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Barichara, Colombia - 30mins From San Gil The Jewel Of Colonial Towns

Colombia travel blog by Mark Berman - July 2013   » View Photoset (104 Photos)

Mark Berman, South America backpacker for 10yrs!
Just 30mins by bus from San Gil is a magical place called Barichara, an old colonial town that is so pretty, so perfect, like something from a fairytale,
Colombia Photo - A row of trees, a row of houses, a steep street in Barichara.
A row of trees, a row of houses, a steep street in Barichara.
except its real.

Tour of Barichara

Barichara was originally founded in 1705 and is in flawless condition due to care and tasteful restoration work over the past decades. To say it is a photographers paradise is an understatement. This is a town of cobblestone streets, yellow stone walls, whitewashed adobe walls, fire-red tiled roofs, cute wooden balconies, little street lanterns, wooden doors and windows, flower pots, tidy parks, stone churches and beautiful facades everywhere.

Buses and Cathedral at the Main Plaza

The bus arrives and leaves from the main plaza beside the impressive golden stone cathedral Catedral de la Inmaculada Concepcion built in 1760. At the front
Colombia Photo - The path in the Plaza Principal in Barichara, tranquil.
The path in the Plaza Principal in Barichara, tranquil.
of the cathedral is a bust of the first bishop Monsenor Domingo Rafael Afanador (1871-1957) and along the street beside are several small stone figures. In the park is a bust of former President Aquileo Parra Gomez (1825-1900) who was born in Barichara.

Exploring Barichara

My exploration around a few nearby streets brought me to a large stone church built upon a large stone road - Capilla de Jesus (Capilla de Cementerio) built in Romanesque style in 1797. There is a beautiful quiet park beside with a Jesus fountain and lots of trees.

Streets and Houses

The streets and houses are fascinating, sometimes you see interestings things on the walls of peoples homes through the open windows and cane bells hanging outside above the sidewalk. The most interesting thing I thought was that there were no people to be
Colombia Photo - Stone statue coffee table head near the plaza in Barichara.
Stone statue coffee table head near the plaza in Barichara.
seen, the locals were simply not visible.

Mototaxi Up the Hill

To one side of the main plaza are little mototaxis, from there you can see a church far up the top of a long street. In one of these taxis for 2000 pesos I got a ride up to the old stone church Capilla de Santa Barbara, the original church of Barichara. Outside is a monument of a pair of oxen (Yunta de Bueyes) to celebrate how much these animals have helped the local farmers shape and plow the land and transport cargo. A large stone cross stands in the middle of the road.

Good Views at the Top

There are nice views of the town and valley from the top of this steep road. Walking back down was the fun part
Colombia Photo - Pink flower pots, wooden window shutters, white wall, Barichara.
Pink flower pots, wooden window shutters, white wall, Barichara.
- more beautiful houses, streets, shapes, textures and colors. A man passed by on horseback as I walked towards the tall white monument that can be seen from various points around town. On the street below this monument is a large ant monument. Catching and eating these large-bummed ants is a popular activity for locals in this area, eaten as a crunchy snack.

Mirador Park

Again by mototaxi I took a trip to the other side of town (just 2 minutes) up the hill to park Parque Mirador for grand views of mountains beyond and the valleys below. Once again the walk back down through the streets was a highlight! So many beautiful angles for taking photos with the cathedral dome and towers in the distance behind the red roofs. It's like a dream, the perfect place, flawless, unreal, an unscary
Colombia Photo - Monsenor Domingo Rafael Afanador (1871-1957) bust in Barichara, the first bishop.
Monsenor Domingo Rafael Afanador (1871-1957) bust in Barichara, the first bishop.
ghost town.

The Museum

I had a quick look inside a museum in the town center after enjoying a nice lunch at a restaurant. The museum has items representing the history of the area, historic photographs and interesting rock artifacts and fossils.

Distances Around

I enjoyed the nearly 4hrs I spent exploring Barichara and look forward to visiting again. It was a quick bus ride back to San Gil to spend the night. Distances and times to places around Barichara: Guane 9km (20mins), San Gil 20kms (30mins), Cabrera 12kms (35mins), Pinchote 23kms (40mins), Curiti 26kms (55mins), Parque Nacional del Chicamocha 65kms (90mins), Valle de San Jose 32kms (30mins), Paramo 40kms (40mins) and Bucaramanga 118kms (3hrs).

