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Bucaramanga, Colombia - Things To See Around The City

Colombia travel blog by Mark Berman - December 2010 July 2013   » View Photoset (48 Photos)

Mark Berman, South America backpacker for 10yrs!
It took 8hrs from Medellin to Bucaramanga, the road at the Bucaramanga end was having problems with mudslides this year (2010). Bucaramanga bus terminal is
Colombia Photo - Coal miner with pick-axe does actions for coins at Bucaramanga market.
Coal miner with pick-axe does actions for coins at Bucaramanga market.
located at the bottom of the valley, but the center of Bucaramanga is at the top of the valley so I had to catch a taxi back up. Maybe it is possible to be let out of the bus near the center rather than have go down then back up the valley. I arrived in the evening, slept, then spent the next day walking around the city center. I stayed a 2nd night then left the next morning to Cucuta.

Impressions

Not the most attractive city I have seen, quite industrial, but it has some interesting things to see like markets, parks, churches and monuments.

Lots of Shoes

The place I stayed at was on a street full of budget hotels and nearby were many
Colombia Photo - This happy man is selling food made with coconut in a Bucaramanga street.
This happy man is selling food made with coconut in a Bucaramanga street.
shops that sell shoes. I needed a new pair, so if you need shoes then Bucaramanga is a good place to buy them. With my new shoes on I set out for the day to explore the city which has quite a warm climate.

Explore the City

I walked in the direction of the huge Exito supermarket. There are some walkway bridges that cross over the busy 4-lane road, you can see some good views from these bridges and see the tops of the churches. This gave me a sense of which direction I should be heading in. The first nice thing I found was a park called Parque de los Periodistas, it is quite small but was a welcome break from all the concrete. It is right in front of the Exito supermarket. In the park there is a bust of Don Prospero Rueda Rodriguez, he was a journalist and social leader. But even
Colombia Photo - A pink church with statue in the archway in Bucaramanga.
A pink church with statue in the archway in Bucaramanga.
cooler is the sculpture of a man made from bronze nuts and bolts and pieces of scrap metal, he looks like a robot. I continued on to the left of the supermarket past Sanandresito shopping mall in search of one of the churches I had seen from the bridge. I found it nearby, it is pink color and has a white statue of a woman holding a baby in the archway above the door.

Cathedral and Park

I ventured on towards the cathedral which has a big yellow dome and 2 white belltowers, it is called Catedral de la Sagrada Familia and is opposite Parque Santander. It was open and I had a peek inside - white pillars and stained glass windows, very nice.
Colombia Photo - 4 colorful children walking in Bucaramanga.
4 colorful children walking in Bucaramanga.
Over the road in the park there is a great looking monument to highlight global warming called Calentamiento Global, it is a man and woman holding a big globe of the world above their heads. In the park there are shoeshiners and people selling food like popcorn and also a statue of Francisco de Paula Santander (1792-1840), he was a military and political leader.

Central Markets

The central markets and shopping area was close by and this is where I found myself next. The streets were very busy full of stalls selling cloths and all kinds of things, the people of Bucaramanga were busy buying Christmas presents here. There was a man sitting on the ground of the arcade painting beautiful pictures using spraycans and a couple of guys standing still like statues and when money was put into
Colombia Photo - Church dome and tiled roofs in Bucaramanga.
Church dome and tiled roofs in Bucaramanga.
their tins they would move and perform an action, that was entertaining.

More Sights

Nearby as I walked around I came to the Palacio de Justicia - Vicente Azuero Plata, a grand and important looking building, it is on one side of a huge plaza. On the rightside of this plaza is the biggest head cast I have ever seen, it is about the size of a car, the man is Luis Carlos Galan (1943-1989), he was a journalist and liberal politician. Down the street a little I came to another park, statue and church. The statue is that of Aurelio Martinez Mutis (1884-1954) - I believe he was a poet. The church is Iglesia de San Laureano and the park is Parque Garcia Rovira. Very close by is another church called Capilla de los Dolores, it's the oldest
Colombia Photo - A green robot man stands still at the Bucaramanga market.
A green robot man stands still at the Bucaramanga market.
in Bucaramanga. In front of the church on the opposite side of the road up some stairs is a monument of 3 men, one holds a book, one a knife and the other a spear. Along to the right of this was a model of a miniture city, very intricate indeed. This general area is lovely and peaceful and has many tall trees, grass and gardens, you can buy an icecream from the icecream man or a drink in the park. By this time the sweat was pouring off me and I made my way back to my hotel.

