6/7 Day Rock Paintings & Amazon Blog
El Guaviare is a destination that defines nature and history. A land of rocky outcrops, rivers, lagoons, waterfalls, huge rock art murals, and an infinite jungle rich in fauna and flora. We invite you to discover with us this magical natural destination of El Guaviare.
*These rock wall paintings can be seen on a 4-day tour of Guaviare and the amazon jungle
Located in the south-central region of Colombia, El Guaviare has a terrain carved by erosion evolved by air and marine currents, an area rich in vegetation, animal life and rock art. These winds have sculpted, moulded and created the region into one of singular beauty, giving rise to tunnels, labyrinths, and shapes of rocks that defy the laws of nature.
San José del Guaviare, the state capital, lies along the right bank of the river Guaviare. It is a transitional area between Los Llanos (grassland savannah) to the north and the tropical rainforests to the south.
Travelling from Bogotá to San José del Guaviare you will have the chance to explore the city itself. Humid and warm, the people are very friendly.
The port in the centre of the city is where you can enjoy a spectacular view of the sunset on the banks of the river, while at the same time having a refreshing drink in one of the miradores (small boats that serve as bars).
San José del Guaviare has a rich gastronomic diversity. Enjoy regional and traditional indigenous dishes such as muquiado fish wrapped in plantain leaves along with other delights.
If you are more interested in the cultural side of things, the city is rich in diverse ethnic communities. For example, visit the maloca of the last nomadic tribe in Colombia, the Nukak Maku, or enjoy a spectacular evening with the Tucán del Oriente community.
Get all the information you need to start planning your trip to this magnificent destination, check the weather and climate facts of Guaviare here!
Early morning you will depart for La Ciudad de Piedra, a rock formation famously known as Puerta de Orión or Orión’s Gate, that is 45´/14m high. A peculiar rock formation made up of cavities and cornices, makes it one of the most enigmatic settings for lovers of adventure and nature.
In December the earth´s rotation permits the constellation Orión to be viewed through the hole in the rock. And when the full moon rises, moonbeams shine through the hole like a spotlight to the desert floor. Extraordinary.
You will then continue on, not so far from the Puerto de Orión, where you will see one of Colombia’s red rivers, Caño Sabanas. Maybe not as well known as Caño Cristales, but it is the same river. The algae bloom from June to November when the river appears a stunning red. The pink colour of this river is due to an endemic plant called the macarenia clavigera, which is exclusively found in Colombia.
Digesting the colours of the river, you will walk back to your lodgings through The Bridges of Stone which are natural formations of rock that are super impressive. There are various trails with natural bridges formed on large slates. Several caverns are located under the large slabs, which connect with the slopes of the canyon.
You may enjoy a relaxing evening in town after your exciting day.
*Ever heard about the five coloured river? Here with BnB Colombia, you can visit the ONE AND ONLY 3-day Caño Cristales tour
Cerro Azul is a buried sanctuary in the heart of the jungle, where abounds much-hidden history. You will make your way there to find a mountain rising from the jungle floor that has the largest display anywhere of ancient rock paintings dating back over twelve thousand years. Blood-red paintings are daubed on the face of the ancient rock formations. The paint is made from natural materials including ocher and blood. The paintings depict the activities of past hunters who painted everything they knew about the world on these rocks. There are extinct animals, geometric patterns, rivers, canoes, men with paddles, ladders, rivers, alligators, eagles and bats. These paintings represent hunting scenes, battles, dances and ceremonies linked to the jaguar, a symbol of the Amazonian indigenous communities.
The paintings fill the cliff facings at three different levels on the mountain. The first, at the lowest level, is the easiest to view. Then you climb a quarter mile through a bat-filled cave to reach a second level. This cave was a place where sacrifices were made to the spirits and a burial ground. This level has the best paintings. Finally at the very top are more, for which you require some climbing skills.
You can spend hours gazing at the walls picking out patterns and themes.
*Your thing is learning about history, and culture surrounded by impressive nature? Don’t forget to check this amazing itinerary that we created: 11 Days Explore The Nature & Culture Of Colombia
Finca El Chontaduro is where you will lunch. At one time it was a centre of illegal drug production but since the signing of the peace accords, life has flourished with new crops growing while dozens of wild creatures have returned.
