Posted on April 30, 2019
By Lara Heinze, Product Intern

To get away from the humbled city of Bogota, I decided to spend Easter in Bucaramanga, together with Stephanie van Es, the other intern at Pure! Colombia. This appeared to be a good decision, since most people left Bucaramanga for Easter, which made it a very tranquil and peaceful town to relax at and go on day trips to surrounding cities. 

Bucaramanga is the capital of the Santander department and the fifth largest city of Colombia. Mostly, tourists use it as a connection city to San Gil or Barichara, but Bucaramanga is also a nice destination on its own. We decided to use Bucaramanga as a base for various activities in the area.
 
The trip started off very well when we found the lovely restaurant El Zurrón, serving authentically Santander cuisine. The variety of small bites, starters and main courses, as well as the welcoming staff made this restaurant the perfect spot to hang out in the evenings. The fact that the staff was very flexible towards our food wishes (vegan cuisine) made the restaurant even more enjoyable for us.

On Good Friday we made a day trip to Chicamocha National Park: a breathtaking experience! We took a taxi to the bus terminal of Bucaramanga  and then managed to get a bus to the National Park which dropped us off right at the main entrance of the park. all in all everything went very smooth.

When we arrived at the national park we were stunned by the landscape. We decided to take a ride with the cable car that brought us to the other side of the canyon, where we found a little local village.

Even though we had to queue quite a time for the cable car it was totally worth it. The ride took about 30 minutes and was just beautiful. After this, we decided to go up to the 360° viewpoint. We partialy walked up the hill, but for the last meters we took a Chiva, a traditional transportation bus. It soon became clear to us that on top of astonishing views, the park offers a lot of different activities, from a water park to zip lining and buggy driving.

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The next day, we decided to visit Barichara and San Gil. Again, we had an easy and convenient ride to San Gil and then took a bus to Barichara, where we spent the night. The next morning, we walked around the 18th century town, which is not only one of Colombia’s 17 heritage towns, but is also considered as the most beautiful town of Colombia. Here, travelers can find charming colonial houses and a rich history. Further, various viewpoints or a hike to Camino Real to Guane (1.5 hrs.) are the main attractions in Barichara. Sadly, we did not have enough time to do the hike and took the bus back to San Gil.  

We enjoyed a traditional lunch in San Gil, the backpacker capital of Colombia. Not comparable to Barichara, but a hot spot for extreme sports offering everything adventurous travelers are looking for. Rafting or kayaking on the Fonce River, paragliding and waterfall rappelling are just a few examples of the various activities San Gil has to offer. After lunch we took a bus back to Bucaramanga. This took us quite a while since it was Sunday and everyone tried to get back to Bucaramanga after the Easter weekend.  

If you would like to have some more information about Bucaramanga, please do not hesitate to contact us!

Read our last blog about the escape to Mindo cloud forest in Ecuador here.