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Bucaramanga to Bogota, via Barichara and VdL

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Saskatoon, Canada
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Bucaramanga to Bogota, via Barichara and VdL

Hi: My wife and I plan to fly into Bucaramanga and ideally would like to see Barichara and Villa de Leyva on our way to Bogota. We have about 3 days for the trip - which might be unreasonable. We can land in Bucaramanga at either 4 p.m. or 7 a.m. the next day. If we land at 4 I'm assuming we would need to stay overnight in the area, getting on a bus to Barichara the next morning. Any help with logistics would be appreciated greatly. First - if we overnight in Buc. where would be the best place to stay - given that we need a bus to Barichara (via San Gil or can you go direct?) the next morning? How far is it from BGA to the bus terminal in Bucaramanga? What is the expected transport time from Bucaramanga to Barichara? We would then like to go from Barichara to VdL. Is there a direct route or is it via San Gil and Tunja? Any advice would be appreciated. Maybe it is best just to do one of Barichara or VdL - and if the views are that Barichara is the better of the two, then we could double back to Bucaramanga and fly to BOG. Thanks

19 replies to this topic
Colombia-Ecuador
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1. Re: Bucaramanga to Bogota, via Barichara and VdL

Hi, depending on the day you can take a direct bus from Bucaramanga to Barichara. The link for the bus company is cotrasangil.com/index.php/…rutas-y-horarios. If none of the direct routes match your schedule, you can take the ones to San Gil. There are 2 bus terminals in San Gil. The buses that leave to Barichara are taken at the one called "Terminalito" and they leave every half and hour (schedule included in the link I gave you). The drive to barichara can be between 3.5 - 4 hours.

The bus terminal in Bucaramanga is on the way to the airport and there is also a hotel near by called Hotel San Juan de Giron.

Both towns are beautiful. Barichara is smaller, climate is great and very peaceful and San Gil has a lot of activities: pargliding, rappel, bike trekking, caves, rafting, etc.

To go to Villa de Leyva there are no direct buses so you would need to go via Tunja. I think 3 days are not enough to travel between both towns and visit.

Any more help, I will be grateful to help.

Marisa

Saskatoon, Canada
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2. Re: Bucaramanga to Bogota, via Barichara and VdL

Marisa - Excellent reply. Very helpful. Thank you. Given our other commitments, and the info from the link you provided, we will fly into Bucamaranga at 0710 on a Thursday, take a taxi directly to the bus station, and head to Barichara via San Gil. We know it's an unreasonably short time but we would like to get the flavour of both Barichara and VdL - if only briefly. Ideally, we would like to find a place to consider moving permanently but for us that begins with a sense of the place, a longer visit, renting in the area, etc. Our ideal community would be small enough to get around reasonably easily, proximate to a larger well-serviced city or town, with enough of an expat or tourist interest so it has a few good/interesting places to eat and drink (so it might need to be a little "touristy"), safe, and some attractions in the area - all with a climate that doesn't rain too much and you don't need much or any heat or air con. Sounds like we're as fussy as Goldilocks - but that is our current vision of "ideal". Thank you again for your assistance. If you live in the area we'd be more than happy to buy you a coffee or drink when we're there. Greg

Colombia-Ecuador
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3. Re: Bucaramanga to Bogota, via Barichara and VdL

Dear Greg,

Hope all sorts out good for you. On your comments, I can say the following:

Barichara is a smaller zone. Climate is ideal, Average temperature 20 degrees Celsius. Lot of adventure sports in the area. Closest city: Bucaramanga (smaller that Bogota).

Villa de Leyva has much more activity regarding local tourists and a bit more noisy due to its vecinity with Bogota. Bogota of course much bigger.

I live in Ecuador but have a house in Barichara and spend a lot of time there. I fly to Bucaramanga and then drive to Barichara.

Both areas are nice but I simply love Barichara. Normally one can use the daily buses and go to Bucaramanga and back the same day if needed.

Bucaramanga´s airport has international flights to Panama, and the rest leave via Bogota.

Hope you find all you are looking for and enjoy your stay in my beautiful country.

best regards

Marisa

PS. If you need more info on Barichara let me know

Saskatoon, Canada
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4. Re: Bucaramanga to Bogota, via Barichara and VdL

Hi Marisa: Barichara sounds lovely. We are looking forward to our visit - if only a quick one. If you have any recommendations on places to stay and eat, that would be great. We probably won't be there long enough to see much of the area but will be able to stroll town and enjoy a few meals and a nice place to stay. If it's easier to send me a message directly, please feel free to do so. Greg

Colombia-Ecuador
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5. Re: Bucaramanga to Bogota, via Barichara and VdL

Hi Greg, depends on your budget and taste.

You can get from a complete house for $250 US tripadvisor.com/… or hostels like Color de Hormiga http://colordehormiga.com/hostel.html, Tinto Hostel http://hosteltintobarichara.com/, Posada Sueños de Antonia http://suenosdeantonio.com/.

Places to eat: 7 Tigres (my preferred place) Try the Carruaje, Nabusimaque, Pizza Mediterranea.

El Balcon de mi Pueblo for local food Carne oreada, Cabrito, etc. At night you can eat at Plenilunio which has great ravioli or vegetarian burger.

If you need more info, please let me know

Saskatoon, Canada
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6. Re: Bucaramanga to Bogota, via Barichara and VdL

Thanks again. I will look at your suggestions and get back to you if I have questions. We are probably looking more at middle or upper end than budget but getting set up in a house for just a night or two might be too much. The restaurants sound very nice. I will check reviews on Trip Advisor as well.

Bogota, Colombia
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7. Re: Bucaramanga to Bogota, via Barichara and VdL

Three days to see a glimpse of Barichara & VdL is rushing it; the bus trip will eat up a bunch of time, a stroll maybe all you get. You could theoretically pick up a passing bus where the road to BGA intersects the main hwy; I noticed they let people off the bus near there. There is also a short cut from Bucaramanga - Parque Chicamocha; take a bus to the Buca side of the canyon - Arial tram - the main entrance, you can access frequent buses - San Gil. If you choose this route pay the one way tram fare.

Barichara sits on Chicamocha's rim; hike the viejo camino - Guane, take avantage of its amazing vistas & don't forget to visit Guane's incredible little museo. The windy Buca - San Gil hwy is prone to landslides; long delays are frequent during rainy season & hwy repairs - ditto for San Gil _ Bogota.

Edited: 07 April 2014, 20:28
Saskatoon, Canada
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8. Re: Bucaramanga to Bogota, via Barichara and VdL

Thanks for your input. We will certainly take any opportunity to see the canyon and Guane. We're hoping there aren't road closures but I guess that goes with the route and time or year. With our tight time table we'll just need to roll with what happens and improvise!

Bogota, Colombia
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9. Re: Bucaramanga to Bogota, via Barichara and VdL

...a good rule of thumb...check the road conditions before you purchase your bus tickets;contact the police department & bus companies. Make a backup travel plan;consult a list of road closures:

invias.gov.co/index.php/estado-de-las-vias

Saskatoon, Canada
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10. Re: Bucaramanga to Bogota, via Barichara and VdL

Good suggestions. It looks like an interesting link. I will spend some time getting to know it. Thanks again.

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