San Gil and Barichara are a small town and a perfectly preserved colonial village located in the Santander department. They are a mere 45 minutes from each other which is why it is uncommon to visit one without also visiting the other.
Both locations are easily reached from Bogotá in about 5 hours overland, or from Villa de Leyva, or by air from Bogotá to Bucaramanga.
San Gil is the undisputed Colombian capital of adventure sports and this picturesque region offers Colombia’s broadest variety of activities.
You really are spoilt in the area when it comes to activities, choose from cycling tours, walking tours such as the Juan Curi waterfall or a hike to Guane, river rafting, kayaking, paragliding, cave tours and much more.
Approximately 45 minutes from San Gil is Barichara, unofficially Colombia’s most beautiful village. It has friendly welcoming people and magnificent houses, some of which have been converted into charming hotels.
On the route to Bucaramanga is the impressive Chicamocha canyon.
If you also want to visit Bucaramanga it makes sense to fly there from Bogotá, also in the near vicinity we recommend San Juan de Girón, a small colonial village.
An ideal trip to this area would be 4 to 6 days, but for those on tight schedules, a shorter visit is also worthwhile.
We can arrange your travel there, Villa de Leyva offers the perfect change to break up the journey from Bogotá. Which hotels we recommend for you in San Gil and Barichara depends on which activities you choose to incorporate into your trip as some of them are better located for certain adventures and outings.
San Gil is all about adventure, river rafting on the Rio Suárez is one of the most popular activities to include in your trip, it lends itself very well to San Gil’s warm climate. Or join a bike tour to San Jose del Valle, a charming village located close to the river.
For the headstrong we recommend paragliding in the spectacular Chicamocha Canyon with an experienced instructor. Another possibility for the adrenaline junkie in you is to go underground for a half day of caving.
Whatever you choose, you should not miss the Juan Curí waterfall, one of the regions most stunning natural landmarks. It is also possible to visit Parque Gallineral, a beautiful park located right on the river.
You cannot go to San Gil and without paying a visit to Barichara, we can arrange your accommodation there in one of the authentic colonial hotels. Barichara itself offers a beautiful hike along the Camino Real to Guane a quiet and unspoilt village.
If you have time to spare we can also organise a visit to Girón, a small village close to Bucaramanga which also has some charming hotels to offer, from there we can organise your flights back to Bogotá.