     

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Distances & times (if available) from Barichara (Colombia) to:


Map location: Barichara, Colombia. Just 30mins by bus from San Gil is the magical place called Barichara, an old colonial town that is so pretty, so perfect, like something from a fairytale,
except its real. The jewel in the crown of colonial towns!
 A : San Gil - Colombia 13 kms 13 kms straight distance | 1hr 18mins 1hr 18mins by car (31 kms) | 1hr 33mins 1hr 33mins by bus (31 kms) (31 kms)
 B : Bucaramanga - Colombia 54 kms 54 kms straight distance | 3hrs 37mins 3hrs 37mins by car (102 kms) | 4hrs 20mins 4hrs 20mins by bus (102 kms) (102 kms)
 C : Bucaramanga to Cucuta - Colombia 87 kms 87 kms straight distance | 6hrs 1min 6hrs 1min by car (180 kms) | 7hrs 13mins 7hrs 13mins by bus (180 kms) (180 kms)
 D : Medellin to Bucaramanga - Colombia 114 kms 114 kms straight distance | 6hrs 21mins 6hrs 21mins by car (283 kms) | 7hrs 37mins 7hrs 37mins by bus (283 kms) (283 kms)
 E : Cucuta to Venezuela - Colombia 162 kms 162 kms straight distance | 8hrs 32mins 8hrs 32mins by car (300 kms) | 10hrs 14mins 10hrs 14mins by bus (300 kms) (300 kms)
 F : Bogota - Colombia 246 kms 246 kms straight distance | 7hrs 25mins 7hrs 25mins by car (333 kms) | 8hrs 54mins 8hrs 54mins by bus (333 kms) (333 kms)
 G : San Antonio to San Cristobal - Venezuela 165 kms 165 kms straight distance | 9hrs 18mins 9hrs 18mins by car (338 kms) | 11hrs 9mins 11hrs 9mins by bus (338 kms) (338 kms)
 H : EAFIT University Medellin - Colombia 259 kms 259 kms straight distance | 10hrs 12mins 10hrs 12mins by car (480 kms) | 12hrs 14mins 12hrs 14mins by bus (480 kms) (480 kms)
 I : Medellin - Colombia 265 kms 265 kms straight distance | 10hrs 37mins 10hrs 37mins by car (485 kms) | 12hrs 44mins 12hrs 44mins by bus (485 kms) (485 kms)
 J : Guatape / Penol - Colombia 223 kms 223 kms straight distance | 10hrs 51mins 10hrs 51mins by car (533 kms) | 13hrs 1min 13hrs 1min by bus (533 kms) (533 kms)
 K : Merida - Venezuela 314 kms 314 kms straight distance | 13hrs 42mins 13hrs 42mins by car (596 kms) | 16hrs 26mins 16hrs 26mins by bus (596 kms) (596 kms)
 L : El Paramo - Venezuela 325 kms 325 kms straight distance | 14hrs 6mins 14hrs 6mins by car (614 kms) | 16hrs 55mins 16hrs 55mins by bus (614 kms) (614 kms)
 M : Salento - Colombia 338 kms 338 kms straight distance | 13hrs 14mins 13hrs 14mins by car (616 kms) | 15hrs 52mins 15hrs 52mins by bus (616 kms) (616 kms)
 N : Mucuchies - Venezuela 349 kms 349 kms straight distance | 15hrs 4mins 15hrs 4mins by car (648 kms) | 18hrs 4mins 18hrs 4mins by bus (648 kms) (648 kms)
 O : Magangue to Mompos - Colombia 332 kms 332 kms straight distance | 13hrs 48mins 13hrs 48mins by car (733 kms) | 16hrs 33mins 16hrs 33mins by bus (733 kms) (733 kms)
Driving times are accurate but approximate and are listed in the order of driving distance! Drive times are always affected by weather conditions, the terrain, time of day, altitude, dinner and bathroom stops, animals on the road, protests, a fast or slow bus driver, police checkpoints, border and river crossings, dropping off and picking up passengers etc. These drive times are obtained from Google Maps and are meant as a guide. Note however, times quoted in the main text of this page are exactly as the author experienced it.


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Barichara, Colombia - 30mins From San Gil The Jewel Of Colonial Towns. Just 30mins by bus from San Gil is the magical place called Barichara, an old colonial town that is so pretty, so perfect, like something from a fairytale,
except its real. The jewel in the crown of colonial towns!

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