We will explore the department of Santander in 5 incredible places: Guadalupe, Quebrada Las Gachas, Barichara, Guane y Juan Curì.
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The Best Tourist Destinations in Santander in a single excursion. We have designed this plan especially to offer rest, adventure and history in a single weekend: We will visit and explore 5 incredible destinations inside the Santander department.
First we will visit the little known town of Guadalupe where we will find the Caño Cristales of Santander, Las Gachas, a waterway made up of multiple craters which act as natural jacuzzis of stunningly clear water, an unexpected and surprising natural treasure. We will also visit one of the prettiest towns in the whole of Colombia and the world: Barichara, this charming town with its perfectly conserved colonial architecture awaits us and we will overnight in a wonderfully conserved Colonial house. We will also take the time to visit Guane, of the oldest towns in the whole of Colombia. This Road Trip finalises at the wonderful, strikingly cold waterfall of Juan Curí.
🛣 Get to know the town of Barichara
🛣 Take a refreshing dip in the natural jacuzzis of Las Gachas
🛣 Learn the history of this wonderful, ancient place while walking the Lenguerke path between Barichara and Guane
🛣 Discover one of the oldest towns of Colombia: Guane.
🛣 Bathe in the pool of the Juan Curí waterfall.
We leave Bogota and head straight for the delightful town of Guadalupe, a pretty colonial town with an unusual and highly attractive location for the fortunate locals and the passing tourist: La Quebrada or brook of Las Gachas. In Guadalupe we can walk through the town, its cobbled streets and lovely stone-built church, and a local guide will lead us out of town on a short walk through fields full of onlooking cows and the sounds of birds overhead in the trees until we reach this charming hidden spot, where we can marvel in the attractiveness of this river, walk over the stone slabs encasing the river beneath our feet and take a refreshing dip in the amazingly round holes carved into the local stone by the force of this river and the passage of time. We may even be lucky enough to see some of the locals sledging down the river bed and landing inside the water filled holes. The locals bring picnics and their children, it is a charming insight into the lifestyles of the warm and welcoming Santanderians.
After this adventure, we will travel to Barichara where we will reach our lovely guest house where we can rest, have a drink or go out to walk through the beautifully preserved streets of this town which is rightly known as a Heritage site throughout Colombia for its exquisitely conserved architecture. As a hint to how well preserved it is, local ordinance forbids any construction within the town which does not strictly adhere to a prescribed architectural style: the very few modern buildings on the edge of town are identical to what is found in the centre, a remarkable achievement.
On our second day we will take a walk on one of the first commercial routes in Colombian history, a walk which conserves the magic of a place which has frozen in time, the cobbled stones leading us through this truly lovely landscape and past its colonial farmhouses transports us effortlessly back to the end of the nineteenth century, until we arrive in the atmospheric village of Guane, one of the oldest towns in Colombia and the seat of those indigenous people who put up some of the fiercest resistance to the Colonisation. It must be noted also that there are some wonderful gift shops in Guane and that the ride back up to the town of Barichara in a brightly-coloured, open-sided taxi is great fun.
We will back in Barichara for lunch and will take a tour of the town in a TucTuc to best appreciate this lovely town. The rest of the afternoon is free to explore, buy gifts, attend pottery demonstrations, eat delicious treats and fall in love with Barichara.
We prepare our suitcases and make the short journey to the municipality of Paramo where we will visit the powerful and lovely waterfall of Juan Curí. To reach the waterfall we walk along a cobbled path through a landscape of wonderful trees, the birds and butterflies pausing to watch us pass and then resuming their chatter and their meandering flights once we have moved past them. When we arrive, few will be able to resist the urge to jump into the perfectly cylindrical pool carved out by this waterfall crashing down from so many metres above, but be prepared for how cold the water is and how strong this spray is. Unforgettable.
After this fabulous experience, we set out to return to Bogota.
The Municipality of Guadalupe
This charming colonial time frozen in time, is still home to people who have held onto ancient customs and traditions which give the visitor the sensation that we have stepped through the curtain and gone back in time, to a gentler era, all framed in lovely and beautifully preserved colonial architecture in the village square, the church and the local buildings. Guadalupians are very proud of their village, and rightly so.
The brook of Las Gachas
Enormous rocks and elongated slabs, Mother Nature and Time have carved out water-filled holes which create natural jacuzzis, whose rock composition makes the warm, sun-soaked water an inviting russet colour.
Juan Curí Waterfall
The imposing majesty of this waterfall tells the story of the watercourse 200 metres above finding a weakness and carving out this extraordinary waterfall over the millennia, and creating out a swimming hole which is both perfectly cylindrical and more than 2 metres deep. The waterfall sits at the head of a narrow valley, shielded from the sun, the water is wonderfully cold and the scenery truly unique.
Municipality of Barichara
A national monument town since 1975, one of the most beautiful and best preserved towns in Colombia constitutes an architectural document of the Colony. Walking its cobblestone streets and seeing its houses built of rammed earth, bareque roofs, clay tiles and white-painted walls are testimony to the past. Buildings built in yellow stone give the municipality an aspect that, in itself, speaks of history, settlers, tradition and culture. Legend has it that in 1702, a peasant met the Holy Virgin. After her appearance, the image was printed on a stone that days later became a focus of Catholic worship and fervor. On this place, Barichara was founded, which in the Guane dialect means “place for rest.”
Traveling through this territory is reconnecting with the ancestral past of its population. This plateau, located 10 km from Barichara, was for centuries the cradle of the Guane empire. The pre-Hispanic traces of this town preserve the testimony of the indigenous culture that dominated the region before the conquering incursion. Legend has it that Guanentá, the last chief of the empire, decided to throw himself from the canyon of the Suárez River, rather than subject his community to European design. Museums, buildings, churches, artisanal expressions and the stories of its inhabitants combine to make Guane an epicenter of tradition and ancestral culture.
😷 Carry a PPE Personal Protection Elements Kit (Masks, antibacterial gel, alcohol in a spray bottle, glasses or mask, disposable tissues, bag for personal waste disposal).
💧Carry a bottle of water and maintain constant hydration,
🧢 Wear a hat or cap to protect yourself from the sun. It is important to use sunscreen, remember to use a mineral sunscreen for your face.
👕 Pack light clothes, enough for hot land for two days. We suggest long pants and a long-sleeved shirt since during the walks we will encounter trees with long branches and this will help us avoid scratches. It is also important to carry a raincoat in case of rain.
🥾 Wear comfortable shoes, preferably hiking shoes, in any case avoid ballet shoes or cloth tennis shoes. It is important to bring a change of shoes in case your shoes get wet during the tour. Bring a pair of socks that can break, you will need them when passing through Las Lajas.
🩱 Pack your bathing suit and a towel for personal use.
💊 Bring your medications and personal documents (medical insurance card and ID)
🎒 Do not use a wheeled suitcase and carry an additional kangaroo or small backpack so you can take your personal items on walks.
🧣 We suggest bringing a blanket for the cold in the early morning when leaving Bogotá.
Keep in mind that you are responsible for your belongings. Protect your electronic devices and personal documents from rain and humidity.
Carry your cell phone charged, this will allow you to take photographs and use it in case of emergency.
Your safety is very important, please be cautious, always keep the group in sight and follow the instructions of the guide or trip coordinator.
Do not attend a walk late at night, while intoxicated, pregnant, or with medical disabilities.
Strictly follow your doctor's instructions regarding injuries and, if necessary, carry your personal medications.
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