Seeing so many animals roaming the place is one of the charms of the Finca, but perhaps most interestingly the old coca-producing laboratory survives and has been converted into a centre where you can learn about the country’s history with cocaine, an activity that the owner carried out on his Finca for 13 years.
An early morning start is required for your trip to the Damas del Nare Lagoon in the heart of the Amazon foothills, the permanent home to pink dolphins. Here you will be able to see and hear howler monkeys and watch ospreys hunt while swimming with the dolphins that inhabit the lagoon.
The route to reach the Damas del Nare, the natural habitat of bottlenose dolphins, is 4k/2.5m by canoe and 2 hours by car. The canoe trip is perfect to appreciate the silence of the river, which later will be paired with the song of the nearly two hundred types of birds and ten species of primates that live here.
The waters are so dark that it makes it impossible to see where the dolphins are, a situation that they naturally take advantage of to surprise whoever dares to swim with them!
After a splendid luncheon you will make your way back through the jungle to your Jeep to return to your abode.
*If you love unique and desert landscapes, you’ll also be fascinated by the Tatacoa Desert, which you can visit as part of our 5-Day Tour of Colombia’s South and also takes you to the archaeological sites and gorgeous countryside of San Agustín.
The Serranía de la Lindosa is a system of tunnels and natural stone sculptures, in El Guaviare.
Rocky outcrops with stone monoliths of different sizes and shapes, adorned by ascending vegetation and occasional cave paintings.
It is a system of natural tunnels and rocks superimposed in positions that defy gravity. Unusually the biggest stone is on top of the small one, or half lying on another without falling, as if in a magic trick. Others look like trees or massive stone mushrooms.
Los Pozos Naturales, lovely natural swimming holes hewn from the rocky riverbed are a wonderful place to relax and cool off.
You can plunge into the natural wells, some as deep as 8m/26´, which are perfect for a lazy swim.
The minerals and vegetation of the area cause the hue of the water to go from yellow to black, passing through red, so that when submerged your skin looks different colours.
A visit to the indigenous community of the Tukanos, whose population is about 7,000, will enhance your knowledge of El Guaviare.
Although many now live in single-family houses in villages, some communities still live in malokas (communal areas) that function as political and cultural meeting places.
This communal house is the centre of knowledge that connects them with their beliefs. On the outside, it is decorated with the characteristic geometric patterns that are present in the indigenous cultures of this region of the country.
For the most part, they dedicate themselves to hunting and agriculture.
*Working out the budget for your travels to Colombia? Then be sure to check out our article on the costs of a package tour to Colombia, and our article on how much money you’ll need while traveling through Colombia.
Until just a few years ago, the jungles of Guaviare kept secret unsuspected treasures in thousands of cave paintings that are up to 12,000 years old. Vibrant paintings cover the walls of rock shelters.
The paintings are part of Serranía de La Lindosa, one of the places with the highest concentration of rock art in the world.
To be able to see some, that delight archaeologists and tourists alike, you will visit Nuevo Tolima.
The artists chose positions with almost flat tops as their canvas, capturing deer, snakes, representations of the sun, moon and other aspects of life.
You will enjoy a fabulous typical lunch before returning to your hotel.
Immersed in the jungles of Guaviare is the artery of Raudal del Guayabero (raudal is a rapid or fast-running river). Here are hidden jewels of beautiful cave paintings as in other parts of Guaviare. Sketches at El Raudal del Guayabero on immense rocks are testimony of human life probable pre-Columbian in origin. These are pictographic compositions of great magnitude and excellent workmanship which were made with mineral pigments on rock walls.
The blood-red paintings, daubed on the face of the ancient rock formations are vivid reminders of our ancestors and offer a fascinating window into our past.
A region that is so biodiverse it is quite unbelievable!
You are on the edge of the Amazon, so the landscape is characterised by water. Mighty rivers, lakes, creeks and swimming holes abound in Guaviare.
*Nature lovers will also love going on Safari in Casanare, where you can see lots of animals in the wild!
El Raudal is the wildest and least-visited. The Guayabero river, before its meeting with the Ariari, is enclosed in a canyon squeezed by walls of Precambrian rock, just over five hundred metres/547 yards in length
Canoe along the gorgeous rapids of the Guayabero river to be amazed by pink dolphins, caiman and turtles.
At least four species of monkeys can be seen regularly in the jungle as well as toucans, parrots and hummingbirds all over the place. Guaviare is truly a paradise of nature.
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