Colombia,  Food / Drinks,  South America,  Travel

Eating and Drinking in Acacias

Acacias is about 130km away from Bogota with the daily average temperature ranging from 22°C to 32°C. It’s another perfect place to get away from the cold weather in Bogota, as well as eating Mamona, the typical flavour of the Meta. Besides Mike and I, his works colleague, Phil also joined us in this four days three nights trip.

Phil’s apartment is just around the corner from us, and on Saturday when they both finished their work, they shared a ride back home, and once Phil packed his clothing, he came to our place, and we took a taxi to Terminal Salitre.

We asked the taxi driver if he would like to drive us directly to Acacias, but he told us that he didn’t have a permit. However, he helped us to call his friends, one was charging us at 500,000COP, and another one was at a better rate at 250,000 COP, but he’s out for a walk at that moment, and it would take time before he could come and get us. We gave up the options and asked him to drive us to the terminal. The taxi cost 17,000COP.

We bought the bus tickets at terminal 1 with the company called Bolivariano, and it cost 28,000 COP per person. The departure gate for this destination was at terminal 2.

Before getting on the Eurovans, we stopped at one of the many shops in the terminal to get credit for our phone. The shop also sells Empanada, and Phil never had one before, so he tried one, and finished it, but I wasn’t sure if he liked it. When we got on the bus, we’re the last ones to arrive, and once we’re on board, the driver immediately drove away from the terminal.

There’s only one empty seat left next to the driver, and it wasn’t hard to get one passenger from all the people waiting on the roadside. Getting out of Bogota was a nightmare as the traffic was horrendous. When we got to the outskirt of Bogota, we stopped for ten minutes of a toilet break.

View along the road to Acacias

After that, the journey was smooth, driving thru many tunnels, but then the nightmare happened just before reaching the toll near Villavicencio. We stopped from 6:40 pm until 8:00 pm and in between we only moved for 4 km. When we finally start moving steadily for a kilometre or so, I counted that there were about 376 vehicles from the incoming traffic that stopped. I didn’t pity them though it’s their turn to suffer 😈.

View along the road to Acacias

When we got to Acacias town, the bus driver didn’t tell us that we’ve reached the ‘terminal’ until halfway to Calle 23, and that’s when he asked us where we wanted to stop. We got off the bus and walked on the quiet road, feeling a bit worried if we couldn’t get any taxi, and also worried about our safety. Thankfully, we managed to get a taxi after waiting and walking for eight minutes, and reached our destination at 10:12 pm. It cost 5,000 COP for the ride to Conjunto Residencial Los Cayenos.

Besides Madellin, this was our second time using Airbnb, and so far their services had been great. Though we did get a heart attack because the owner’s account suspended a day before we travel there, and we couldn’t contact the owner.

The owner lives in new york, and we got the key from the caretaker who resides in front of the unit we’re renting. We rented this apartment for three nights, it’s easy to find, as it’s the only highrise building around the area.

Conjunto Residencial Los Cayenos

This apartment fully furnished with all three rooms built-in with wardrobes, equipped with a big TV in the master bedroom as well as in the living room.

We occupied the master bedroom which has a queen size bed in it, and Phil took the room next to us with two single beds. The other room was with a single bed and a bunk bed.

The house balcony overlooking the Andes and the church on the side. It cost 440,000COP for three nights. The location was perfect, and everything was in order except for the lack of toilet rolls, and hot water.

Once we settled in, which didn’t take a long time as we’re too eager to start our night in Acacias. Our first stop was at Nescafe Pub, about one hundred metres away from the apartment. It’s a nice hangout place with youtube music playing on the screen. Mostly the customer was a couple, and we could see some smooching in the corner and only a group of friend chatting behind us. If I not mistaken we had about ten beers or more, and it cost 36,000 COP.

Before heading back to the apartment, we stopped by for a meal at Establo. We took the combo set with fries and drink, but we had three different dishes – Carnes, Pechuga and BBQ Costilla. It was a nice little meal and very cheap too. It only cost 19,000 COP for all of it.

