Thinking of visiting San Gil, Colombia?
Situated some 3,500-feet above sea level, the town of San Gil, Colombia boasts an incredible tropical climate.
San Gil’s weather is ideal for outdoor adventures and other activities.
Nearly 200-years after Alonso de Ojeda discovered Colombia, Don Gil Cabrera Davalos, and Leonardo Correa de Betancourt established the town of San Gil in 1689.
San Gil Colombia: Travel Guide
Hosting a wide variety of outdoor activities, San Gil is collectively known as the adventure sports capital of Colombia.
Many people who travel to Colombia on vacation wonder; is it safe?
Colombia, like other safe countries in South America, is traveler-friendly destination; however, travelers should avoid certain areas.
The primary language spoken is Spanish, although those employed within the tourism industry do have a working knowledge of English.
Here the official currency is the peso, and Colombia does not accept US dollars. Like many places to visit in Colombia, depending upon where you stay, the hotels and hostels offer affordable nightly rates.
San Gil Colombia – Things to do
For the most part, the town of San Gil has a laid-back, non-touristy feel to it with the locals going about their daily business.
If you want to do skydiving in Colombia or something extreme, the majority of sporting activities like paragliding, take place outside of the town. Let’s now look at what you can get up to.
Explore the natural beauty and timeless wonders of the Gallineral National Park.
The Gallineral National Park, located in the southeastern outskirts of San Gil, is home to a diverse array of animal and plant life, some of which are endemic.
There’s a small admission fee to enter the park. Its leafy Ceiba trees accentuate the natural beauty of this park.
You’ll encounterer larger trees covered in moss which resemble beards, many different varieties of flowers, and other flora and fauna.
The park is ideal for escaping the noise of the city and reconnecting with nature. Butterflies, squirrels, birds, and various reptiles call this park home.
El Gallineral is the only park within an urban area in Colombia.
Cascada de Juan Curi
Explore the breathtaking majestic beauty of the Juan Curi waterfalls 13-miles from San Gil.
Traveling to this National park of waterfalls is the beginning of your adventure. During your trek up to the mountain, you can expect to see small animals and an abundance of vegetation.
The 180-meter main waterfall hosts a miraculous ecological wonderland of exotic wildlife, steep trails, and broken passages. If staying in Bucaramanga you can get a tour guide that will bring you here directly.
Whether you’re looking to capture astonishing photography or partake in some heart-pumping activities, you’ll find it at this park.
Rappelling down the waterfall or relaxing at the natural pool near the base of the falls, Juan Curi is an ideal place.
The cascading waters of the Juan Curi waterfalls offer panoramic views and priceless experiences.
White Water Rafting
Prepare to get wet with a splash of adrenaline on 1 of 3 rivers near San Gil.
White water rafting is considered one of the most exhilarating and extreme water sports available.
Adrenaline thrill-seekers, seeking the ultimate adventure can choose between 1 of 3 rivers, The Rio Fonce and Rio Chicamocha are ideal for beginners and offer class 1 – 3 rapids.
Individuals seeking a more thrilling, white knuckle, and challenging excursion can choose the Rio Suarez offering class 4 and 5 rapids.
You will get wet so dress accordingly. All three rivers provide incredible views of the surrounding landscape, are inexpensive, and last for a few hours.
White water rafting in San Gil offers an adventure for almost all ages.
Barichara is one of the best places to see in Colombia. Travel back through time to explore Barichara’s charm, noted as one of the most beautiful towns in Colombia today.
The town of Barichara is bathed in a radiant orange glow every evening during sunset, due to its extensive use of sandstone in construction during the colonial era.
If you’re short on time you can visit Barichara and the Juan Curí waterfalls in the same day from Bucaramanga.
Roughly 12 miles northwest of San Gil, the town of Barichara and surrounding areas were once occupied by the Indigenous Guane people.
Colonial style churches and cobbled streets dot the town’s landscape. The climate in Barichara is typically warm and dry and sits some 4,900-feet above sea level.
