Puerto Carreño Tourist Attractions
After sunrise there is much to do in Puerto Carreño!
Tourist Attractions of Puerto Carreño & Vichada
The fabric and landscape of the tourism industry is rapidly changing, we realized this when one of our Goodwill Ambassadors, Col. David Wright arrived there in March of 2023 as a refugee from Venezuela, who is also an American Expat working with the Indigenous Peoples of the Orinoco. Col. Wright submitted confidential reports following a 45 day survey and began working in April to develop a tourism consortium and cooperative civil society to introduce standards of quality, sustainable development options, ecological solutions and transparency to local tourism operators.
To make it to the list of "tourist attractions" there must be 1,000 photos (Geographically searchable using Google) that have been attributed to it historically that have been published by people who have visited the location.
Muelle de Puerto Carreño on the Orinoco River
The Muelle (Docks) is actually the Puerto Carreño Marina, a 200 meter stretch of riverfront shops, restaurants, a liquor store, several billiard halls, fish markets, passenger terminal, cargo terminal, the Colombian navy, national customs, immigration and an Indigenous free-trade port all come together here; it is quite impressive the daily activities that occur here each day. The Muelle (Port) has more than 30 different activities
Cerro de la Bandera
La Bandera is the highest point of the Colombian Guiana Shield separated from Venezuela's Guayana Region by the Orinoco River, it is 97 meters tall and visitors can walk to its summit. From the summit on a clear day a person can see more than 50 kilometers in all directions. The rock has great significance as an observation post, lookout and monument to the national flag of Colombia. In years past it was used by Indigenous peoples tribes as a lookout and sacred site.
Parks and Plazas of Puerto Carreño
First priority of the new tourism council is to convert the following parks and plazas into tourist gems with the addition of attended bathroom facilities, tourist information services and sustainable landscape beautification projects in the following locations:
Plaza Turistica (El Picacho)
Playa del Rio Orinoco
Electro Vichada Park
Artesanía Indígena (13 Tribal Nations)
There are different areas throughout Puerto Carreño that you can find authentic hand-made Indigenous arts and crafts, occasionally you will also find Indigenous artisans doing their work in the street weaving basketry, painting, making necklaces or carving wooden figures. Most likely when you arrive Indigenous artisans will be working on 18th Street (formerly Orinoco Avenue) between Santander Park and Plaza Bolivar on most sunny days, in 2023 there is an organized effort to make the Indigenous artisans a more prominent and visible part of the Puerto Carreño culture and landscape.
Casa de la Cultura
Here, surrounded by huge mango trees, dozens of children meet every day to learn about the interpretation of the typical instruments of the region such as the harp, cuatro, tiple, and maracas. The Joropo dance also has its space in this center.
Parque Nacional Natural El Tuparro
Around the year 1800, standing in front of the imposing rapid that the Indians of the region called Quituna, seized with astonishment, the wise Alexander Von Humboldt, described as the "Eighth Wonder of the World" which is known today as the Raudal de Maypures, one of the main attractions of the protected area.
From a landscape perspective, the complex territory of the Tuparro Park could be described as an extensive green savannah, slightly undulating, furrowed by large rivers with powerful rapids and golden beaches, small streams with crystalline waters, gallery forests, flooded areas, morichales and saltadillas , as well as outcrops of crystalline rocks of the Guyanese Shield in the form of rounded hills.
In 1982 the Tuparro Park was declared a National Monument and Core Zone of the Biosphere Reserve. This world-class category proposes a land use model by fulfilling three complementary functions: conservation, sustainable development, and support for research and education.
Swimming with Pink Dolphins
One of the best places to get up close and personal with pink dolphins is in Puerto Carreño on the Meta and Orinoco rivers. The endangered species thrives here; but it is not safe from harm it is estimated that more than 100 dolphins in the immediate region lose their lives due to watercraft and unintentional drowning in fishing nets. The animal is not on the Indigenous menu and it cannot be found in restaurants here, but that is not to say it is not eaten, an Orinoco River Dolphin alive will fetch a bundle of cash from an unscrupulous buyer for an aquarium or as a menu item somewhere in the world, it is estimated that less than 100 are trapped and exported each year.
Vichada Tourism Commission (Volunteering)
If you are in Puerto Carreño looking for something to do look for one of the members of the Vichada Tourism Commission to inquire about opportunities involving skilled work for room and board at one of Vichada's 1,000 or more tourist locations at farms, ranches and retreats across the Vichada Department. Tourism commissioners can approve tourists for many unique opportunities involving academic and educational experiences as well.