All my life I have dreamt about visiting the destination of Casanare. I often heard the fantastic stories from my family who once visited Colombia’s vast plains and valleys. They told me about the wildlife, fauna, and cowboys, and these stories were imprinted on my memory making me dream of visiting. Lucky for me, my dream came true! I was offered a trip to explore this region through my work in tourism for Colombian Journeys.
Travels that made my dreams come true
My trip started with the arrival in Yopal, the capital city of Casanare region in Colombia, and after a very warm welcome from our hosts and a good night’s sleep we had an early start. We checked out of our hotel after breakfast and headed to the airport to take our flight in a small charter plane for only six passengers- such a small flight was an exciting experience for me! After a flight of about one hour, we landed in the middle of El Lagunazo.
We were surrounded by nature and friendly warm people, I felt like I was in paradise by a beautiful lagoon and in the middle of flatlands named Los Llanos. We arrived, had lunch, and we started a short hike in the afternoon and took a canoe trip that ended with a picnic while watching a magnificent sunset. I had never imagined that my first day at El Lagunazo would be the best sunset I had ever seen.
For the next four days, I had several incredible experiences. The nature in this part of Colombia is very different from the rest of the places that I know and it was a delight to see. During the walks and safari trips that we took, we saw a huge variety of colored birds as well as geese, parrots, ducks, owls, horses, wild pigs, deer, caimans, and hundreds of capybaras. The sight was spectacular, and I experienced different sunsets during a safari trip and a hike looking for a boa and a jaguar.
Living like a Llanero
I learned not only about nature but also about the local people. They showed us that tourism helps to maintain themselves and the sustainability of their natural habitat. They work hard every day with the community to improve what they offer. It was no more than their rustic houses, the stunning landscapes, the spectacular food, and their smiles (with a big hug included) and to show us how it is to live like a Llanero (Colombian cowboy).
This trip was very special for me, I felt very privileged for what I have seen and done in Casanare. I fell in love with Los Llanos and I am sure that anyone visiting Colombia would love to discover what I experienced. I will surely come back not just once, but many more times. It was a once in a lifetime experience!
By Catherine Morales
Credit to @bycathy and @kthymorita for the photos.