Yopal (department of Casanare) is a land of cordial, honest and hard-working people; its inhabitants are owners of millenary ways, customs and traditions; its geography exhibits natural sceneries turned into wildlife sanctuaries; the incursion of modernist schemes have consolidated the infrastructure that characterizes the capital cities; in general, it is a nucleus of landscape, cultural, human and architectural mixtures and contrasts.
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Casanare in Few Words
This region of eastern Colombia has preserved, like few others, the link between nature and the urban landscape. The typical buildings of large cities, including the departmental administrative center, parks, bank branches, educational, hotel and health infrastructure, commercial establishments and cultural spaces, are combined with the surrounding mountainous areas, water tributaries, wells, spas and natural viewpoints.
Warm, medium and cold thermal zones; geomorphological transformations, due to its location in the foothills of the Eastern Cordillera; savannahs and pastures, dedicated to cattle raising; marshes, madreviejas, hills and abrupt formations, oil exploitation areas, fruit fields and the presence of tributaries that make up Yopale’s water potential, are some of the aspects that support the image of the capital as a tourist destination and a focus of natural diversity.
Places to see in Yopal Casanare
From the Bellavista viewpoint, in the west of Yopal, the plains seem to dawn without limits while the sun tints the sky in shades of red, pink and orange. This is a good place to appreciate the landscapes of this city, where travelers enjoy the joropo, a rhythm of the Llanos; and enjoy typical dishes such as mamona (beef), among other things in Yopal.
Cravo Sur River Yopal, Casanare
The flow of the tributary descends from the mountain to form currents that make the Cravo River an ideal scenario for lovers of extreme adventure. Hundreds of visitors and rafters congregate to experience the thrill of the rapids and appreciate the magnitude and strength of the water resource. Local companies and experts, located in the surrounding areas, can be hired to accompany and guide your journey.
El Mirador de Buenavista
At 7 km from the capital, in the Buenavista trail, the best view of the city is obtained. From the summit, at 750 meters above sea level, you can appreciate the savannahs, pastures and other scenery that identify the natural panorama of Yopaleño. The attraction also has food areas, camping areas and natural pools.
Virgen de la Peña Ecological Trail
The Virgen de la Peña Ecological Trail, located in the town of El Morro, crosses the same sector that was once traveled by farmers and herds of cattle on their way to inland towns.
The road, which leads to Labranza Grande, and from there to the municipality of Sogamoso, in the Department of Boyacá, is 2.5 km full of ecology, history and religious tradition. The local anecdotes indicate that on February 2, 1936, the daily journey of Dimas Avella, a local farmer, would become the most remembered event by the Catholic community of Yopaleña.
On a rock, on the other side of the Cravo Sur River, rested the image of the Blessed Virgin. From that day on, the scene would be considered the religious sanctuary par excellence of the people of the capital. Every week, hundreds of visitors, including tourists and locals, come on pilgrimage to thank and request the favor of the Blessed Virgin. This attraction also serves as a wildlife refuge. Bejucos, medicinal plants, bushes, mosses and ferns,among other species, will accompany the travelers’ journey. Near the rock that decades ago witnessed the apparition of the Virgin, you can appreciate and enjoy the thermal waterfalls that flow from the streams.
Garcero del Llano Yopal
is located at kilometer 10 of the Sirivana-Tacarimena road, 15 minutes from the capital of Casanare. This natural reserve is also the most representative ecological niche of the eastern wild scene. There, the Yopaleño sunsets become a natural spectacle. Every day, thousands of herons and egrets congregate on the ‘lanocia alborear’, a bushy species typical of the humid zones. Birds of white, pink, red and brown colors, among others, adorn the local panorama.
La Aguatoca natural pool
is located on the road to El Morro, and is the epicenter of rest and recreation for the Yopaleños. Crystalline waters, surrounding vegetation and rocky outcrops that, converted into natural diving boards, stand out among the most outstanding attractions of this scenery of the capital.
The pool, formed by two natural circles, exhibits distinctive characteristics in each of them. The first, 10 m long and 2 m deep, is usually the focus of family meetings and gatherings; the second, on the other hand, reaches 25 m in length, making it the ideal space for young and old, mostly natives, and experienced in the practice of free diving. Boat rides, food sales and camping areas are among the additional attractions.
Viewpoint of the Virgin of Manare
The El Venado hill 2.5 km from the capital, via the electrification plant, rises to exhibit a panorama that combines nature and religious tradition. The sculpture in honor of the Virgin of Manare, patron saint of the people of Casanare, is located there. The work, 15 meters high, and made by the artist Víctor Salamanca Medina, has become a sanctuary for local pilgrimages.
During Holy Week, for example, thousands of the faithful arrive in the capital to undertake a journey to the top of the viewpoint. Already at the summit, the image of the Virgin and the panoramic view of the city invite to a moment of calm and evocation.
Francisco de Paula Santander Park
In Francisco de Paula Santander Park are planted trees representative of the region, such as the fauno, the totumo, the camoruco, the matadepalo and the yopo, which inspires the name of the city.
This local space, core of the social and commercial dynamism of Yopaleño, represents, nevertheless, a scenario that forces to rest and the contemplation of the capital panorama. The combination of bushes, gardens, restaurants, public establishments, bank branches and the cathedral makes the park one of the most distinctive and appreciated places in the city.
El Resurgimiento Park
Among the most outstanding features of Resurgimiento Park are the green areas and spaces for artistic and cultural events, including the International Festival ‘El Cimarrón de Oro’. However, the park is also a nucleus of historical diffusion.
