Bita river, the indomitable from the Orinoquía

AUTHOR: Carmen Jackeline Cifuentes

If they told you that you have the opportunity to visit the Bita river, one of the few water bodies which do not flow into the sea, but in another river even more important and with which it joins, so with this cover letter the mind starts already to fidget and the heart to beat more accelerated.

Those emotions essential for life are the ones that you feel when connecting the Orinoco river with the Bita or Vita (Vida) river one of the many Colombian rivers, which are tributaries of the Orinoco river basin.

Sunset on the Bita River

The Bita river is generously recognized by its big potential of biodiversity in flora and fauna, because it has very low human intervention and for having a declaratory of “protected river” on course, this is an innovative figure of the environmental law which has no background on the planet nor legal recognition in Colombia.

Sunset on the Orinoco River

The Bita river covers 423 kilometers and along its immensity has a great offer of environmental service since is a perfect place for the “fishing and release” practice, controlled and regulated by the environmental authority.


The Bita river is located in the Vichada department over an approximate distance of 40 km south of the capital, Puerto Carreño.

The place can be reached by air or land. If you are in Bogotá you must take a light aircraft from Satena way to Puerto Carreño, this airline has a daily route with capacity for about 80 passengers and the journey in normal conditions takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Rest beside the river
Photo: Luis Alejandro Bernal Romero

Being in “Carreño” this is how the locals call Puerto Carreño, you rent a 4×4 vehicle towards Puerto Gaitán, which is the same way that leads to Villavicencio.

The journey takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes until you reach a place called “El Refugio”. Most of the way is a dirt road, so it’s usual that the clouds of dust immerse you in a kind of bath with red sand.

Sunset over the Bita River

As is typical of the Llano landscape, see in the distance the vast plain join with the sky and the sun who does its work evaporating and wetting all what he illuminates in its path. While traveling you can entertain your traveler view by appreciating the enormous cattle pastures.

Hato llanero

As you move forward in the journey and get near to the Bita, the sunset gives way to the night and with her the spectacle of the nature changes colours reflecting in the waters of the river the going down of the sun and the start of the night life.

To become night

As every day in the early hours, the dawn warns that the day is coming and along the Bita river is a must to awake with a sun bath to energize the day who sings to the dawn.

Being in the area of end destination from the journey, the experienced driver takes its passengers to the place known as “El Refugio” which is a sylvatic area located inside a farm of private property.

Vichada environmental reserve

The environmental ecotourism reserve of Bita, known as the Nimajay refuge it is administered by an operator whose coordinates are here.


You can stay in the Nimajay refuge which has multiple or single accommodation.

Due to the high temperatures and the humidity in the Orinoquía environment, the rooms are provided with fans or air conditioner that works with power plant, pumped water of the river, hammocks and large areas for relaxation.

Accommodation at Vichada

There are no cars, nor a motorcycle, nor Internet connection, in other words there is a complete disconnection with the rest of the world.


You can do bird watching, you can see eagles hunting, giant otters, river stingrays and watch others of the more than 400 animal species that inhabit the Bita.

Another good alternative is spend some time along the river and enjoy of the tranquility that you feel when looking at the dawn and the sunset, something that is a fantastic experience.

Bird watching
Photo: Luis Alejandro Bernal Romero

One of the other activities that you can do is to navigate the river in canoe, guided by a “Boga” who is the boatman and enjoy the histories and legends that with his traditional knowledge share with the travelers.

Fishing in boat

But without a doubt fishing is the experience most wanted for the international and national tourists who visit the Bita river.

Attracted by the emotion of fish in a river cataloged as one of the rivers with more biodiversity in a wild and clean state.

Fishing in the Bita River
Bird watching
Photo: Luis Alejandro Bernal Romero

The fishers of the reserve practice the “fishing and release” which is to do sport fishing without killing the fish. An activity that has as a principle not mistreat the fish and take only what is going to consume in the day.


Between November and March is the best time to navigate the waters of the Bita river upstream or downstream, because the summer and spring life in the Orinoquía is right there and the river is in its best time of water capacity, water volume and river wildlife.

River beach

In winter it is no possible to navigate because all the plain is flooded making it difficult to move and communicate. Being a tropical weather there is humidity the whole year.

Carmen Jackeline Cifuentes

Carmen Jackeline Cifuentes

Geógrafa por profesión y por pasión.
Una mujer de Montaña que ama viajar al interior de la naturaleza, respirar su olor, sentir su sabor y conectarlos con sus sentidos.

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blog: https://jackycolombia.blogspot.com.co/

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