Villavicencio, capital of the Meta Department, its a colombian municipality from which most of the economic activity of the country begins. It's a mining city, with a lot of farming and ranching as well as inter-regional commerce.During the pre-colombian times, the area was populared by guayupe natives which focused in fishing, trade and farming until the arrival of the spaniards between 1536 and 1537. The oldest records of the foundation of the city are from 1842, although the information isn't entirely accurate since a fire in 1890 destroyed archives with valuable information. What can be said for sure is that the city is named Villavicencio since 1850. During the XXth century the city grew considerably. Several institutions were founded, and new services arrived to satisfy the needs of its citizens.
Travel tips for Villavicencio
The electric current kind used in Colombia is 110-volt AC (110 V), with a frequence of 60 Hz. We recommend you to have a plug adaptor if you travel to places that use other voltage to avoid that the electronic devices suffer a short-circuit and don't work.It's essential for every traveler to have an umbrella by hand due to the rains level, and also a raincoat if possible.The means of transportation more used in Villavicencio are the buses, vans, shared taxis and taxis. The average rate between the diverse means of transportation is 1700 COP, and it varies a little bit depending on the route. The taxis allow to travel faster and to a direct and more expensive destination, the shared taxis have a lower rate but with diverse people.The most common risk in Villavicencio is the thefts or assaults that can occur to the person that is not so cautious or is not attentive to the place where he leaves his things. You must be prudent when walking across unknown places or late at night; even more cautious if you have seen motorcyclists who hide their identity, there are thieves that take advantage of the darkness to commit their felonies.
Best time to visit Villavicencio
The best time to travel to Villavicencio is in December, January and February, since there are less precipitations.
Climate in Villavicencio
Villavicencio presents a tropical climate with an average temperature of 78 °F (25.5 °C) and an annual humidity average of 77%. The rainy season goes from April to November and the precipitations are torrential. The other months there is also rains but in a lower level.
Things to do in Villavicencio
Villavicencio has several tourist attractions that you can't miss: the Monument to Cristo Rey, the biopark los Ocarros, the Agro-ecologic Mercure Park, the Park of Malocas, the Acoustic Shell, the Birds Museum and the city center (with a lot of business and houses of colonial style) and the Joropo House, where you can enjoy the musical folklore of the plainsmen.
Nightlife in Villavicencio
Los Capachos Discoteca
Location: Km 4 Via Acacias, 473 Hours: 8:00 p.m. - 6:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday Price: no available information It has been qualified as the best nightclubs of the city, you can enjoy its large rooms with DJs music of diverse music styles to carry on with rumba until early morning the following day.
El Burgues Pub
Location: crossing point of Calle 26 with Carrera 36A Hours: 4:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. Sunday to Wednesday / 4:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. Thursday to Saturday Price: no available information A beautiful and meticulous decoration can be admired in the bar, while you enjoy a frozen beer to hold on the heat of the city. They serve appetizers and varied cocktails made of natural fruits, which are the perfect company to spend a night of great amusement.
Location: Cruce de Carrera 39 con Calle 19 Hours: No available information Price: No available information Get the most out of the music of Luxor Bar, contemporary and with several invited artists or DJs from all over the world to have a unique rumba. The offer of the place includes various drinks, delicious appetizers and a pleasant environment.
Location: Cruce de Carrera 30A con Diagonal 43 Hours: 5:00 p.m. - 2:00 a.m. Monday to Thursday / 5:00 p.m. - 3:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday Price: No available information It's the ideal place for the people who love rock music. Mateo Pub was founded in 1988, the 8/8 (August the 8th) by 8 friends. The bar has all you need to spend the evening with drinks and friends listening to Guns and Roses, Soda Stereo or AC DC; and other rock groups.
Where to eat in Villavicencio?
La Cofradía Restaurante
Location: Cofradía Mediterránea Calle 15 N. 37i - 10 andCofradía Colonial Calle 33 A Nº 36-98 Barzal Zaguan del Oriente Cra 30 a N 38 - 29 centro Calle de las joyerías. Hours: 12:00 p.m. - 12:30 a.m. Monday to Friday Rate: An average of 79500 COP per person La Cofradia is a special place for 2 reasons: first they offer a quality service with delicious plates and it's an ideal restaurant to celebrate important dates. They have a presentation that takes care of details, standing out their romantic dinners and wine tasting. There are 3 rooms specially designed for various people.
Location: Crossing point of Carrera 43b with Calle 27 - El Buque Hours: 11:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m. Monday to Friday / 11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday Rate: no available information At this restaurant they are specialists in combining fast food with sauces and condiments fully healthy, having as a result a taste but good quality food. There are more than 17 variations of hamburger, several hotdogs, there are some a la carte dishes and there is a delivery service in case you prefer it.