There, a sculpture in homage to the troops commanded by Colonel Ramón Nonato Pérez commemorates the efforts of the “llaneros” who participated in the independence struggles.
The bronze work, approximately 6 meters high, is located on the side of the park, on 16th Street. This attraction also has sports areas, a bicycle path, planters and nature trails.
Hotels in Yopal
According to the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Yopal has 80 establishments, including hotels, hostels and finca-hotels. The urban center, for the most part, and some sectors of the rural perimeter, share Yopal’s lodging offer. Rooms with private bathrooms, food and recreation areas, work areas and connectivity; but, above all, service and cordiality, will be the infallible elements during your stay.
- Osborne Hotel
- Hotel Camoruco
- La aurora Boutique Hotel
- Hotel Casa Morales
- Hotel del Llano
- Hampton By Hilton Yopal
- Holiday Inn Express Yopal
- GHL Style Yopal
- Hotel Estelar Yopal
- Hotel Sol de Piedemonte
How to get around Yopal
The capital’s wide, tree-lined streets make it possible to walk in comfort, safety and natural scenery. The proximity of commercial, administrative, and recreational areas encourages walking within the city. The roads leading to neighboring municipalities and departments are in good condition. The intermunicipal transportation service operates during the day and some hours of the night. The Highway Police and other control entities have installed checkpoints on the roads of the capital to ensure the safety of travelers. Follow their indications.
The climate of the capital of Casanare is warm-humid. Temperatures in summer can reach 36 °C; during the rainy season they can drop to 23 °C. These variations, in turn, exhibit the landscape transformations that identify Yopaleña’s natural scene.
Yopaleña offers a menu, mostly based on culinary secrets inherited by generations of “llaneros” (people from the plains). Meats, preparations based on tubers, cereals, beverages and products extracted from the Casanareño soil are part of the local recipe book. The urban center, the Central de Abastos, the road to Sirivana and the Marginal de la Selva road, at the height of La Guafilla and La Chaparrera, concentrate most of the establishments.
Entertainment and fun
Parks, spas, viewpoints, lagoons, hills, restaurants, discotheques, bars and ice cream parlors are part of a tourist offer that guarantees leisure, recreation and adventure for visitors.
Yopal’s nights are contagious with rumba, joy and pleasure. The bars, discos and restaurants of the capital congregate daily hundreds of tourists who extend the fun until dawn. Public establishments, some with 24-hour service, prevent darkness from being an excuse to interrupt the dynamic that accompanies the streets and scenarios Yopaleños.
How to get to Yopal & Casanare
The access routes to Yopal (Casanare) have fortunately ceased to be bridle paths and have become stretches of road characterized by safety, comfort and constant maintenance. By air, Yopal is also part of the itinerary that connects its population with the rest of the national destinations.
El Alcaraván Airport, located in the urban perimeter of the capital, receives travelers from Bogotá. The Yopal-Bucaramanga route, recently incorporated, has two weekly flights. The rest of the frequencies to the Colombian capital are daily.
Yopal is connected by landwith the departments of Boyacá, Cundinamarca and Meta. The Troncal del Llano road connects the territory with the rest of Colombia. The road to Cusiana, on the other hand, opens the way from the capital of Casanare to connect with the Department of Boyacá. The route through paved roads makes the trip a safe and pleasant experience. From Bogotá to Yopal, passing through Villavicencio, the distance is 472 km; and from Bogotá, through the Tunja-Sogamoso-Yopal road, it is 440 km.
Culture and Traditions of Yopal, Casanare
The tradition and culture of Yopal (Casanare) combines, in the same scenario, the past and present of its generations. From the spaces dedicated to the practice of soccer and basketball, for example, one can observe some “coleo” games that revive the legacy of the “llanero” peasants. For its part, the native music of the eastern region of Colombia still coexists with the new trends that amplify the Yopaleñas discotheques. In the capital city, the llano and its women are sung to; the stories of the ancestors are still told to the sound of harp, cuatro and maracas. The rhythms and songs that resonate throughout the capital express the idiosyncrasy, mentality, customs, legends, myths and beliefs of the Casanareño.
The processes of colonization have also diversified the popular festivities to the point of turning the territory into a stage for pasajes, joropos, zapateos, corridos, galerones, fandangos, bambucos and torbellinos. Mestizos, blacks, whites, Indians and peasants, all are, in essence, the image of Casanareño folklore. Patron saint festivities, herding days, cowherds, herds and farms become constitutive aspects of the local identity. The Yopaleño is a cattle rancher, farmer, poet, and a lover of his natural environment.
The capital is a mixture. Motorcycles and men “on horseback” cross the same roads to exhibit a scene in which ancestral practices contrast with the styles of modernity. In short, Yopal opens the doors to progress while preserving the respect and appreciation of its original communities. In the houses and public establishments still sound the poems of native copleros that accompany with the song the visit of tourists and settlers. Men with espadrilles, hats, ponchos and pants “arremangao” cross the streets to evoke the scene of the llanero fathers.
The native of Yopal, that “son of the Llanos”, is kind, hard-working, a sailor and fisherman; he speaks loudly, but in a respectful tone; he speaks quickly, almost as if improvising couplets; he is capable of walking barefoot, of remembering the names of the typical animals of the east and of recommending the natural scenery most sought after by travelers. Yopal is a land of celebrations that sing of its roots, its heritage, its landscapes and its loves; it is the epicenter of stories that speak of ‘La Llorona’, ‘El Duende’, ‘El Silbón’ and ‘La Bol’e Fuego’; it is, in conclusion, synonymous with music, legends, verses, barbecues, handicrafts and products of the land.
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