Off the beaten path, Gaviotas, about 100km southeast of Villavicencio, is a ‘green’ success story. The UN called the village a model of sustainable development, and Gabriel García Márquez called founder Paolo Lugari the ‘inventor of the world.’ The village of 200 people is operated on wind and solar power. Residents farm organically and have planted millions of trees. The town has become a world-class research and development center for green technologies and the commune-like society has no police, no mayor and no weapons. The village was profiled in journalist Alan Weisman’s book Gaviotas: A Village to Reinvent the World.
Gaviotas is not set up for tourism, however, and with no hotels, restaurants, public transportation or methods to pay for services (money is not exchanged for goods or services), it would be tricky if you tried to engineer a visit on your own. Those who are curious to visit should contact Friends of Gaviotas (www.friendsofgaviotas.org) to see if there are any tours planned.