Information for new guests
At The Hostel
The Please take 5 mins to read the following information about La Pacha to find out how everything works.
Reception and Shop
Reception is open from 7am to 10pm. Please ring the bell for service. Drinks, snacks and basic ingredients are available all day. On the desk you can find the restaurant menus and Adventure Sports list.
All our food is vegetarian and delicious. We will cater to dietary requirements if possible. Breakfast is served at 8am in the shared kitchen. You must order the night before, please. You can order lunch between 12pm- 2pm and dinner between 6pm - 8pm. We would prefer if you could tell us in the morning if you will be ordering lunch or dinner that day. Thank you.
Please read our Things To Do list below to find out what there is to do in the region. It is recommended that you book adventure sports through us (at no extra cost) as we can find out from here what is happening, and at what time, and we can help you organize your plans.
There is one regular toilet and 3 dry toilets. After using the a dry toilet (for number 2s) please put a ¼ cup of ash or sawdust down the back part of the bowl. Please DO NOT put ash in the urine collector at the front of the toilet bowl. Boys, there is a urinal in the middle toilet, although the surrounding countryside is the best place to go! Please put paper in the bins provided. Each toilet has a bin for sanitary towels.
There are 3 solar showers and one electric one. The solar showers are hot from around 8.30am to 4pm, depending on the sun. The electric shower is hottest if not turned on full, but just enough for the heater to come on.
The kitchen is for the use of all the guests. Please clean up after yourselves immediately after cooking, Thank you. After washing up please tip the waste water from the tub onto the grass outside. We recommend you keep your food inside a marked plastic bag in the fridge or in a locker. There is drinking water from the tap leading from the filter. For cooking use the metal tap next to it. Use of the kitchen is reserved for cooking and serving the hostel's set breakfast between 7.45am-8.15am.
To help protect our environment we separate all rubbish and recycle what we can. Please help us by familiarizing yourself with the recycling bins in the kitchen. All non-plastic paper and waste food goes in the organics bin, except for non-spicy fruit and vegetable skins only, which go in the goat food bin. Onions, garlic, peppers etc. go in the organics bin. The other bins are for glass and metal, paper, plastic, and general (for non-recyclables). Please wash all containers before putting them in the recycling bins. In the regular toilet there is a bin for hygienic waste eg. sanitary towels. There are no bins in the rooms. We kindly ask you to separate your rubbish yourselves in the recycling bins.
Campers can use the lockers marked for them as they have electricity points in them. If those lockers are all being used, please tell us at reception.
Booking your next hostel
We know a lot about the hostels of Bogota, Medellin, Salento, Santa Marta and Villa de Leyva. We are happy to recommend hostels and book them for you by phone.
Things To Do
Around the Hostel
There are a few nice walks to do on the farm:
Sports and games at the hostel – There’s a dart board outside the kitchen with a scoreboard and list of dart games and rules. We've also got ping pong, badmington and loads of board games in the kitchen.
Entertainment at the Hostel
There are two campfires, one outside the kitchen and the other in the hammock area. Wood for the campfires is in front of the bus. Please do not use any other wood in the hostel, which is likely to be for construction. You are welcome to make a fire at any time but please be keep it a sensible size. Ask at reception for scrap paper to start a fire. We are also happy to make a fire for you.
Download our "Birds of La Pacha" guide to your phone and go off and identify some birds. Over 70 species! We rent excellent binoculars for $10.000 for the day.
Sky Hammock - just amazing!
The movie bus is full of critically acclaimed movies. They are on a hard-drive connected to the TV. Press "input", then select "USB" on the screen to find the movies file. There's a file with movie reccommendations - please leave a comment! If you want to just relax, there's a library and music folder on the hard drive, so you can play music via the TV.
There’s loads to do in the region. Here are our recommendations. Read through them and then come and ask any additional questions you have.
For buses you need to walk 10 mins down to the main road. The buses travelling from left to right go to either Barichara or Villanueva, and pass every ½ hour (cost:$3000). All the buses travelling from right to left go to the San Gil Terminalito. From there you can catch buses to the whole region. Each destination has it’s own parking space in the terminalito, hanging on a sign above. Just look for your destination hop on the bus when it arrives. Always pay when you get off.