Bus to Cucuta

I spent the night and taxied to the bus terminal in the morning for a rough 6hr ride to Cucuta on a very bad road on my way to Venezuela. The bus terminal has 3 ATM machines for which none worked for my bankcard so I had to use a credit card to get money. If you need money it might be better to find an ATM in town. Here are the addresses of the churches in Bucaramanga.

     

View all photos in the Bucaramanga Photoset


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


Map location: Bucaramanga, Colombia. A modern city with an historical edge, Bucaramanga is east of Medellin, stop here for a night on your way to Cucuta or Venezuela or head south to San Gil!
 A : Bucaramanga to Cucuta - Colombia 39 kms 39 kms straight distance | 2hrs 52mins 2hrs 52mins by car (93 kms) | 3hrs 26mins 3hrs 26mins by bus (93 kms) (93 kms)
 B : Barichara - Colombia 54 kms 54 kms straight distance | 3hrs 33mins 3hrs 33mins by car (99 kms) | 4hrs 15mins 4hrs 15mins by bus (99 kms) (99 kms)
 C : San Gil - Colombia 61 kms 61 kms straight distance | 2hrs 53mins 2hrs 53mins by car (115 kms) | 3hrs 27mins 3hrs 27mins by bus (115 kms) (115 kms)
 D : Medellin to Bucaramanga - Colombia 141 kms 141 kms straight distance | 3hrs 11mins 3hrs 11mins by car (195 kms) | 3hrs 49mins 3hrs 49mins by bus (195 kms) (195 kms)
 E : Cucuta to Venezuela - Colombia 111 kms 111 kms straight distance | 5hrs 23mins 5hrs 23mins by car (216 kms) | 6hrs 27mins 6hrs 27mins by bus (216 kms) (216 kms)
 F : San Antonio to San Cristobal - Venezuela 120 kms 120 kms straight distance | 6hrs 9mins 6hrs 9mins by car (251 kms) | 7hrs 22mins 7hrs 22mins by bus (251 kms) (251 kms)
 G : EAFIT University Medellin - Colombia 285 kms 285 kms straight distance | 7hrs 2mins 7hrs 2mins by car (393 kms) | 8hrs 26mins 8hrs 26mins by bus (393 kms) (393 kms)
 H : Medellin - Colombia 290 kms 290 kms straight distance | 7hrs 27mins 7hrs 27mins by car (398 kms) | 8hrs 56mins 8hrs 56mins by bus (398 kms) (398 kms)
 I : Guatape / Penol - Colombia 250 kms 250 kms straight distance | 7hrs 41mins 7hrs 41mins by car (446 kms) | 9hrs 13mins 9hrs 13mins by bus (446 kms) (446 kms)
 J : Merida - Venezuela 270 kms 270 kms straight distance | 10hrs 33mins 10hrs 33mins by car (510 kms) | 12hrs 39mins 12hrs 39mins by bus (510 kms) (510 kms)
 K : Bogota - Colombia 299 kms 299 kms straight distance | 8hrs 34mins 8hrs 34mins by car (513 kms) | 10hrs 16mins 10hrs 16mins by bus (513 kms) (513 kms)
 L : El Paramo - Venezuela 282 kms 282 kms straight distance | 10hrs 57mins 10hrs 57mins by car (527 kms) | 13hrs 8mins 13hrs 8mins by bus (527 kms) (527 kms)
 M : Mucuchies - Venezuela 306 kms 306 kms straight distance | 11hrs 54mins 11hrs 54mins by car (561 kms) | 14hrs 16mins 14hrs 16mins by bus (561 kms) (561 kms)
 N : San Isidro de Apartaderos - Venezuela 314 kms 314 kms straight distance | 12hrs 15mins 12hrs 15mins by car (573 kms) | 14hrs 42mins 14hrs 42mins by bus (573 kms) (573 kms)
 O : Magangue to Mompos - Colombia 294 kms 294 kms straight distance | 10hrs 26mins 10hrs 26mins by car (637 kms) | 12hrs 31mins 12hrs 31mins by bus (637 kms) (637 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.


My Hostel & Hotel Reviews for Bucaramanga, Colombia:

Hotel Palmeras de Mariana, Bucaramanga, Colombia - Large Photo
Hotel Palmeras de Mariana, Bucaramanga, Colombia (July 2013 - 1 night) - This hotel is located in a great part of Bucaramanga where there are many other well-priced hotels and restaurants. The room had tv and private bathroom, it was perfect. Recommended.
Hotel San Patricio, Bucaramanga, Colombia - Large Photo
Hotel San Patricio, Bucaramanga, Colombia (December 2010 - 2 nights) - I was comfortable here for a couple of nights with a room with tv and bathroom, it is in the center of the city near shops and food on a street with many budget hotels.

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