Things to Do in Bucaramanga, Colombia
Bucaramanga, the capital of Colombia’s Santander region is a medium-sized city that is not as well known as other more popular destinations in Colombia like Cartagena and Medellín. However, it’s a nice city, and there’s more to do in the vicinity than most people know. Learn about some of the best things to do in and around Bucaramanga here.
Visit the Santísimo Statue
Located on a hill on the southern edge of Bucaramanga, you’ll find the Parque Cerro del Santísimo. The main attraction here is a giant statue of Jesus Christ, modeled after the Cristo Redentor statue outside of Rio de Janeiro.
From the observation deck behind the statue, you can get great views of the city and surrounding mountains and valleys. The best time to come here is without a doubt around sunset time.
Nearby, there is a lovely park where you can enjoy a meal, a snack, or something to drink or find lots of neat artisan crafts and souvenirs. There’s a lovely light and fountain show just after dark as well.
Hang Out In the City’s Parks
Bucaramanga is known for having lots of public parks. In fact, sometimes it’s called the city of parks in Colombia. Some highlights include Parque de los Niños, Llaves Park, and Los Comuneros Park.
Use it as a Base to Explore More of Santander
Bucaramanga may not have the sheer number of tourist attractions of other cities like Cartagena, Medellín, and Bogotá in the city itself, but some of Colombia’s most charming areas are nearby.
Barichara is often considered Colombia’s prettiest small town. It has a charming and rustic-looking vibe with cobblestoned streets and white adobe single-story homes. You can see several neat churches and hike the Camino Real trail to the indigenous town of Guane, enjoying lovely views and nature along the way. You also have to be sure to try the Hormigas Culonas, literally Big Butt Ants in English, a local favorite snack and one of Colombia’s most unique foods to try.
Doing a day tour here from Bucaramanga is a great way to see it, although you could also opt to spend the night here too. *Interested in a full-day tour to Barichara from Bucaramanga? Click here and book now
Do Some Extreme Sports in San Gil
San Gil is another town south of Bucaramanga. Not quite as charming as Barichara, it’s become well known as a center for extreme sports. Paragliding, white water rapids rafting, canyoning, caving, zip-lining, and bungee jumping can all be organized outside of San Gil.
The town also has the pretty Gallineral Park along the Fonce River in town, with its lovely hanging moss-covered trees.
*Looking for the best transport services for your stay in Bucaramanga? You can find the full section of Private Transportation right here!
Visit the Chicamocha Canyon
The Chicamocha Canyon is one of Colombia’s true natural wonders. It is actually the second largest canyon in the world with sections that are deeper than the Grand Canyon in the United States. Coming here and taking in the amazing views is without a doubt one of the best things to do near Bucaramanga.
Overlooking the canyon, you’ll find the Parque Nacional Chicamocha. Here there are several attractions and rides, including a giant statue and homage to the Comunero Revolt, a rebellion in Santander Province that was an important predecessor to Colombian Independence. You can also take a cable car across the canyon to the plateau known as Mesa de Los Santos, where you can find several nice restaurants and get even more views of the canyon. Finally, if you’re looking to cool off, there is also a small waterpark overlooking the canyon. *Interested in visiting the second largest canyon in the world and having a coffee experience? Click here for more info
Visit the Town of Socorro
The town of Socorro is where the Comunero Revolt began. Therefore, it is one of the most important historic towns in Colombia. The town was founded in 1683. You can learn more about the events of the rebellion and its connection to the eventual independence of Colombia here while also enjoying the pretty colonial-era architecture.
Actually, on the outskirts of Bucaramanga itself, Giron is a designated National Heritage Site. You’ll find neat architecture here as well, similar to Barichara with whitewashed buildings and clay-tiled roofs. You can also see the historic Basilica San Juan Bautista, which dates to the 1600s, although the current building was built in the 1700s.
Doing a day tour that combines the three heritage towns of Barichara, Socorro, and Giron can be a good way to spend a day seeing the best of the things to do near Bucaramanga. *You can find more information about this cultural tour by clicking here.
*Working out the budget for your travels to Colombia? Then be sure to check out our article on the costs of a package tour to Colombia, and our article on how much money you’ll need while traveling through Colombia.
See the Juan Curí Waterfall
Finally, another fun thing to do near Bucaramanga is to visit the Juan Curí waterfalls. Here you can go for a swim under the falls after hiking through the forest. For the more extreme-minded, you can opt to rappel down the falls. Or, you could just take in the views of these impressive and majestic falls.
*Make your trip around Colombia your dream time and check our 7 Travel Tips to Help You Enjoy Your Colombian Adventure
Want to Plan a Trip to Bucaramanga
Bucaramanga makes for a great starting point to explore more of Colombia, whether that’s just Santander Province or using it as a jumping-off point to explore the adjacent province of Boyacá and its lovely town of Villa de Leyva being part of our 7 Day Andes Package or heading north to the Caribbean coast to see Cartagena and the unspoiled beaches of Tayrona National Park you can consider our 23 Day Ultimate Colombia Experience for a truly unforgettable trip.
Here at BnB Colombia Tours, we have several tours that begin or travel through Bucaramanga as well as day tours from the city to see the sights mentioned above. We can also put together a customized trip just for you if you contact us here, whether that’s just a visit to Bucaramanga and its surroundings or a larger trip to all your favorite destinations in Colombia!