Colombia Journals

Departamento de Santander

Best of IgoUgo

A March 2006 trip to Colombia by Kiryo

San Gil Whitewater Rafting Photo, Bogota, Colombia More Photos
Quote: A few places in this Andean area, done well.

Departamento de Santander

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Little town in the mountains Photo, Colombia, South America
Quote:
Santander is as varied as it is constant. In a matter of minutes you can be eating tropical papayas in Bucaramanga, the department's heart and soul, then later be climbing over the 3000 meter mark in the highlands around the city. Be careful with common sense and try visiting the colonial and extreme sports areas of San Gil and Barichara. You will be amazingly surprised when you do.Quick Tips: Bucaramanga and its shoe shopping is supposed to be the best and cheapest in Colombia. I didn't need to find this out. But I did eat, and here you will eat very well, especially Arepa Santandereana, the best I tasted in the country, especially with the breakfast Caldo.San Gil for its laid-back a...Read More

Hotel Coratá

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel

Entry courtyard of hotel Photo, Colombia, South America
Quote:
Location: Barichara- getting and staying thereAfter a few hours loitering about wonderful San Gil, the 25-minute bus ride to Barichara, a small, colonial town right out of the most stereotypical Colombian pueblo colonial journal was appealing. Problem was… that after 6:30pm there are no buses making the $3 run. So you have to get a taxi if you want to go to Barichara at this time or later. A calm demeanor and very nice manners will get you far with most taxi drivers in most places in Colombia- and speaking the language is a great tool to barter a standard guidebook taxi fare of COP 45000, down to 15000. Go figure! Arriving in Barichara on a Friday night without a hotel reser...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 11, 2006

San Gil Whitewater Rafting

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "San Gil"

San Gil Whitewater Rafting Photo, Bogota, Colombia
Quote:
Location: San GilThe Capital of Colombia’s White Water Rafting Industry… err, Colombia’s only white water rafting industry, resides in San Gil, about 2.5 hours south of Bucaramanga in beautiful Santander Department. Of note here is, in addition to rafting, is the plethora of “extreme” sports available for enjoyment, in parallel to plenty of other more traditional countryside sports like horseback riding and hiking.San Gil is located in the Guane region of Santander, the only Indian group to not be fully subjugated by the Spaniards back in the day of Colombia’s colonial past… but don’t expect to see loincloths and bow and arrows in the region. The San Gil region is well-developed, well ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 11, 2006

San Gil Whitewater Rafting
Departamento de Santander
Bogota, Colombia

Barichara

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Barichara Photo, Colombia, South America
Quote:
Location: BaricharaWaking up plenty early, breakfast at the town’s plaza consisted of a couple of chicken and rice empanadas, fruit salad, and orange juice (fresh, of course). It was $2. Then the idea was to reach the Miradero, a distant 10-minute walk at the literal edge of the town, just after the small, quaint cemetery. From here you can view the Andes, green and high, several birds of prey flying not 10m away from you, and if you’re in the mood for a few cold ones in the AM then there is also a small bar open to suit your needs if the view isn’t enough to soothe your stress away. Do wear sunscreen.A couple of hours hike down the incline road at the Miradero, across the va...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 11, 2006

Barichara
Santander, Colombia
Barichara, Colombia

Girón

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

La Puerta de La Basilica Photo, Girona, Spain
Quote:
Location: GirónA medium-sized almost suburb of Bucaramanga, Girón exemplifies colonial Colombia mixed in with more modern housing and commercial arrangements outside the colonial center. During weekends it is usually full of folks from larger Bucaramanga, and this is the typical town where your grandma lives…Legend has it that Girón is a hot spot for those dearly departed that have stayed behind instead of reaching Heaven’s pearly gates. Its town square has a Minor Basilica where you can buy charms for praying and wishing as you put them in front of a symbol of the Church’s patron saint. So putting two and two together, you can surmise that the town has quite a little bit of history re...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 12, 2006