event promotes the folklore of the region by presenting various local and international artists, well known in both lanero music and other genres.

Visitors to this great festival can also take part in other activities such as; B. horseback riding and a gastronomic festival where you can taste the local cuisine of the region.

It is worth noting that the event takes place in different parts of the city, so everyone has the opportunity to enjoy it.

The festival of Villavicencio Llanero takes place in December.

Nightlife in Villavicencio

In Villavicencio there are some wonderful places to enjoy music and dance:

Los Capachos

4 km via Acacias.

This is one of the best places to party in Villavicencio, but also one of the most expensive.

There are 4 different atmospheres to enjoy here:

  • La Cantina (popular music, vallenato, llanera and more).
  • El Jardín (ranchera music)
  • La Discoteca (crossover music)
  • El Patio (electronic music, reggaeton and vallenato)

Ranchon del Maporal

https://www.facebook.com/ranchondelmaporal/?locale=es_LA

Km 1 on the old road to Restrepo.

There are different atmospheres where you can enjoy good music.

La Fogata Bar Rock

https://www.facebook.com/lafogata.bar.parrilla/?locale=es_LA

Carrera 47e No. 9-24 Barrio La Esperanza Cuarta Etapa.

One of the best places to enjoy rock music and imported beers.

La Estacion Villavo

https://www.facebook.com/laestacion.villavo/?locale=es_LA

Calle 44 to #32A-20 in the El Triunfo neighborhood.

Here is one of the best karaoke bars in town.

Perendengue Cantina Bar

https://www.facebook.com/Perendenguecantinabar?locale=es_LA

Carrera 39 #26 B-06-26

El Burgue’s pub

https://www.facebook.com/elburguespub

Calle 26 # 36A-14

Great atmosphere and a wide range of beers, spirits and cocktails.

Luxor Bar

https://www.facebook.com/people/LUXOR-BAR/100070084240760/

Carrera 39 #19C-15

Typical food in Villavicencio

These are some of the typical dishes that you can find in Villavicencio.

Mamona

A dish of different types of beef grilled for 4 hours and marinated with spices, salt and beer. There are also roast potatoes, yucca, plantains and salad.

Fried Mojarra

It is a fried mojarra seasoned with lemon and salt. It is usually served with coconut rice, patacones, and tomato and onion salad.

Sudado de cachama

A dish with cachama (fish), onions, plantains, yucca and rice.

Gallina criolla

A dish where the chicken is boiled and then seasoned with a tomato and onion stew. It is served with rice, yucca and plantains.

Rice bread

A traditional dish in Villavicencio consisting of butter, rice, cottage cheese, milk, salt and vegetable oil.

Sancocho de Gallina

A soup with onions, plantains, tomatoes, saffron, cumin and of course chicken.

Pisillo de Carne

A dish of roasted meat, cumin, garlic, salt, black pepper and onions.

Casabe Llanero

It is a cake-shaped dish made from bitter yucca.

Pabellon Llanero

A dish with white rice, shredded meat and fried beans.

Changua Cerrera

It’s a broth with cilantro, onions, and whole eggs.

Hayacas

This dish is a lowland tamale made with chicken, pork, egg slices and corn dough, and wrapped in banana leaves.

Guarulo

A drink containing a mixture of coffee and panela.

Vinete

A drink made from the Moriche palm.

Accommodation in Villavicencio

If you love the culture and atmosphere of Villavicencio, you’ll love staying near Las Malocas Park or Los Ocarros Biopark.

Explore our recommendations with the Best Hotels in Villavicencio to find your ideal stay.

How to get to Villavicencio?

The city of Villavicencio is located about 120 kilometers from Bogotá, the capital of Colombia. There are several ways to reach Villavicencio from Bogotá.

Airplane

The quickest way to reach Villavicencio is by plane. Vanguardia Airport is connected to Bogotá and the main cities in the center and south of the country. The airport is on the Restrepo road, just 3 km (1.8 miles) from Villavicencio.

The airlines that offer connections are as follows:

Bus

Villavicencio has a bus station near the main entrance to town, allowing you to catch services such as Expreso Bolivariano and Flor La Macarena can go by bus.

The journey takes about 3 hours and 30 minutes from the country’s capital.

The easiest way to buy tickets is through Pinbus.

By car

Another option is to travel by car. The road that connects Bogotá to Villavicencio is generally in good condition, so the journey can take between 3 and 4 hours depending on traffic jams and speed.

Keep in mind that you have to pay about 3 tolls along the way.

The following companies rent cars in Colombia:

  • hertz
  • advice
  • ABC

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About Author

Frank

Frank

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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