Despite being the gateway to several incredible natural sights—such as the Amazon, the Chiribiteque National Park, and the River of Colors—San José del Guaviare is still very much out of the tourist radar.
Flying is the fastest way to get here from Bogotá, and also the only way you can avoid difficult roads through one of the country's least developed regions. However, there are only about three flights a week.
Going by road is a much longer and strenuous affair. Renting a car to drive yourself is not really possible nor recommendable. Instead, a private driver can navigate the way much more comfortably in around 10 hours.
There are also daily buses that take about 10-11 hours. As the route is not yet very frequented, however, do not expect services to be luxurious.
Duration: 1:20 hours
Given the remoteness of the region and that its tourism industry is just now beginning to rapidly develop, flying is much more convenient than the going by land.
Satena offers one chartered flight a day on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. This means that you won't be able to have much flexibility regarding the dates of your trip, and that you have to book fairly in advanced so that you are guaranteed one of the limited seats.
By Private Transfer
Duration: 10 hours
Because San José del Guaviare is not yet very frequented by outsiders, you will have to do dig a little deeper to find transfer services that offer transportation to the region.
The roads are remote, sometimes unpaved, and unstable, so having a driver who knows how to navigate them can bring you peace of mind. This might also mean that you won't always get to decide what kind of car you want, as transfer companies choose cars that are ready for the terrain.
The gorgeous Chingaza Natural Park stands in the middle of Bogotá and San José del Guaviare, meaning that you'll actually have to do a semi circle around the park, then begin heading southwest. This is what makes the journey by land so long, but it also provides great opportunities to see astonishing landscapes.
Duration: 10-11 hours
To get to San José del Guaviare by bus, head to the Salitre Terminal and look for Flota La Macarena, one of the few companies that go to the Guaviare region from Bogotá.
There are multiple daily routes, so you will have more flexibility when choosing a schedule. However, don't expect much comfort or the amenities usually reserved for major routes.
Due to the long distance, many travelers choose to take the night bus, leaving the lights and traffic of Bogotá at night, and waking up to the rustic chaos and green scenery of San José del Guaviare.