A major highlight of visiting Barichara is sampling the authentic Colombian cuisine, such as filet mignon, (a steak cut of beef.)
The cultural magnificence and pristine beauty of Colombia’s most picturesque town are well worth the visit.
Swim in The Natural Pools of Pozo Azul
Rejuvenate your body and mind with a refreshing dip in the natural pools of Pozo Azul.
Located roughly 2km outside of San Gil; this natural pool is accessible by foot or taxi with no entrance fee.
It’s a great local swimming hole created by a smaller series of cascading waterfalls.
If traveling with family this is the ideal place to go a few hours and observe birds and other small wildlife.
There are a few small cafes and plenty of shade giving it the look and feel of a small oasis with crystal clear waters and gentle breezes. Pozo Azul is a small oasis popular with locals and tourists.
Hike Up, Cerro de la Cruz
Cerro de la Cruz is one of those cool places to visit in Colombia where you can be in nature. Its translation is, Hill of the White Cross and it offers some unique photographic opportunities.
If you like the idea of ecological walks and canyoning or rock climbing in Colombia, you can find simlar activites nearby.
The trek up to the top of the hill is relatively easy and offers some of the most scenic views of the surrounding area. This is an ideal location for many photography enthusiasts and nature lovers.
At the top of the hill is a white cross that was constructed by Jesuit priests in 1888.
During the night, the city illuminates the cross with the flickering sparkles of light below resembling a field of diamonds.
Cerro de la Cruz has considerable religious significance to the local people not to mention an iconic landmark of San Gil’s skyline.
San Gil – Travel Tips
In San Gil, not only will you have all your sporting and adventure needs met. You feel the simple pleasure of exploring the 300-year-old town square and Parque El Gallineral.
A trip here will get you one step closer to the Colombian culture and connect you with a more rural style atmosphere.
What travel tips can I share that will help you with your visit to San Gil?
Here I will note down any tips and tricks that I have learned that I feel will help make your stay more memorable.
San Gil – Places to Stay
Arriving in San Gil, Colombia you can expect to have a wild adventure. Finding a place to stay needn’t be difficult.
Many of the hostels I found offer the best information and easy access to many of the outdoor activities in the area.
Below are four of the hostels that I feel offer help and will assist you in organizing activities with some of the best companies in San Gil.
- Traditional Colombian House
- Attentive and Friendly Staff
- Organise Activities here
Here you have the opportunity to stay in a colonial house located in the main square of San Gil. With great wifi, kitchen, and social atmosphere you’ll feel right at home.
- Private Rooms
- Tasty Breakfast (included)
- Private parking available
With both private and shared rooms, you’ll find the perfect place to rest your head in San Gil. The Chicamocha hostel offer activities for solo traveler so you’ll never feel alone.
- Courtyard with Hammocks
- Stress Free Zone
- Organic Coffee Farm Location
Lost Inn is located on a Finca around 5km from San Gil. This makes the perfect getaway location for those who want to be as close to nature as possible.
- Double Rooms & Dorms
- Self Catering Kitchen
- Bicycle Hire Available
Bacaregua Hostel is one of the best hostels in San Gil. Popular with most backpackers in Colombia for its English-speaking staff and location which is just 4 blocks from San Gil’s main square.
Travel Insurance for Colombia
If you are due to travel soon, you can get a Get A Free Quote by clicking the link or the image above and filling out your details – that way you’ll get instant cover from the exact date that you choose.
On many occasions World Nomads has provided me with reliable insurance cover for travel in Latin America and the rest of the world.
San Gil Colombia – Travel Guide
When looking for new activities to do in Colombia, the town of San Gil offers many different activities.
Everything from extreme adventure-filled, adrenaline-pumping sports to the more serene natural beauty and relaxing atmosphere of its parks and plazas.
San Gil, located in northeastern Colombia, is a tourist-friendly region with several lodging accommodations ranging from hotels and hostels to bed and breakfasts.
Various shops and cafes’ situated in and around San Gil offer authentic cuisine and activities, such as learning Spanish, ceramics, and various tours.
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