"La indomable llanura con la fuerza de sus ríos y la esbelta figura de sus árboles. Tierras pisoteadas de caballos y de ganados y de garzas y de venados. Tierras de sol, tierra de fe, tierra para el trabajo, el heroísmo y el amor"
Jose Eustasio Rivera.
The Llanos as an ecologic region is a great expanse of lowlands located in Colombia and Venezuela, covering 150,000 Kms2. In Colombia, this region accounts for 28% of the country. The region does not rise above 1,600 f.o.s.l.
Los Llanos is the land of:
Colors. The immense prairie has thousands of colors ranging from red to blue. The temperatures fluctuate between 71°F and 91°F with more than 95% of the rain falling between April and November. In this season, all bodies of water, marshes and lagoons are filled, and a great diversity of blue and green hues appears. On the other hand, the dry season is very noticeable as the drought from January to April turns savannas into incredible yellows and brings up the reddish beeches on the Manacacias River against the greens of the forest patches. The idyllic sunrises and sunsets fill the sky with strokes of red, green, gray, blue and orange. Lavishly colored birds finish the masterpiece.
Savannas and forests. The Colombian Llanos comprises 4 different zones, each one with different soils, vegetation, topography and hydraulic regimes. The immense savannas are the larger of these zones. In the Meta and Vichada provinces is found a special kind of drained savanna called “altillanura”, and comprising of 14,000 Kms². This has and intricate web of forest patches accounting for 20% of the land. Three types of forest are found: Gallery forest or “Morichales” along rivers and creeks. The so-called “Matas” of higher lands and the “Matorrales” of the hills (almost extinct).
Bucolic immensities. The immensity of this land called “Los Llanos” in the raining season may seem just water and mud, turning into dry grasslands and dust, beckons the explorer to get lost, to mark a rout and to follow it to infinity. The land is marked with countless trails, forest lines, pastures, cattle trails, creek beds and hacienda owners routes. Lines without logic mark a beautiful monotony with peaceful surrender. Few vistas induce moments of such inspiration.
Diverse wild fauna. Although no endemic birds have been reported, more than 40% of species in Colombia can be found in Los Llanos (Colombia boasts the richest diversity of birds in the world – with 1,889 species).
There have been reported 48 species of amphibians, 119 species of reptiles, 1,435 species of fish. Above all, the Llanos have various species at different levels of danger of extinction, many of which are found in Mururito. These are: Giant armadillo (Priodontes maximus), Giant nutria (Pteronura brasiliensis), Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis), Mountain lion (Puma concolor), Tapir (Tapirus terrestres), Jaguarondi (Herpailurus yaguaroundi), Giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), Collared pecari (Tayassu tajacu), White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), Brocket deer (Mazama Americana), Porcupine (Coendu prehencilis), Paca (Agouti paca), Amazon red squirrel (Sciurus igniventris).