Villavicencio, Colombia 🇨🇴 Gringo's Guide
Is this a "hidden gem" city or nah?!
Guest post from a true Colombia veteran!
Villavicencio is a "gateway city" in many respects.
It's located right at the end of the mountains going down south and east from Bogotá and the start of los llanos, a huge plain which crosses over to Venezuela and continues all the way to the ocean.
It's a unique place in many ways, because of its location on the map, but also because it is part of a cross-border culture which in itself is unique in the world. It's also a city which embraces a very rural culture — which is also kind of weird.
Villavicencio is a city of crazy contradictions. Honestly, I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with the place. You, on the other hand may either absolutely hate it. Or you may find it to be paradise on earth, depending on what you're looking for.
Keep reading to find out if Villavicencio, or "Villao" as the locals call it, is a good fit for you.
Villavicencio, Colombia 🇨🇴
The urban area of Villavicencio has just over 500,000 people living in it, but in the outlying areas (talked about more below), there are an additional 200,000 people living there.
This makes it a smallish city, but, of course, that doesn't even begin to describe things. Villavicencio in some ways feels like a big city, and in other ways it feels like a real small town in the middle of nowhere. And this can change in a heartbeat!
Climate and Topography:
The climate in Villao is definitely on the hotter side. To get a better idea, it has almost never dropped below 20 °C (68 °F) in this city. Generally it will be from 20-23 °C just before the sun comes up, in fact (68-74 °F).
From there, things can really heat up! A hot afternoon can see highs of around 35 °C (95 °F), easily. If it's really sunny, it can even go up from there. The highest temperature recorded there was almost 40 °C (104 °F).
The humidity is usually between 70-80% — which means it's slightly elevated, but it's not like being in a steam bath all the time, so that's good news for most!
Like everywhere else in Colombia, you're near the equator, so that sun is strong!
Take all the necessary precautions just like you would anywhere else in Colombia. Also typical for Colombia is how much it rains in old Villao.
It rains around 230 days out of the year.
Once again, there is some good news, though. The rain usually doesn't last for very long. But, in this part of the world, the rain can really come down hard — "like nails" — as they say in Colombia.
Villao is surrounded by mountains to the north and west — some of its suburbs are located there. In the other directions starts the great expanse of the plains, prairies, savannah, or whatever you want to call it in the English language.
Overall, if you like hot and humid weather with a ton of rain, you might love this city.
If you prefer a cool climate with less rain, this city sucks.