Asadero La Topochera
Location: Calle 1 # 36A 85 Hours: No available information Rate: No available information It's a large place with wood and natural consumables that give a rustic atmosphere to the place. It has a tropical style that will please the travelers, the service is fast and good; although the seats are not so comfortable, the environment and the price make you forget that detail.
Location: Calle 46 # 29 - 34 Hours: No available information Rate: No available information At this restaurant you will find a colorful place with one of the most appealing decorations in Colombia, a different room with a lot of style where each plate is a work of art. You can enjoy the soft smell of natural flowers in the environment and the smile of the personnel in charge of looking after the client.
The tourist places to see in Villavicencio are:
Catedral Nuestra Señora del Carmen
Location: between the Calles 39 and 32, close to the Plaza Los Libertadores Hours: no available information Rate: free entrance This awesome cathedral is located in the downtown of the city. It was planned in 1845 and 3 years later there was a rudimentary construction that was blessed in that moment. The construction that you can admire nowadays was rebuilt in 1894, since the previous was destroyed in the fire of 1890. The inside is quite beautiful and preserved.
Parroquia del Divino Niño
Location: Cruce de Carrera 29 con Calle 37 Hours: no available information Rate: free entrance It's a beautiful parish with large windows of triangular shape with round faces that have a unique style. There is also the image of the Virgin Mary who welcomes the visitor with open arms up of the construction as a divine signal of opening.
Parque de los Fundadores
Location: on the road that goes from Bogota to Villavicencio, in the crossing point with Carretera 40 Hours: all day Rate: free entrance It's the largest park of the city that allows to be in harmony with the nature thanks to the well-maintained gardens. There are several areas called estaciones where you can do a trekking and a central square with the sculpture Los Fundadores of the artist Rodrigo Arenas.
Casa de la Cultura Jorge Eliecer Gaitan
Location: Crossing point between Calle 40 and Carrera 33 Hours: no available information Rate: free entrance Two words to define this place: plain's culture. It was created in 1971 when the government decided to finance a house of culture with the name of Jorge Eliecer Gaitan. However there was no one so the person in charge of it decided to put that name. The house is little, but provides cultural and artistic activities quite appreciated and of quality.
Campo Ecológico Gramalote
Location: On the way to Restrepo, 700m. passing the toll of Puente Amarillo Hours: no available information Rate: Package tours per hours are proposed It's a wonder of nature that allows to contemplate the splendid landscapes that surround the city. You can go across on horseback first through plain lands to carry on through mount bushes while you are surrounded by the sounds of nature that come from monkeys, birds and several species that live in the area.
Bioparque Los Ocarros
Location: Vía Rastrepo km. 3 - In front of the cemetery Cementerio Jardines del Llano Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday to Friday / 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday Price: Children from 3 to 11 years old (10000 COP), People of 12 years old and up (13000 COP), Guide included until 25 people (20000 COP). It's a special place that allows to view all the beauty of flora and fauna of the Orinoquia.You can contemplate more that 30 exhibitions in the park that include visits to the artificial islands of the aquarium and the snake's house. You can do trekking across the natural roads, visit the restaurant and enjoy the folcklore shows in the weekends.
The things to do in Villavicencio
Sail on a water bike
Location: Bioparque los Ocarros You can plow through the lakes inside of the park contemplating the beautiful surroundings of nature, while you are in company of a friend, a travel friend or your partner. Besides going across a beautiful place, you exercise the legs and you have a different view close to the water and in an environment where you will listen the whisperings of the nature.
Rafting por el río Guayuriba
Location: On the road of the old bridge Villavicencio, direction to Acacias Hours: no available information Rate: 70000 COP per person Tire boat, life vest, helmet, oars, and all you need to sail through the Guayuriba river. Admire the landscape while you go across the rapids type I and II, always accompanied by a special instructor to make safer your trip. If you go across the river Ariari you will have rapids of type III.
Location: Guayuriba river Hours: no available information Rate: free entrance Descend the sheer slope that the instructor has for you listening to the heavy sound of the nature that surrounds you. People always told you not to look down there while you descend; you can test this popular saying, while feeling tha the floor is slippery due to the water that goes under your feet.
Typical dishes in Villavicencio
Mamona a la llanera
It's a delicious dish that has several slices of young veal, which are served with green fried banana, potato, manioc and some people serve it with guacamoles sauce. A refreshing pineapple juice is perfect to drink with this food.
Sancocho de gallina criolla
This delicious soup has several tubers and legumes and has hen meat, whose flavor is highlighted if it's a creole hen. Beans, peas, broad beans that accompany the plate.
