Situated at the crossroads of epic natural wonders, and with a culture and history all its own, Santander is the perfect location for our new 9-Day Colombia Great Outdoors Adventure. There is truly no shortage of activities to get your heart racing:
- Rushing rivers
- Rugged mountains
- Deep canyons
- Exciting caves
This may be the most diverse adventure tour we offer anywhere, with a wide variety of experiences and places in just 9 days. Despite its excitement level, this is a moderate adventure suitable for any adult and older child in good health and you can start this trip any day of the year. Our itinerary gets you into the splendor of the area’s incredible landscapes and deep into the culture of a rich agricultural tradition.
Day 1: Arrive Bogotá and overnight
Arrive Bogotá anytime.
Day 2: Free day in central Bogotá
Today, you will enjoy leisure time to take in the myriad sights and experiences of fascinating big-city Bogotá.
Day 3: Transfer to airport, fly to Bucaramanga, transfer to San Gil
This morning after breakfast, we will transfer you to the Bogotá airport, where you will catch a flight to Bucaramanga where you will be met by your driver and transferred to San Gil. The balance of the day is at your leisure to relax and enjoy a quiet evening in San Gil.
Day 4: Biking to Barichara and Suarez Canyon
Start things off with an incredible full day of biking. This route is the best rated in all of Colombia, combining downhill and cross country riding through farmland, colonial towns, and up and down an epic canyon. Our top-of-the-line dual suspension Konas are put to good use as we descend 2,000 meters from the town of San Gil to the colonial city of Barichara. Go back in time by exploring the 15th-century architecture and get some culture by learning about the history of the area. Stop for a drink and then soldier on to the rim of Suarez Canyon. Speed things up and fly down the steepest part of the canyon, reaching the bottom after a 1,000-meter vertical descent. Take a 4×4 up to the other side of the canyon and enjoy lunch with a view. Traverse rushing streams as we cross the gorge headed north. Cold beers await you and your friends in celebration of a great start to the adventure.
Day 5: Waterfall rappel and cave adventure
We will spend the morning on a 4 km hike through lush forest to the top of an 180-meter waterfall. You will take in the scenery with a naturalist guide explaining the unique flora and fauna, before harnessing up and rappelling back down. Making your way down the falls just meters from the rushing water is an exhilarating experience. You will swim in the natural pools at the bottom and gaze up at the powerful river system.
After lunch, we will head underground for a subterranean adventure. Cueva del Indio (Indian Cave) is a mysterious limestone cave system, complete with long echoes and bats flying overhead. We will don hard hats and hold up a torch to light our way through the darkness. We will learn about life underground while weaving between stalactites and stalagmites. We will swim out into the daylight via an underground river exit. From here, we return to San Gil and overnight.
Day 6: Paragliding Chicamocha Gorge, explore Curiti, and swim Pescarderito
Chicamocha Gorge was recently converted into one of Colombia’s National Parks. With its sweeping canyon walls and wide open spaces, it is not hard to see why. After a full lesson, you can take the leap and paraglide through the canyon, soaring like an eagle over farmland in the valley. Enjoy a chilled-out lunch and allow your heart rate to settle before heading to nearby Curiti for an afternoon devoted to Colombian culture. This colonial town produces premium fique (agave) products. We will learn about the manufacturing techniques and do some shopping for yourself or someone back home.
We will finish the day off with a swim in Pescaderito, a scenic river with plenty of natural slides and high boulders for epic cliff jumping into the water. Afterward, we will return to San Gil and overnight.
Day 7: Rafting the Suarez River
You have not really experienced the adventure of Santander without doing a little whitewater rafting. The Suarez River, only an hour from San Gil, is one of the top high-volume runs in the country, with thrilling rapids and huge waves. Our run starts out with Class III rapids and ends with Class V. Rafters have been known to experience waves the size of the ocean, depending on the weather and the water levels. In the case of wipeouts, there are plenty of pool-drop portions of the river that make for a safe environment and easy recoveries. With tired bodies and pumping hearts, we will settle back on dry land for a big lunch and an afternoon spent relaxing by the river.
Day 8: Hiking to Guane via the Royal Road / Free afternoon in colonial Barichara
Today, we will enjoy adventure hiking through some of the area’s most incredible scenery and explore one of the region’s historical and architectural gems. We will hike along the Royal Road, a route so historic it was declared a National Monument. You will stroll through the best of the Colombian countryside, with lots of chances to spot rare birds.
Arriving in Guane is like stepping back in time. Although the original inhabitants are nowhere to be found, the remains of their culture indicate a truly majestic past. Learn all you can at the anthropology museum and marvel at the evolution of the town from prehispanic, to colonial, to modern times. Your guide will assist you in making your way back to Barichara, a photogenic colonial town. You will have the afternoon free to wander this cute if sleepy, little town with amazing stone slabs paving its roads.
Day 9: Transfer to Bucaramanga, depart or extend
After an early breakfast, we will transfer you to Bucaramanga airport, where you are free to depart (fly to Bogotá and onward) or extend to Cartagena or elsewhere.