San Vicente del Caguán is in Caquetá. The former FARC capital of El Caguán DMZ, it isn't a tourist attraction, but does make for a convenient stop over when en route to or from La Macarena.
In 2015, it was home to 68,000 people.
It is in the basin of the Caguan and Yarí rivers. It is the second most important city in the department and in the entire Colombian Amazon region. Its economic activity, mainly oriented towards livestock, aquaculture production and exotic fruits such as arazá, cocona, cupoazú and maraco.
During the peace process between 1998 and 2002, San Vicente del Caguan was the center of the demilitarized zone.
San Vicente del Caguan is 151 km northeast of Florencia, the departmental capital. It can be reached by the Marginal de la Selva Highway from Florencia, in a trip that can take around three hours. It can also be accessed by the highway from Neiva (Huila), passing through the township of Guayabal in a journey that can last 6 hours.
You can arrive by plane to the Eduardo Falla Solano airport, which receives direct flights from Florencia and other towns in the Colombian Amazon
- Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes Cathedral: It was built by the Consolata missionaries in the middle of the 20th century. Inside there are three sculptures carved in cypress and brought from Italy, which correspond to the Virgen de las Mercedes who is the patron saint of San Vicente del Caguan, the Sacred Heart and the Virgen del Carmen. This church has 8 stained glass windows on both sides and a main stained glass window on the front. Its bell tower is located outside the temple, on the left side of the building.
- Episcopal Curia: The headquarters of the Apostolic Vicariate of San Vicente del Caguan. The building is on a small hill within the urban area of San Vicente del Caguan. It is accessed from the back of the Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes Parish. The Ecos del Caguan radio station is also located there.
- Camino real San Vicente - Algeciras: It is a road that is more than 200 km in length through which the first settlers from the town of Algeciras (Huila) arrived in San Vicente del Caguan. It was also used to transport the quina and rubber that were exploited in Caquetá at the end of the 19th century.
- Suspension bridge over the Caguan River: Suspension bridge with a 120 m span, 3 m width and 8 m high towers built in 1973 over the Caguan River. It is used as a pedestrian bridge to communicate the neighborhoods of El Jardín and Puerto Redondo.
In the rural area of the municipality of San Vicente del Caguan there are numerous natural sites of tourist interest, among which are multiple waterfalls, rivers, streams and streams rich in wildlife.
- Salto de la Arenoso: It is a waterfall that is formed when the Arenoso ravine precipitates over a rock forming a vertical fall of 35 m by a width of 20 m. In its surroundings it is possible to identify a large amount of wild flora. By having access to the upper part, it is possible to carry out torrentism activities.
- Salto de San Venancio: A 40-m-high waterfall in the course of the San Venancio ravine. It forms a natural pool and in its surroundings there is a great variety of heliconias, bromeliads, hundreds of birds and some species of primates.
- Salto de la Danta: System of waterfalls formed by the La Danta ravine, with a maximum height of 80 m, forming a large natural pool in its lower part. The access is through a path along which you can observe wild mammals and various species of birds and butterflies.
- Pato River Canyon: The force of the waters of the Pato River form a canyon of more than 3 km in length, encased in a rock formation with a width of just 40 m approximately. In this place it is common to find large fish of the order of catfish. Guacharos and other species of wildlife in the area live in the small caves that form at the top of the cajón.
- La Azufrada Canyon: Canyon of around 100 m in length formed by the La Azufrada ravine, configuring at the end a natural pool. It presents a great diversity of insects and its waters are attributed medicinal properties.
- Quebrada El Pescador: Natural spa 47 km from the urban area of San Vicente del Caguan. Before flowing into the Pato River, it forms a high-altitude cave in which there are guácharos, catfish, and a great variety of bats and insects.
Squares and urban parks
- Los Fundadores Park: It is the main public space in San Vicente del Caguan. It is located in the center of the urban area and has large green areas, as well as a sports center and a playground for the recreation of the inhabitants of the municipality. On one of its sides stands the Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes Parish.
- Los Transportadores Park: It is a park made up of four triangles that come together to form a square, adorned by medium-sized trees. It is frequented by informal vendors and several companies that provide the inter-municipal public transport service are installed on its perimeter.
- Monument to the Founders : It is located at the main entrance to the urban area. This monument was built by the painter and sculptor Ramiro Murillo commissioned by the mayor Eduardo Castillo. It was made of cast iron concrete and has a height of 3 m on a base of 3 m by 80 cm. It is made up of three human figures that represent the first settlers of San Vicente del Caguan.
- Monument to the Colonizers : Sculpture in the shape of an ax made of ferro-concrete cast with carbide alloy, located in the Parque de Los Fundadores. It was created by Fabio Sepúlveda in 1977 as a tribute to the first settlers who with axes opened space between the trees of the Eastern Cordillera and created large areas of pasture for raising cattle.
In the police inspection of Guacamayas Caquetá, there is the first and only obelisk to peace, as a symbol of the demobilization and peace process between the guerrillas of 1959, when the government of General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla.
- Rapids of the Caguan River: Type III and IV rapids formed in the upper part of the Caguan River , the most important in the area. Extreme sports such as rafting and kayaking are practiced there.
National Natural Parks
- PNN Cordillera de los Picachos : The Cordillera de los Picachos National Natural Park is partially located in the jurisdiction of the municipality of San Vicente del Caguan. It is formed by large peaks in the Eastern Cordillera and in it is the Pato River basin where tropical mountain ecosystems are found. Its biological diversity is manifested through fauna species such as the páramo tapir, the choyo monkey, the torrent duck and various types of frogs and snakes.
- Sierra de la Macarena PNN: The Sierra de la Macarena National Natural Park, partially located in the disputed area between La Macarena and San Vicente del Caguán, is considered one of the most important natural reserves on the planet. It is unique for its geological formation in the archaeological sites on the Duda and Guayabero rivers, where petroglyphs and pictograms of the indigenous peoples that inhabited the area are found.
- Sierra de Chiribiquete PNN: The Sierra de Chiribiquete National Natural Park is located between the departments of Caquetá and Guaviare, in the jurisdiction of the municipalities of San Vicente del Caguán, Solano (Caquetá) and San José del Guaviare. The Sierra de Chiribiquete was the traditional territory of the Carijona people, whose paintings are still found on its rock walls.
- Yariseno Festival: The main festivity celebrated in San Vicente del Caguan is the Yariseño Folkloric and Dance Festival, and with it, the festivals of San Juan and San Pedro between the months of June and July. During the festival, there is horseback riding, a parade of floats, comparsas, a cornstarch carnival, a pageant, concerts and countless activities around the Yariseño dance, bringing together people from all over the municipality and from neighboring municipalities.
- The summer festival is carried out in January and February in the dry season, when the Caguan River reduces its flow and exposes large sandbanks in the form of beaches that sometimes reach up to 5 km in length. It is an activity that brings together around 5,000 people who gather to practice traditional sports, develop recreational activities, concerts, camping, directed recreation, among others.
- The typical dance of San Vicente del Caguan is known as El Yariseño (or the Yariceño, depending on the source). This dance arose around 1970 as a definition of the cultural values of the region. It is result of the influence of the colonizers of the Caquetá region, fusing rhythms such as joropo, bambuco and pasillo. The movements are rhythmic, rhythmic and asymmetrical, as an expression of the balance between the universe and nature.
The nicest hotel in town seems to be Hotel Amazonia Real. It also seems to be the most expensive, at approx 65,000 pesos per night.