The department of Santander is located in the central northeastern part of Colombia along one side of the Andes. The capital of the department is Bucaramanga, 414km and 8 hours overland from BOGOTÁ, or 45 minutes by air. It is known for being a well ordered and pretty city at 960MAMSL and with more than 90 parks and its year-round spring-like climate. The region has different micro-climates and the temperature oscillates, according to region, between 15 and 28 ºC providing the ideal setting for dry forest and sub Andean forest.

Santander stands out for its cultural and historical wealth. The first murmurs of republicanism and anti-Spanish sentiment were uttered here. 

All through the different towns in the region one can see Spanish colonial architecture. Thanks in part to the department’s varied geography this area has become the centre for all adventure sports in Colombia. Without doubt Santanderean food is some of the most flavoursome and interesting in particular the tamales and corn based arepas.

Traditional Santanderean villages make this a region that is attractive to visit for its cultural wealth as well as its natural beauty. The small town of San Gil, located at 1110m and along the River Fonce, can be easily reached from BOGOTÁ, Villa de Leyva or Bucaramanga over land. This is the mecca of all extreme sports in Colombia and so San Gil has gained the reputation of being the land of adventure. Canoeing, Rafting, hiking, caving, rappelling and paragliding are just some of the options available here.

Approximately 20km from San Gil or 30 minutes by car is the town of Barichara which was declared a National Architectural Monument in 1975.

It is located on a plateau alongside the River Suarez at 1336m. This used to be the twelfth village that belonged to the Guane indigenous people in the pre-Columbian era. Presently it is the only Colombian town that can boast as having totally preserved all of the colonial Spanish stonework and architecture.

The Chicamocha National Park was opened in 2006 and borders the majestic Chicamocha canyon. This is the second largest canyon in the world. By cable car visitors can travel from one side to another during a 30-minute journey, covering a distance of 6.3 km. This cable car is also renowned as it is one of the longest of its type in the world.

Santander, land of adventure and culture, with its deep canyons with bubbling rivers of varied colours, mountainous landscapes, waterfalls that break through sub Andean forests and tumble into underground caverns, conserves in its daily routine the purest form of its culture and what it has inherited from the pre-Hispanic tribe of the Guane people. Blend this in with the architecture and urbanism left by the Spanish which includes and extensive network of “Caminos Reales” or Royal Pathways that connect towns, unusual local gastronomy, strength in character and start to understand the Santanderean way of life.