Back to Barichara, Colombia

| Johan van Rijswijck

Last year I already wrote something about his visit to Barichara. A picturesque town, situated in a breathtakingly beautiful, green and mountainous landscape. Barichara is located in the province of Santander, about an 8 hour drive north of Bogotá. In October of this year I went back.

It feels like coming home

This time I didn't travel over land from Bogotá, but flew to Bucaramanga, after which I took a four hour bus trip to Barichara. This trip turns out to be absolutely no punishment. The route runs for a large part along the Chicamocha Gorge and the view at every new turn seems to compete with the previous one in beauty.  

When I arrive in Barichara, even though I have only been there once before, it feels a bit like coming home. It is a place that embraces you like a warm blanket. A place where your heartbeat goes down, where you immediately come to peace and where you really don't want to leave. At first sight not much seems to have changed in the year and a half that I haven't been, but when I take a closer look, I see that some atmospheric restaurants and boutique shops have been added. The same applies to a number of hotels that have recently opened. All of them are atmospheric and small-scale accommodations. The original character of the historic buildings has been preserved.

Curious about the Yari Hotel

A new accommodation I wanted to check is the Yahri hotel. This hotel is the latest initiative of Olivier Dufeu and Diego Ruiz, the people behind Hacienda Bambusa. Hacienda Bambusa is a very nice place near Armenia, which I visited in July. If this new hotel is run in the same style and with the same dedication, then it must be highly recommended. Now that I was in Barichara anyway, I took the opportunity to pay a visit. I can only say that it turned out to be a fantastic place. 

The Yahri hotel is situated on the outskirts of the village and because it lies a bit higher, from the accommodation you have a beautiful view over the historical centre of Barichara. The hotel has 5 very spacious rooms, all very tastefully decorated. 

If you stay at the Yari hotel you will be fully immersed in the life of Barichara and its surroundings. You will stay on a full board basis, where all meals and excursions are included. The meals are not only in the hotel, you will also have the opportunity to dine in some of the better restaurants in the village. You will be able to enjoy the most delicious local dishes in several places and you will also be able to taste the atmosphere of the village. I am pleasantly surprised with the Yahri hotel and as far as I am concerned it is a huge asset for Barichara.

The surroundings of Barichara

Because last time I was mainly in Barichara itself, this time I wanted to take a closer look and discover the surroundings. I was curious which activities you can do here. I decided to make the hike to Guane again, hoping for somewhat better weather, so I could take some better pictures this time. I would also go mountain biking and rafting. 


I started rafting. There are many possibilities for rafting in this area. There is an option for every level. Accompanied by a team of experienced instructors we made a trip on the Fonce river. It was a trip of about an hour and a half, during which we occasionally jumped into the water and let ourselves be carried along by the river. It turned out to be an exhilarating trip, suitable for everyone, who is somewhat in shape, can swim and is not afraid to get a wetsuit. Partly due to the expert guidance it became a beautiful adventure, which everyone looks back on with a lot of pleasure afterwards.

Mountain biking

The next day I went mountain biking. Again, there are several possibilities and you can decide for yourself how difficult or how heavy you want to make it. The ride we did was a short ride, in which we drove for the largest part down, in the direction of Barichara. The trip took us over unpaved paths through the lands surrounding Barichara. We passed farms and we had phenomenal views of the surrounding mountain landscape.

Hiking trip to Guane

My last day I went out again, to make the walk from Barichara to the village of Guane. The trail is about 10 km long. It was originally built by the indigenous Guane tribe and later in 1864 the path was restored by the German Geo von Lenguerke. Guane is older than Barichara. Where Barichara was founded in 1705, Guane dates back to 1684. Barichara eventually grew into a town of regional importance, but Guane remained nothing more than a sleepy village. The walk starts at the edge of the centre of Barichara and the route meanders slowly but surely down towards Guane. The route is beautiful with beautiful views. After about two hours we arrived in Guane. The houses in Guane are built in the same style as in Barichara, characterized by white plastered walls and orange-red roof tiles. There is an oasis of tranquillity, where the silence is only interrupted by the singing of the birds and the rustling of the wind through the trees. 

Travel through Colombia? - And visit Barichara and the surrounding area?

After having visited Barichara for the second time and having explored not only the town itself, but also the surroundings extensively, I can't help but say that this beautiful town and its surroundings are more than worth a visit. Because you can do so many different activities, I think it is also a perfect destination for a family, because there is something for everyone.  

Would you like to make a tour of Colombia yourself and are you curious about the possibilities? Then take a look at the tours that we have put together for inspiration. You can book these tours directly, but we also like to create a personal program based on your wishes and ideas.

Do you have a question? Feel free to contact us. Call +31 73 610 62 04 or send an email to We are happy to help.

View our itineraries

View luxury holiday Colombia