A destination full of faith and heritage
Welcome to one of the oldest cities in Colombia. Officially named Guadalajara de Buga, this municipality marks the center of the department of Valle de Cauca.
Much of the city's fame is due to the Basilica of Our Lord of the Miracles, where
you can find pilgrims from all around the world.
This municipality is part of the "Red de Pueblos Patrimonio," a Colombian organization whose goal is to generate sustainable development through cultural tourism. Buga is also considered a destination of faith and the origin of the spiritual route of the Americas.
In fact, about 3 million people visit Buga each year attracted by its devote atmosphere and heritage.
What is there to do in Buga?
Buga's essence is in its historic center, which has many noteworthy structures from the 17th and 18th centuries. Such is the case with the city's biggest attraction: the Minor Basilica of Our Lord of the Miracles, which is the fourth oldest in the country.
The basilica, which took 15 years to build and was inaugurated in 1907, has a museum that has become a true pilgrimage center, as it has a profound symbolic meaning that continues to narrate human searches for meaning and encounters with faith.
The basilica is also an architectural jewel in and of itself. From its terrace, you can enjoy the tile roofs typical of the colonial style that fills the historic city center.
Another important landmark in Buga is the old railway station, declared a Good of Cultural Interest. It is characterized by its colonial architecture and a small exterior plaza adorned with a compass rose.
Another relevant historic landmark in Buga is the Academia de Historia Leonardo Tascón, which houses paintings of Bugueño heroes; a letter written by the "Liberator," Simón Bolívar, about his stay in Buga shortly before his death; and other documents and articles of historic and cultural interest.
Thanks to Buga's strategic location, you can easily plan trips to other exciting locations near the municipality, such as the Reserva Natural Forestal Bosque de Yocoto (a forest and nature reserve), Calima Lake, Las Hermosas National Natural Park, Laguna de Sonso, El Vínculo (a dry forest nature park), and the hacienda El Paraíso, which was converted into a house museum that, today, is famous in this part of Colombia and is known around the world as the setting for the pivotal novel of Latin American romanticism: María, by Jorge Isaacs.
Sugar cane is also cultivated in this area and, because of that, the municipality's cuisine offers a number of delicious sweets, such as manjar blanco (similar to dulce de leche), jaleas (jellies), and cristalizados de limón y naranja (crystallized citrus candy).
As a destination characterized by its faith, Buga will surprise you with its way of commemorating Holy Week. Holy Week celebrations in Buga include impressive processions and other religious events that bring together over half a million visitors each year.
However, Buga, with its pleasant climate, is also synonymous with relaxation and beauty. The city offers a number of magnificent resorts where you can relax and enjoy yourself. One of them is the Balneario Casa Lago El Manantial, located in Vereda de Alaska.
The resort consists of a house in the middle of a large natural body of water, and also has ecological cabins available for groups or couples, as well as other facilities.
You should also visit the Laguna de Sonso Nature Reserve. The Laguna de Sonso is also referred to as the Laguna del Chircal. The Laguna de Sonso is the largest wetland in Cauca, and is one of the most important places in the area for bird watching, as it is has 162 species of birds, both local and migratory.
Activities you won't want to miss out on
After strolling through the heart of this municipality, you can take a tour of places like Calima Lake, with its many exciting water sports, and Ginebra, a town famous for its sancocho de gallina (a type of chicken soup).
In many places near Buga, you can participate in recreational fishing, a favorite activity among tourists.
There are different establishments with natural or artificial lakes where you can test your skill with a fishing rod.
Generally these establishments are idyllic and quiet, surrounded by a wealth of natural scenery. Some of the species you can catch while fishing include tambaqui, brycon, and tilapia.
- Buga is only an hour from Cali, and the easiest way to get there is by taking a bus that leaves from the Cali transport terminal. So, it you are spending a few days of your vacation in Cali, take some time to visit beautiful Buga.
- As you plan your trip, remember to pack for warm weather, although it wouldn't hurt to bring along a jacket to wear at night, too, since the temperature can drop to 50 °F.
- A pair of comfortable shoes is a must for exploring the best spots around the municipality.
- Keep in mind, last of all, that Buga offers a wide range of hotels located in the city's historic center and surrounding areas.
Remember these recommendations and you'll be able to enjoy the rhythm of Buga, a city full of history and devotion with adventures for all tastes. We'll see you there!