Barichara is located 25km from San Gil or 100km from Bucaramanga along the rim of the river Suarez valley. This town was declared a National Architectural Monument in 1975 for the well-preserved urban structure and colonial Spanish-style architecture. The houses are expansive and encompass a cloister style design around internal gardens, intricate stonework and clay tiles on the rooftops. The cobblestone streets speak volumes for the culture and the population of this Santanderean town that is known for its cuisine, stonemasonry, weaving, tobacco growing and gathering “hormigas culonas”, large ants (fried up and eaten and considered an aphrodisiac).

Pick up at the hotel in Barichara or San Gil to start your trip to Guane, a small town located on a tiny plateau beside the hills and alongside the majestic Suarez River. This journey can be made by car or on foot (2 hour approximately) along the old Camino Real which extends 5km connecting the Guane with the town of Barichara. This ancient pathway was made by the pre-Columbian indigenous and it was paved in stones the German Geo Von Lengerke in 1867. While treading the footsteps of an ancestral culture, appreciate beautiful landscapes, valleys and fossils, besides seeing the way of life of the peasants and their crops. If you do it by car, after 20-minute drive, arrive in Guane. This perfectly preserved colonial village, with a pre-Columbian past, dating to the XVII century is at an altitude of 1100m. Visit Isaias Duarte Cancino Paleontological and Archaeological Museum to see fossils from the region, various pieces from the Guanes indigenous people, where a mummy of a girl stands out, religious antiquities and objects from different eras. Also, visit the Santa Lucia Church made in stone, the fossil and sabajón stores (typical drink of the region) and the Central Plaza.

The tour continues by car to Barichara for a tour on foot or by car in the town centre. The Plaza Principal is elegantly ringed by tall palm trees and leafy foliage, and on the western edge of the park is the Alcaldia, a truly colonial edifice with large balconies, internal stone columns and the monument to the Hormiga Culona in its central patio. The churches of note are La Inmaculada Concepción and San Lorenzo Mártie which have altars bathed in gold. At the top of the town is the Capilla de Santa Barbara built at the end of the XVIII century and on one side is a huge ceiba tree. This tree was scared to the indigenous Guane people that inhabited these lands prior to the arrival of the Spanish. The Parque para Las Artes Jorge Delgado Sierra is littered with interesting stone sculptures contributed by both local artists and international ones.

The Casa Natal de Aquileo Parra, the 11th President of Colombia, is today a small museum and also an elderly peoples’ recreation centre where they can work on handicrafts. There are outstanding viewpoints from which one can enjoy views of the Suarez river valley as well as the town’s streets and architectural offerings. Afterwards, visit the Casa de Arte de Oficios, where local artists display their works such as cotton and fique weavings. Back to the hotel.

DURATION: Approximately 6 hours from Barichara or San Gil, and 8 hours from Bucaramanga.

NOTE: Isaías Duarte Cancino Paleontological and Archaeological Museum is closed on Wednesdays, but the closing day may change without prior notice. On Tuesday in Barichara the churches, chapels, the cemetery and the Arts Park, are closed. We suggest not offering this tour Tuesday or Wednesday.

Very often some tourist sites and workshops in Barichara and Guane closed without notice. These handle irregular opening hours and we cannot guarantee entry to all the mentioned sites.