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El Alcaraván

  • General information

    Official language: Spanish
    Time zone: UTC -5
    Currency: Colombian peso (COP)

  • A wooden heart of the city

    The city’s name comes from a tree “yopa”, very typical kind for that region. In a spot, where El Yopal was established, there used to be a forest of these trees. The word yopa itself in Salivas language means heart!

  • A viewing town

    It is worth to go to a town, located nearby, but on a higher level. You will see from there a panorama of El Yopal and a river, that flows by the city – a lovely view!

  • Original inhabitants of the neighbourhood

    Before the city was established, in the neighbourhood used to live autochthonic Indians. What’s interesting, they used to eat aforementioned „yopa”, substance made of trees that has hallucinatory attribute.

What’s worth seeing in El Yopal?

El Yopal is the capital of Casanare, one of thirty two departments of Colombia. It is located in the northern part of the country and is a relatively new city – it was established in 1915. At the same time it is one of the fastest developing urban centre, its population keeps on growing.

Just twenty years ago El Yopal was a sleepy hollow, associated only with agriculture. Today, reality is completely different, locals are eager to indulge into nightlife. There are also many possibilities to spend time on open air – the town is surrounded by beautiful nature, natural parks and lakes.

Staying in El Yopal it is worth to use some of goods offered in that part of the world. Among the most popular places, specializing in seafood and fish, we can name for instance El Camaron Rojo by Calle 7 No 21-28 Carrera 20. They are reportedly the best in the whole country. If you fancy some meat dish, go to Asadero la Mamona by Calle 11 No 18-44. They serve there traditional dishes, characteristic for this part of Colombia, based mainly on pork and beef. One of the most popular type of beef is novilla, meat from young cow. It is impaled on long assegais and slowly burnt over fire.

You probably wonder about safety matter in El Yopal. In recent years, situation in the whole Colombia has improved vastly! You can take as an interesting anecdote the fact that many citizens will be nervous when you will try to take them a photo. Why? They claim they are “wanted” – you could take that seriously even, if it wasn’t for the fact that mostly you would hear it from people doing jobs that are bound to bring attention, like directing traffic on a parking lot in a very crowded city’s centre. Definitely then, you should take it as a proof of famous Colombian tendency for overreacting, not some real danger.

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