Top 10 Things To Do When You Spend 3 Days In Santander
As we tried to take advantage of one of Colombia’s long weekend, we decided to escape to the region of Santander.
Even if I had previously been to Barichara a few years back, I didn’t remember much and I wanted to discover new things to do in Santander.
I must admit I didn’t find much online, hence my reason for writing this article to help you find things to do in Santander.
Here’s what the trail we did by car looks like (minus the Gachas of Guadalupe way down south)
I thought there wouldn’t be much to do in the region except for village hoping (which is totally fine too). I was surprised that upon my arrival, there were plenty of exciting activities to fill my 3 days in Santander to the brim.
We didn’t get to do everything we wanted to as we would have had to stay a full week. Not to mention, we also had to consider the long distances between one activity to the next. Below I’ll give you a recap of the possible things to do and how long you’ll need to do each one.
Cerro del Santísimo (Bucaramanga)
Bucaramanga is the capital of Santander. Although there’s not much to do here, if you fly to Santander, this is where you’ll land. While you’re in town you might find it worthwhile to visit the Cerro del Santísimo.
You don’t have to go all the way to Rio to find a big white saint statue on top of a mountain 😉
While we were there, we asked locals and hotel concierge what else there was to do in the city. Bucaramanga is known as the city of parks. However we weren’t very interested. If that’s your thing go ahead. If not, we were also suggested to go to hang out in one of Bucaramanga’s several malls. In short, nothing out of the extraordinary. We only stayed a day.
Cañón del Chicamocha (between Bucaramanga and Barichara)
If you are headed to Barichara, you will definitely have to stop at the Chicamocha Canyon. The Chicamocha Canyon is the second largest canyon the world, right after the Grand Canyon in Nevada.
Pretty impressive right? There are enough activities for you to spend a full day here. Zip lining, parapenting, and riding on a cable car across the canyon are a few of the many activities offered within the park.
We chose to spend only a couple of hours to see the view and got a basic entrance ticket to enter the Chicamocha park and admired the view by foot.
Oh sweet Barichara. So charming and romantic, the small and quaint pueblo is filled with luxury boutique hotels. Absolutely perfect for a romantic and relaxing getaway!
I found Barichara very similar to Villa de Leyva but with warmer weather and more bang for your buck. We spent a short evening strolling the town and then locked ourselves up in our fancy boutique hotel to enjoy its amenities and pamper ourselves.
Although I could have easily spent the entire long weekend in the boutique hotel, we only spend one day.
If you prefer sports over relax, or have enough time for both, stop by San Gil for some awesome extreme sports. Only 40 minutes away from Barichara, here you’ll find different tours that depart from San Gil offering all sorts of activities from tracking to bungee jumping to the ever famous whitewater rafting!
Although I was dying to do some whitewater rafting, our boutique hotel got the best of me.
Once again here you can choose to spend one day or one week depending on your preferences.
Guane is a small town only 20 minutes north of Barichara. It’s your typical small Colombian pueblito, but if you are into fossils or just have a few hours to spare, then this place is worth a visit.
For some reason, I was totally amazed at how cheap the fossils were. Ammonite, and petrified wood were the main fossils that could be bought from the locals who seek them out in the surrounding area. (How awesome would it be to go fossil hunting with these guys?!)
The small town also makes an alcohol called sabajón, made from milk, it’s a liquor that tastes very similar to Bailey’s with added flavors such as pineapple or coffee.
Las Gachas de Guadalupe
I was absolutely dying to do this. Sadly, we did not have enough time. Las Gachas de Guadalupe are also known as the Caño Cristal of Santander. It’s a river with magical individual formations. You can also read more about them through link to Colombia’s Travel Blog article.
Sadly, ever since the Gachas have been made popular, tourists have swamped the area, leaving trash and contaminating the natural habitat. So go before it’s too late! And I beg you, do not be one of those tourists.
With with this list of things to do in Santander I hope it gives you plenty of ideas to plan your trip in this beautiful region of Colombia. And while you are there be sure to try fried fat ass ants or hormigas culonas. They’re freshest during the rainy season in April, as this is when they come out of the ground! Taste like popcorn they say 😉
If my article helped you out leave me a comment and tell me which recommendations you tried out! Or if you have something to add to the list, let me know in the comment box below! I always look forward to reading your opinions and stories.