City tour: Bucaramanga / Girón / Santísimo
As the fifth largest metropolitan area in Colombia as well as being known as the safest and cleanest city in the country, Bucaramanga offers a lot of interesting places to see, like important buildings in the city center, a historic museum, the famous leather shoe outlets, commercial market places, shopping malls, Colombia´s largest hanging bridge, etc
Barichara, known as the most beautiful town in Colombia, is famous for its colonial architecture, the quiet cobbled streets, adobe houses and artisan workshops and its craft shops among other things. You will see amazing churches, chapels, graveyards, sculptures and parks. Also, you will be entering the stores where the handcrafted goods are made and sold.
The Eco Park Cerro del Santísimo is a popular attraction among the people living in Bucaramanga and therefore it is a must-see for travelers. The statue itself not considering the platform is just 3 meters (10 feet) smaller than the famous statue Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) in Rio de Janeiro. The special thing about Santísimo is that it is not overcrowded with tourists and that there even is an elevator right behind the statue different to the statue in Rio de Janeiro.
El Socorro is one of the most important historic towns in Latin America. It is the place where the first step to the independence of Colombia and other Latin American countries was made. In 1781, 38 years before the internationally accepted Colombian independence, the indigenous Manuela Beltran tore apart an important document of the Spaniards which was recognized as the first important revolt in South and Central America against the Spanish empire. That action led to the Revolution of the Comuneros and many other revolts on the continent.
Barichara / El Socorro
Visiting Barichara and El Socorro you will get to know 2 of the 17 towns of national heritage in Colombia in just one day.
Whereas Barichara attracts by its perfectly conserved colonial architecture, El Socorro is known as the historic capital of Colombia. During the walking tour in Barichara you will enjoy the calmness in its streets and you will understand why people call it the most beautiful town in Colombia.
Zapatoca is a beautiful and calm town not known by a lot of travelers. The town has 5000 inhabitants and people from Bucaramanga go there to enjoy a weekend having relatively mild temperatures (day temperature approx. 21 °C/ 79 °F). In town you can enjoy a beautiful central park and try home-made wine from oranges and blackberries. Close to town you will visit the cave “Cueva del Nitro” where a specialized guide shows you parts of the cave that is several kilometers long.
San Vicente de Chucuri
San Vicente de Chucurí used to be one of the most dangerous towns in Colombia 20 years ago and nowadays it is one of the safest places in the country. It used to be controlled by the FARC and other guerrilla groups, and the ELN guerrilla even had its origin right in the center of the town. Today the inhabitants of San Vicente de Chucurí are very proud that they combatted the guerrilla groups.