The region of Santander and around offers many opportunities for adventurers looking for their shots of adrenaline. Fly above the deep Chicamocha canyon, brave the danger on the Magdalena River or hike in the beautiful national park of El Cocuy.

Don’t hesitate to stop in San Gil if you decide to reach the Caribbean Coast by bus from Bogotà. Besides the sports activities, you will have the opportunity to discover the lovely colonial towns of Barichara and Giron or wander between the many churches of Mompox.

If you don’t want to deal with long bus trips, you can fly to Bucaramanga.

Where To Travel In The Region Of Santander & Around

  • Mompox

    Santander & Around


    Mompox is a colorful town full of history surrounded by the Magdalena river. Wander among the quiet streets and beautiful churches. Book ahead if you plan to arrive for the Jazz Festival (October). Mompox is a not on the tourist trail. Allow 6 – 8 hours of travel Duration: 2 – 3 Days | Backpacker Budget per Day: 100 000 COP
  • Bucaramanga

    Santander & Around


    Bucaramanga is the main city in the area. There is no tourist attractions but an exciting nightlife on weekends. People usually travel to Bucaramanga for taking a flight. Sleeping in Giron could be a could alternative if you have an early flight. The city is 2 hours away from San Gil.
  • San Gil

    Santander & Around

    San Gil

    San Gil is the city offering many sports activities like paragliding (55$), bungee jumping (25$), rappelling or rafting (40$). And it’s a perfect stop if you’re on your way to Santa Marta. Duration: 3 – 4 Days | Backpacker Budget per Day: 90 0 000 COP (Activities not included)
  • Barichara

    Santander & Around


    Barichara is one of most beautiful colonial towns of Colombia. The village is situated 25 min away from San Gil, in front of the Chicamocha Canyon. Venture on the Camino Real (hike) to discover the area. Quiet place, it’s a great alternative to San Gil if you look for a more romantic atmosphere. Duration: Day trip from San Gil or 3-4 Days if Barichara is your Home Base | Backpacker Budget per Day: 110 000 COP (Activities not included)
  • Cocuy

    Santander & Around


    The National Park of Cocuy is a paradise for mountain lovers with peaks higher than 5 000 m. For environmental reasons, it’s not allowed to multi-day hikes in the park anymore. However, there are three awesome 1-day treks. A local guide is mandatory. Departure from Cocuy or Guican Duration: 3 – 5 Days | Backpacker Budget per Day: 200 – 250 000 COP (with park entrance, guide, and transports)
  • Guadalupe

    Santander & Around


    Guadalupe is a little town between San Gil and Villa de Leyva. The place is famous for its river, called Quebrada Las Gachas. It’s a slippery river with natural jacuzzi pools. Weird and Cool. Avoid the dry season. Pick Up from Oiba or Socorro to Guadalupe. Duration: 2 – 3 Days | Backpacker Budget per Day: 90 0 000 COP

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Where To Stay In The Region Of Santander

I gathered my favorite hostels in the Region of Santander and around:

  • In Mompox, travelers love to escape the heat by staying in Hostal Dona ManuelaPrivate swimming pool and flourish patios. 
  • In Bucaramanga, the hostel Lounge Fike welcome the visitors with a hot tub and barbecue. Plus, it’s ideal for enjoying the nightlife in Bucaramanga. 
  • In Giron, Giron chill out boutique is a romantic colonial hotel perfect for couples. 
  • In Barichara, families will spend a delightful stay at Hostal Casa Nacuma
  • In San Gil, adventurers can organize their expeditions from Sams VIP. The hostel is located in front of the main square, and there are a pool and a sauna!

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. Dear friends or I used all the hostels listed here, and  I recommend them because they rock and have made our travels better.

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Top Things To Do In The Region Of Santander & Around

Here is a compilation of the best things to do in the Region of Santander and Around in Colombia:

  • Hike in the National Park El Cocuy
  • Visit the Colonial town of Barichara
  • Eat Hormigas culonas
  • Hike the Camino Real from Bariachara to Los Santos
  • Paragliding above the Chicamocha Canyon
  • Rafting on the Rio Suarez
  • Rappelling the Juan Curi Waterfall
  • Visit the Colonial town of Mompox – UNESCO site
  • Party in Bucaramanga
  • Jump into the natural “jacuzzis” in Las Ganchas – Guadalupe

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Events In The Region Of Santander & Around

List of the main Events in the Region Of Santander and Around in Colombia:

  • January: Festival de la Miel – Honey – in Oiba
  • July: Festival de Verano in San Gil
  • September: Festival de Cine Verde in Barichara
  • October: Jazz Festival in Mompox
  • November: Las Ferias de San Gil

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