If you think of a small Spanish hill town, you will have in your head images a bit like Barichara. It is a hilly town with lots of churches, a big town square and low rise, white colonial buildings lining cobbled streets. It is ‘muy tranquilo’. We planned 3 nights there but stayed for four, eating well, doing a bit of running and a bit of walking. Our biggest walk was down a historic path to the very old and quiet village of Guane. The village is known for two things. Being at the end of an historic path from Barichara and making a “Baileys like’ liquor. All I can say is that if it Baileys like, I am “Tom Cruise like’. Yuk. Yuk.
We left town on day two to visit the Parque Nacional Del Chicamocha about 1hr 40m north. It is basically not so much a national park, more a hill themed amusement park. What is remarkable is the topography. Most of central Colombia is lush, green rainforest/jungle/farmland. On the way here, you go round a corner and you are in mountainous desert, more like Jordan than Colombia. All very strange. You can go on big swings over the edge of the escarpment, zoom down a hill on a zip wire and visit a fake Colombian town square (which is a bit odd as there are bloody hundreds of real ones around here). We went for the massive 6.3 km long cable car ride that is an engineering masterpiece and drops down to the bottom of the valley then rises up the other side.
Parque Nacional Del Chicamocha
In Barichara we stayed in a lovely small hotel called Casa Riasol which boasted luxuries like hot water and good wifi, and was beautifully decorated. Best of all was the host, Juan Carlos, who was perfect.
Top Tip if visiting. They don’t take credit cards in the town, but do have 3 ATMs. However, on a weekend in peak season, the ATMs run dry. Take lots of ‘effectivo’ with you.