Santander Multisport in Chicamocha Canyon
Barichara and San Gil in Santander are surrounded by magnificent landscapes of the Chicamocha canyon that adventure seekers will not be able to resist exploring. It is 6,600 feet deep and the 2nd largest canyon in the world. Here is a sample itinerary with some ideas about how to create the perfect itinerary to suit your interests.
Day 1- arrive Barichara or San Gil, city tour of Barichara or paragliding
Paragliding can start in the afternoon, but is subject to wind conditions, but the air currents are normally good enough all the year
BARICHARA CITY TOUR (4 Hours) –
This panoramic tour gives you the opportunity to discover the main touristic spots of Barichara, which is considered by many the most beautiful town of Colombia. Its constructions date from the end of the 18th century; the old sector of the population was declared cultural heritage of the country in 1978, being also surrounded by some of the most important adventure travel attractions of Santander. You will have an explanation about the importance of the colonial town, will be taken to its most famous museums, will enjoy its cobblestone streets and will learn about particular architecture of its buildings.
Paragliding in the Chicamocha Canyon is one of the most popular activities to do there for adventure travelers. They will pick you up you from your hotel in San Gil or Barichara, where they will take you to rural area of San Gil - very close to the Chicamocha National Park, where you will have the departure place for the flight.
During the tandem paragliding flight, which lasts between 20 to 30 minutes depending on the weather conditions, you can reach heights of more than 2,000 m.a.s.l and with the right climatic conditions you can enjoy beautiful landscapes of the canyon, its mountains and rivers. Also, you can appreciate municipalities such as Aratoca, Cepitá, La Mesa de los Santos and Jordán. This is an activity of freedom, relaxation and unique sensory experiences and will end with transportation back to your hotel.
Day 2 – rafting
CHICAMOCHA RIVER RAFTING ACTIVITY (7 or 9 hours) – For all ages.
This tour can start from your hotel in Barichara or San Gil, where you will be taken either to the town of Jordan or to the Pescadero bridge (depending on how long you prefer the activity) where we will start the Chicamocha River rafting, which crosses one of the largest canyons in the world, the Chicamocha Canyon. This river runs along the base of the canyon with its mountains and majestic landscapes.
This full-day adventure is an incredible expedition and the best option for nature lovers looking to fully immerse themselves in this impressive scenery passing through beautiful towns where you will learn part of their history while enjoying Level III-IV + rapids. No experience is necessary as our knowledgeable guides take care of your safety so you can focus on enjoying the amazing landscapes of the canyon.
SUAREZ RIVER RAFTING ACTIVITY (6 hours) -
This tour can start from your hotel in Barichara, San Gil or El Socorro, where you will be taken to rural area where we will start the Suárez River rafting, which is one of the most impressive rivers for this activity worldwide with some level IV and V rapids that attract adventurers searching of maximum adrenaline.
Knowledgeable guides take care of your safety so you can focus on enjoying the adventure of a lifetime through the breathtaking scenery and wild rapids with some waves of more than 3 meters of height. You will live the emotion and adrenaline until the last moment where you will witness the full force of the river. We will end our day sharing a buffet of local food and beers by the river and taking you back to the hotel.
Chicamocha is class III-IV and the Suarez is IV-V, so the Chicamocha would be more suitable for casual/beginner rafters, while the Suarez would be for those who are experienced.
Chicamocha rafting is easier, but definitely not boring and longer. Also the advantage at Chicamocha river is that the landscapes are the best as people would raft in the middle of the canyon. Suarez is more challenging and technical and people need to be in good physical condition.
Day 3 – start Chichamocha Canyon trek
This trek can be done in 1 or 2 days, where the difference of the last option is to be able to go at a slower pace, sleep in the town of Jordan, which is located in the middle of the canyon, have the opportunity to see the town of Los Santos during the day and to take an exceptional coffee tour in the middle of from the plantations of Finca El Roble where you can also spend the night
2 DAY ITINERARY:
Day 1 (07:30) – Departure from the hotel in Barichara in private vehicles towards rural area of Villanueva, then we will start a 10 kms hike down the canyon, in order to take advantage of the cool weather and the beautiful light of the morning. We will descend more than 1000 meters in order to reach the level of the river and make a break at a natural refuge in the town of Jordan, where we will have lunch. In the afternoon we will take advantage of the pool to cool off. We will have dinner and spend the night there at the Tamarindo Ecolodge. It has natural water pools, being an oasis in the middle of the canyon, definitely very beautiful and refreshing after the warmth of the canyon.
Day 2 - (08:00) – Breakfast, and after that check-out from the ecolodge. Then we will start our ascent of 5 kms and 850 mts of elevation gain towards the beautiful town of Los Santos and its whitewashed houses. We will visit its enchanted streets together before having lunch in the town.
Extras and options for the end of the trip
Or if you prefer to mountain bike, instead of hike, you could do:
BIKE DOWNHILL AT CHICAMOCHA CANYON (9 hours) -
This a great alternative to enjoy the Chicamocha canyon in a different way, by bike. The tour begins at 9 AM, where you will be taken in a 40 minutes ride to a beautiful spot in the mountains of Curití with a long downhill. After this first session we´ll jump into the car to drive to our next downhill part. From there we´ll race down on our bikes through majestic nature.
It is a downhill with stunning views and some very steep parts. On our way down you will see tobacco farms. We´ll get to the little village of Jordan by bike, where you will visit the suspension bridge. Further down at the river we will enter a natural resort. There you can swim in the Chicamocha river and also in a natural pool. We'll do a big picnic and relax a little bit. After the break we'll put the bikes on top of the car and drive all the way back to San Gil or Barichara.
To complete a package, we can also arrange for bus tickets from Bogota to San Gil or Barichara (and flights to San Gil), and then from Los Santos to Bucamaranga and onward.
The recent opening of the regional airport in San Gil (only 40 minutes driving from Barichara), also marks an exciting improvement for domestic connectivity. With a 2 day-a-week schedule (Mondays and Fridays), travelers will now have more options when flying to and from Medellín and Bogotá! We can create a more traditional itinerary such as:
Day 1 – Flight from Bogotá or Medellin. Spend the afternoon discovering Barichara’s rich history, culture and local life.
Day 2 – Morning trekking to Guane, a beautiful colonial town in the Andes. Enjoy an afternoon learning about Barichara’s fascinating street food scene, including “giant-ass ants.”
Day 3 – Visit a traditional coffee hacienda and spend the afternoon horseback riding in the Andes.
Day 4 – Mountain biking, zip lining, paragliding, or white water rafting along the Chicamocha Canyon, OR enjoy a more relaxing day doing yoga, and visiting local artists and artisans.
Day 5 – Flight out of San Gil