You can book all your adventure sports through us at no extra cost. There are a lot of different activities and companies in San Gil. Here is a list of our recommendations. We only work with what we consider the best companies. Feel free to ask us any questions. We can tell you how to get there when you book. Please let us know by 8am which activities you’d like to do.
NB. You must book the downhill bikes the day before, preferably as soon as you decide.
Downhill biking in the mountains around Curiti, Lunch and visit the colonial village of Curiti, swimming and jumping in the river at Pescaderito and hiking along the river valley. This is a beautiful day out with a little bit of everything. They will pick you up from the hostel. Great for people on a tight schedule who can go biking and go to the river in one day. Highly recommended!
Activity cost $140.000
Canyoning, Rockclimbing, abseiling (rapelling), high jumps, swimming.
3 hour tour including two rapells, (40 and 10m) , 2 free jumps into the river (10m and 6m high), a rockclimb of 8m and canyoning down the river to a ´popular bathing spot on the edge of San Gil. If you want to have a river swimming day, but with a bit of adventure, this is the one for you!
NB Recommended ages 10-45 (but only you know your own limitations!).
River Suarez - Class IV to V
This is high adrenaline and great fun, but can be scary! Expect to fall in or capsize. Not for people uncomfortable in water or who don't like scary (but safe) situations . No experience necessary. The itinerary of this activity begins at 10am with a one hour journey from San Gil to Vásquez Bridge, on the road that goes to the town of Simacota. Once you get to the starting point, each person will be provided with the appropriate equipment for the activity and receive a technical and security talk, and rowed to the starting place. The estimated rafting time is 2-3 hours depending on the water level. After the tour, there is lunch and beer before the return to San Gil. Suitable for ages 18 and under 50 years.
Includes: Accident insurance, transportation, water, snacks, equipment and professional guides.
Activity cost $ 130,000 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6qzjZzRIsE
River Fonce -Class I, II, and III
Take a bus to San Gil and walk a few blocks to the office.The activity covers a distance of 11 kilometers on The Fonce River and lasts one hour and a half on the river. It's mostly relaxed with a few more exciting bits. You can jump in and swim at parts.
It's a family plan, where children from 10 years do the normal course and those under 10 from the site known as the beach.
NOTE: From San Gil to the landing site takes 12 minutes by paved road. All the equipment consisting of helmet, vest and paddle, is provided. Then the guide, duly certified, will give a technical and safety talk. The activity finishes in front of Unisangil 300 meters from Gallineral Park.
Includes: Accident insurance, transportation, equipment and professional guides.
Activity cost $ 45,000 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWYiq5GZtbE
River Fonce - Doki
Same route as the Fonce rafting but in a boat just for two people and a guide. Due to the small boat, it's more extreme than the regular Fonce rafting. $70.000
It is a journey of an hour and a half on The Fonce River on a floating board for one person, who is accompanied by a kayak safety guide. According to season it can be levels I, II and I11.
Activity cost $ 70,000
A very tranquil experience, you just sit in a seat with your guide behind you driving. Near the end he will ask you if you want tricks (trucos). Comes with free photos. Warning: about 1:5 people get sick, paragliding.
Flight of 12-15 min, afternoons only. You fly quite high over rolling hills in a beautiful valley. Includes accident insurance, roundtrip transportation from San Gil to Curití, equipment and professional guides.
Activity cost: $ 70,000 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3XkwRzUr7w
Incredible flight over the largest canyon in Colombia. You go REALLY high. Flight 20-30 mins according to numbers of people. Mornings only. Includes accident insurance, roundtrip transportation from San Gil to the canyon, equipment and professional guides.
Activity cost: $ 180,000 . We recommend having a light breakfast but take snacks and reading material in case you have to wait a long time, due to numbers or weather conditions.
Cueva del Indio
The total route inside the cave lasts for two hours. In this exploration you can feel the water that passes beneath the cave, starting with the different chambers, past the Colosseum and culminating with a jump of 5 meters. There is a bit of swimming and lots of bats (but they don’t bother you).
.Not suitable for children under 7 and seniors.
Includes: Accident insurance, equipment and professional guides.
Activity cost $ 30,000
Cueva de La Vaca
This cave is located in the town of Curití, and has impressive geological formations and is ideal for people with a lot of adrenaline in its degree of difficulty. It is a water cave where you must swim under water to move from one room to another.
