Experience Colombian history in this unique heritage town

Many of Colombia’s towns and villages preserve the stately colonial architecture of the country’s past, but few evoke its history more vividly than Barichara Colombia.

This charming town is one of the country’s most attractive and best preserved examples of its heritage. A trip to centuries-old Barichara offers visitors the chance to immerse themselves in Colombian culture in vivid color, through its history and historic buildings.

The town’s cobbled streets and Andalusian-style houses are so instantly recognizable, they were one of the inspirations for settings in the hit Disney feature film Encanto.

Barichara’s sun-drenched streets contrast brightly with the lush green countryside that surrounds the town, in the heart of Santander department, in north-east Colombia.

Exploring Barichara on foot is a great way to enjoy unparalleled views of the nearby hills and mountains, and discover tiny cafés, shops and restaurants and other aspects of thriving local community life.

Barichara was one of seventeen locations nominated as a Colombian heritage town and no visitor will regret swapping the hustle and bustle of the country’s biggest cities to spend a few days exploring it.

Here we present what to do in Barichara to ensure you make the most out of your time in your town, and offer our guide to the best places to stay.

You may also be interested in: Behind the charm of the most welcoming country in the world.

Our guide to things to do in Barichara

The small town of Barichara is close to the departmental capital city of Bucaramanga. At 350km from Bogota, it’s a reasonable distance from the Colombian capital but well worth the trip, especially if you have a few days to spend exploring it.

When it comes to things to do in Barichara, the town is best known for its intricate and well-preserved architecture, which can best be explored on foot – offering visitors the chance to step back in time and experience Colombia’s colonial past.

The town also makes a wonderful setting for taking photographs and spotting wildlife, and offers a chance for a restful vacation, as it is known for being peaceful and serene, thanks to the lush mountains and hills that surround it.

What to do in Barichara

No matter where you are travelling from, there are plenty of things to see in Barichara to ensure you make the most of your time in this charming Colombian town:

1. Ride in a tuk-tuk: One of the best ways to learn more about Barichara’s historic past is by taking a tour with a local tuk-tuk driver. Most drivers are based in the town’s main square and will negotiate their price according to the tour’s duration.

2. Visit the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception: This stunning cathedral’s evocative architecture dominates the town’s central park and it’s worth visiting to admire its distinctive yellow stone, and gold-covered altar.

Colonial cathedral with distinctive yellow stone

3. Visit Barichara’s viewpoint: Spend a few minutes here and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of a vantage point with views across the Serrania de los Yariguies National Natural Park, the Suarez River Canyon, and the villages of La Fuente, Galan and Zapatoca.

Where to stay in Barichara

Colonial houses with pink flowers on the balcony

There are many excellent hotels in Barichara to suit all your needs. Consider:

1. Hostal Casa Nacuma, which offers the warm welcome of a family home. This charming hostel has a kitchen where guests can prepare their own meals and plenty of amenities to ensure they feel at home. Shared rooms start at $35.000 Colombian pesos, and private rooms start at $60.000.

2. Casa Barichara Boutique. This boutique colonial house likes to pamper its guests with a swimming pool, gardens and even a library, three hundred meters from the town’s central park. It’s the ideal place to rest and relax. Rooms for two start at $280.000 Colombian pesos.

You may also be interested in: Visit Bucaramanga’s Eastern Cultural Center

How to get to Barichara

The easiest route to Barichara is to travel by road from the outdoor-adventure town of San Gil. Visitors can travel by car or take the bus, which takes around 45-minutes.

San Gil is a two-and-a-half hour bus ride from Bucaramanga, the departmental capital city of Santander. It can also be reached from Bogotá, which takes just over seven hours by bus – although it is quicker by car.

The quickest route is often to fly to Bucaramanga, and then travel by road to Barichara from there.

There are so many things to do in this charming Colombian heritage town that make it an unmissable destination for tourism, and so many great places to stay.

Visit the town today and enjoy everything Barichara has to offer.

You may also be interested in: Destinations with traditions that fall in love.