It’s a quiet night

The next morning, Mike and I had our breakfast at El Forest. It only cost 9,000 COP with two sets of Huevos Pericos and hot drinks – Chocolate and Coffee.

After the simple breakfast, we walked around the Square looking for Directv office because we’d forgotten to pay the bill. We couldn’t find it though, and Mike would have to look for it tomorrow (Monday) when most of the shop open. Before heading back to the apartment to watch United vs Arsenal, we stopped by to get some toilet rolls, bottled water and a pack of beers.

Acacias Central Park – Nuestra Señora del Carmen

Ponke’s Pan Panaderia
Before going to El Orejano for lunch, we stopped for drinks at Ponke’s Pan Panaderia. While we’re in this town, we came here every day in the afternoon. It’s situated in the centre making it easier to go anywhere after the drinks.

I had Malt drink while Mike had Poker and Phil had his sweet coffee.

El Orejano
Another reason why we travelled to Acacias was because of the famous Mamona. They preferred young cow here which (about six months old). We asked why it was different compared to Bogota, and the worker told us that the meat in Bogota mostly was from an older cow.

At first, we weren’t sure about the location of this restaurant, but from far we could see the smoke and smell the firewood, so we took our chance and walked to it. Thankfully we did because otherwise, we’ll probably miss this place and gone to other places. Upon entering this restaurant, we could see lines of roasted meats on sticks with burning firewoods, and it smelled so good that my mouth watered. This place was quite busy, with most of the table occupied by the local, but we managed to get one that’s away from the burning fire. At first, we felt warm, but after a while, our body acclimated with the temperature and we felt fine.

We ordered Carne al Llanera, Baby Beef and Filet Mignon. Phil, Mike and I agreed that Carne al Llanera was the best because of the taste and tenderness of the meats, this followed by the Filet Mignon for its tasty mushroom sauce. The Baby Beef was alright, but nothing was special about it.

While we were there, we watched the live performance. Few local singers sang for the customers while promoting their CDs. Phil bought two CDs from the performers. Prices were varies depending on the singer, the lowest about 10,000 COP per disc.

While the men have six bottles of Club Colombia each – Dorada and Roja, I only had three Redd’s. In total, our bill was cheap, only 100,000 COP.

On our second time here on Monday, there’s no live performance, or maybe because we arrived there quite late at 4:20 pm? We ordered the same menu as yesterday but replaced the baby steak with Cerdo. The winner last night held third place this time because it wasn’t as tender and juicy as before, and surprisingly, the Cerdo we just ordered won and followed by the Filet Mignon. Our total cost today with eight Dorada and one mango juice was 91,000 COP.

After the satisfying meal in El Orejano, we went to play pool at the opposite shop called Panos Y Accesorios Para Billares. At first, we thought that the charges per game were 10,000COP. But the worker actually included our drinks prices when we asked about the price. It’s actually only cost 1,000 COP per game. Mike and Phil played 2 rounds plus we have two Dorada and 1 Redd’s, and the cost was 11,000 COP.

Another shop that we went to was the cafeteria on the right side across the road from Ponke’s Pan Panaderia. The shop painted in green named Cafeteria El Rincon de Los Viejitos. The worker most probably charged us wrongly because it was only 6,000+ COP for one Redd’s, two Club Colombia Dorada and one cup of Coffee.

On our second time in Nescafe bar, we had Aguardiente Llanero, and mike had one Club Colombia Dorada which cost 66,000 COP in total. This Aguardiente contained 29% alcohol, and in my opinion, it tasted the same as the regular one we usually drink – Aguardiente Antioqueño Azul made from Antioquia. However, this Aguardiente from Villavicencio was slightly smoother to drink as it doesn’t have the strong taste of alcohol even though they have the same amount of alcohol.

Aguardiente Llanero

Before wrapping up the night, we went to a tienda located opposite Central Park, and I ordered 3 Chorizo sausages which cost 9,000 COP. I couldn’t remember much on the beer prices that we had there. I was already too drunk, and as usual, I threw up in the toilet that night. It’s a good thing because I didn’t have a headache the next morning, only feeling a bit weak, but the others were feeling rough!