A fish that lives in the rivers of the plains. The cachama fish is marinated with lemon juice, chilli pepper, salt and cumin and roasted until it's gold-colored. When you serve it, the dish comes with slices of fried banana, tomato salad, onions, lemon and rice.
This side dish has a rectangular shape and it's made of pork, cow and chicken, marinated with coriander and onion and with dough that wrap it.
How to reach Villavicencio
Villavicencio by train
There have been several projects to build a railroad in the region, but they have all been unsuccessful, reason why there is no train yet to Villavicencio.
Villavicencio by flight
The direct distance from Bogota to Villavicencio is 43,50 mi (70 km). The Aeropuerto Vanguardia, which is essential for Los Llanos communication, serves the city of Villavicencio and it's located at 15 minutes from the downtown. There are many origin towns whose airports have direct flights to Villavicencio in Colombia; some of them are Bucaramanga, Medellin, Cartagena, El Yopal, Manizales, Pereira, Neiva and Armenia. Avianca and Satena are the main Colombian airlines that operate in the airport of Vanguardia.
Villavicencio by bus
The travel from Bogota to Villavicencio takes approximately 3 hours, going through the highway for 73 mi (118 km). The main bus companies that cover the route Bogota-Villavicencio are Expreso Bolivariano and Flota La Macarena. The cities of origin from where the buses leave destination to Villavicencio are Barranquilla, Bogota, Cali and Medellin.
Accomodations in Villavicencio
Enjoy Colombia Joy & Travel
Location: Calle 22 # 37L-34 Teusacá, 223735 Rate: 35000 COP - 80000 COP A traditional place where you can spend the night. There you can find all the necessary for a traveler that has no problems with sharing amenities as the room, the bathroom and the kitchen. There is a restaurant and free wifi.
Mochileros Hostel Villavicencio
Location: Calle 18 No 39-09 Rate: 277000 COP - 85000 COP It's located at just 0,6 mi (1 km) from the Plaza Los Fundadores. The cheapest rooms have a shared bathroom, the kitchen is also shared and some have TV; the wifi is free and the nearest mall is placed at just 32,8 feet of distance (10 meters).
Hotel Deportivo y Recreativo Los Gemelos
Location: Carrera 18 Este Barrio Covisan Precio: 50000 COP - 400000 COP This lodging has simple, double, triple, quadruple rooms, family rooms and suites. There are available pools for your entertainment, a private pool, areas to practice water sports. Each room has TV and a private bathroom and some of them have a view over the swimming pool and/or the living-room.
Hotel Oriente Plaza
Location: Calle 15 Nº 9 - 65 Av. Los Maracos Precio: 55000 COP - 90000 COP A hotel of colonial architectural style with 3 floors, that welcomes the visitors in rooms that have a private bathroom, air conditioning, TV, minibar, phone, a private balcony, among their amenities. It's placed at 2296 feet (700 meters) from the bus station and at 4,3 mi (7 km) from the Bio parque Los Ocarros.
Wyndham Garden Villavicencio
Location: Km 3.5 Via Quisqueya, the town Brisas de Upin Rate: 225000 COP - 610000 COP The rooms and suites of the hotel have air conditioning, minibar, private bathroom and a private balcony to enjoy moments of total relax. The hotel is in a good location, close to several interest places and a gorgeaous view over the plain. Breakfast is included.
Estelar Villavicencio Hotel & Centro de Convenciones
Location: Avenida 40 No. 11 Costado Norte de Metrokia Rate: 239250 COP - 388000 COP Each room has TV, air conditioning, minibar, iPod base and a private bathroom. There is gourmet food at the restaurant of the hotel, free wifi and private garage. The whole construction has a modern style quite appealing, ideal for the most demanding visitors.
Important dates in Villavicencio
Festival Llanero de Villavicencio
It's a celebration where there are diverse rodeo activities and craft of the cowboy. It includes a festival with story tellers, a gastronomic festival, cavalcades that cheer up the Peruvian and international visitors and make garish shows.
Torneo Internacional del Joropo
This tourney has more than 60 years of history, it's a cultural plain sample where more than 500 000 people are joined to participate of cavalcades, equaestrian spectacle and as the greatest event the Reinado Internacional de Joropo, a beauty competition where the queen who manages all the celebrations is chosen.
Encuentro Mundial de Coleo
Coleo as a sport was born from one of the most common activities of the previous cowboys. Usually the streets were closed to do those spectacles during the patron saint dates in the towns of Orinoquia in the 50s. The sport consists of knocking down a beast while the horseman is riding a horse and holding the tail of the animal.