See Our Destinations

Barichara & San Gil

Scenic Adventure

Founded in the early 18th century, Barichara is now widely regarded as one of the most picturesque settlements in Colombia. Since being protected as a national monument in 1978, much of the town's historic core has been lovingly restored. Well-heeled travelers from across Latin America come to enjoy the town's timeless beauty, fine vistas, and relaxed pace.

Barichara's sleepy central park is dominated by the 18th century Catedral de la Immaculada Concepcion—an elegant structure of sandstone block and red tile. Other architectural highlights include the Iglesia de Santa Barbara (on a hilltop north of town) and the Casa de Aquileo Parra Gomez (with exhibits of fossils and demonstrations by local weavers).

Visitors to Barichara often stay for three or more nights, taking at least one day to hike the ancient trail to the colonial town of Guane, six miles northwest of Barichara. This tiny village is known for its archeological museum and 17th century stone chapel. The hike takes approximately 2.5 hours in each direction on a fossil studded path (part of the Camino Real), which passes through rugged canyon and scenic sierra.

Twelve miles southeast of Barichara is San Gil, universally described as Colombia's adventure capital. Among the optional tours available here are white water rafting, horseback riding, mountain biking, zip-lining, paragliding, rappelling, spelunking, and bungee jumping.

Barichara is located 215 miles northeast of Bogota, high above the Rio Suarez at approximately 4,300 feet above sea level. Driving to Barichara takes about 6.5 hours from Bogota or 2.5 hours from the Bucaramanga airport. Nonstop flights (approximately one hour of flying) connect Bucaramanga to Bogota. Private transfers and car rentals can be arranged.

In recent years, Barichara has added a handful of charming boutique hotels and cafés (many of which offer the local delicacy known as hormigas culonas).

Mosaico Travel Services arranges personalized travel in Colombia and throughout South America. We organize luxury accommodation, private transportation, and tours with expert guides. Speak with a Mosaico travel planner today at 801.582.2100. We’ll take care of the details.

"The traveler was active; he went strenuously in search of people, of adventure, of experience. The tourist is passive; he expects interesting things to happen to him. He goes ‘sight-seeing."


Daniel J. Boorstin