In the morning, Mike and I went to a small restaurant selling Mamona for breakfast. I felt dehydrated and craved for a sweet drink. I had hot chocolate, fresh orange juice and a bottle of coke. I didn’t have an appetite to eat even though the Mamona was tasty. I took my time eating the meal while Mike went to pay the Directv bill. We also bought Phil his breakfast, and the total cost was 41,000COP.

In the afternoon, we planned to walk to Malecon river, but before moving on with our plan, as usual, we stopped for a drink in Ponke’s Pan Panaderia.

While having our drinks, we discussed which direction to go based on the google maps, and once we’re ready, we walked towards the river. However, when we got there, we couldn’t find any path to get down to the river, and even if we did get to it, we wouldn’t be able to bath or swim in the shallow water. We walked on the roadside following the river hoping to reach the place where the locals usually go, but our second attempt was also fruitless.

Since our river visit failed, we gave up and stopped by Billar Club H5 and start the drinking session while playing pool game. It cost 6,500 COP per hour to use the pool table here. After six Doradas, one Redd’s and Mora juice for me, we headed on to our favourite restaurant – El Orejano for a late lunch/ early dinner.

Two hours later, we moved to a tienda around the corner. There’s already a table outside the shop, but it was occupied by the local, and the owner wouldn’t let us move our table outside. The light in this shop was a bit dimmed, I was a bit wary of mosquito, but there wasn’t any. A local man sat next to us drinking poker, and he’s already half drunk, I could hear his raspy breath. He sat closer to us when Phil said hello to him, and we ended up buying him his beer. I wasn’t feeling comfortable because when he talked animatedly, his hands always brushing mine. We only had four Dorada, one poker for the man and one Redd’s for me. It only cost 12,500COP in total, so cheap.

Our last stop was at the usual place, Nescafe Pub. This time, we didn’t have many beers, but only two Club Colombia Dorada, one Rojo, one Redd’s, and Whisky with Coke. It cost 30,000 COP. The funny thing was when Phil ordered his whisky with coke, the server was baffled by it, and it took them ages to deliver the order, and when the order arrived, it was in a separate glass! But it was also fortunate because the whisky they gave was honey whisky. That night we came back early at 9 pm.

Coke and Whisky
Would you eat this hot dog?

The next morning, Mike went out early to get breakfast at the same shop yesterday. It cost 34,000COP with two takeaway for Phil and I. After we had our breakfast in the apartment, we left at 10:45 am. And as usual, we stopped at Ponke’s Pan Panaderia for two coffees and one chocolate drink. It only cost 4,900 COP.

While walking towards the bus terminal, we came across a bus with a sign of Bogota parked near the supermarket at Carrera 20. We asked the bus driver if they go directly to Bogota which he said yes and we paid the fare of 30,000 COP per person. We left at 11:20 am but stopping along the way to find passengers, and when we reached Parque de Los Fundadores Villavicencio, the bus driver asked us to get off the bus to another one. So much for a direct bus!

The good thing about this bus was that it wasn’t full, and it has a TV. We occupied the last row and have an extra seat to ourselves. When we got on the van, the movie – Acts of Violence was already halfway playing, and when it’s finished, it followed by a show called Overboard which we managed to watch the entire movie. Halfway watching the film called Rampage, someone got off the bus, and we decided to stop there too as we’re already close to Salitre terminal.

It was a smart move because getting a taxi from this place was far easier than getting one from the terminal where you have to queue to get your ride. Our taxi charges this time only 12,500 COP, the cheapest we’ve ever gotten. Overall the journey from Acacias to home this time didn’t take a long time, only about four hours twenty-three minutes, and the time that we stopped to get passengers, changed bus, toilet break, traffic for the road repair was only forty minutes.

Other pictures around town:


Video featuring Central Park Acacias with Nuestra Senora Del Carmen, Acacias View from Los Cayenos Balcony and El Orejano.

Travel Date: 09th ~ 12th Mac 2019

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