NOTE: The activity is suitable for people over 18 and under 45 years.
Includes: Accident insurance, equipment and professional guides.
Activity cost $ 30,000
Takes place at the Juan Curi waterfall located 45 minutes from San Gil, on the road leading to the town of Charalá. It involves rapelling (abseiling) over a waterfall 85 meters high. It is suitable for children over 10 and adults up to 45 years. If you want to go and just watch it costs $7,000 to enter the waterfalls. Transport is not included. To get there take the Charala or Ocamonte bus and ask for "Las Cascadas".
Activity cost $ 60,000
You start the day with Breakfast at Gringo Mike’s Restaurant, then by truck up to 6,000 feet high above the colonial town of Barichara. Descending 25kms of downhill biking to the base of the majestic Suarez Canyon, passing through the beautiful town of Barichara. Lunch is served at a viewpoint overlooking the canyon and the waterfalls cascading from its ridgelines. After lunch we downhill some more before starting 25kms of rolling cross country bike riding through spectacular Colombian countryside.
You finish with a swim and a celebratory beer after a full day of adventure!
Activity cost $250.000
70m jump over the Rio Fonce by crane. Safe and fun! Take a quick taxi from the San Gil Terminalito, walk 3km or get the Ocamonte or Charala bus.
HIGHEST BUNGEE JUMP IN SOUTH AMERICA!
Peñon Guane Park (4km bus ride or walk away). Cable car takes you half way accross the canyon and then you jump!
1 hour $35.000
2 hours $55.000 Both take place on a Barichara farm with nice views.
3 hours $80.000. Views of Galan, Socorro, Cabrera, Las Palmas. Riding past various traditional crops of the región.
Zipline and Extreme Swing
Both activities take place at Peñon Guane park in the canyon overlooking San Gil. Walk 1 hour or take a short bus ride.
The zipline crosses the canyon and then you walk up to catch the next one back.
The Extreme swing swings out over the canyon. It's quite a rush.
One activity costs $30.000, both costs $50.000
Other Fun Things to Do
The best things about San Gil are the central park (El Parque) and the Indoor market (La Plaza de Mercados).
“The most beautiful village in Colombia” is a world heritage sight and a must visit whilst you are here. There is a lovely walk, called the Camino Real from Barichara to Guane. It’s 2 hours and all downhill, with a lot of shade. In Guane, a beautiful tiny village in the Suarez Canyon, there is an amazing museum with an indigenous mummy and early indigenous and Spanish artefacts. We recommend trying the local drinks Chicha and Sabajon. The bus from Guane (last one 6pm) goes to Barichara and then on to San Gil, passing La Pacha. You can also walk to Barichara from La Pacha, straight over the mountain. It takes about 3-4 hours. Ask at reception for our excellent map of Barichara and directions.
The Local River – Walk straight down the hill from reception to the main road. Follow the main road to the left for 1.5km til you see the sign for “El Golondrino”, which is a café where you can pay $2000 to walk down to the river where there is a waterfall and a small pool.
Barichara a La Piedra - A restaurant at the entrance to Barichara which also has a nature reserve with a natural swimming pool with a little waterfall. It's really nice and the only natural place we know to swim in Barichara.
The nicest river in the region is Pescaderito. It has over 20 bathing spots with clear mountain water. Take a bus to San Gil and then to Curiti (about 20mins, $3500) . From there you can walk (1 hour) or get a lift or taxi to the river. There are ,many bathing spots. The best is “La Samba” about 15 mins walk along the right hand side. Look for a cliff on the left side with a tree hanging over the pool. The water is very deep and you can safely dive from the cliff.
Also in San Gil there are two good bathing spots, La Milagrosa and Pozo Azul. They are both situated on the Road to Bucaramanga, about 3 mins by bus or 30 mins walking up the hill from Parque Gallineral.
Juan Curi Waterfalls - Take the Chararala or Ocamonte bus from the terminalito and ask for "Las Cascadas". The journey takes about 30 mins. It costs $7000 (last time I was there!) to enter and you have to walk 30 mins up into the mountain forest. It's an 80m waterfall falling into a pool where you can swim. Beautiful. You can also do the torrentismo there (ask at reception).