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. Please read our environmental policy here
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, click here for more information:
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. Click 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.
Other Fun Things to Do in The Region
The best things about San Gil are the central park (El Parque) and the Indoor market (La Plaza de Mercados).
Barichara (and Guane)
“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.
If wandering around villages are your thing, there's plenty of gorgeous colonial villages in the region, all with something a little different to offer. You can get to all of them by direct bus from the San Gil terminalito:
Pinchote - Just 5 mins on the bus from San Gil, Pinchote is very sweet and close by. There's a cool cafe and arts and crafts shop in the park and you can wander around the village in 10 mins!
Paramo - Where you can find the excellent Cueva del Indio (see caving above) and go and visit the "Virgin of the Good Health" spring and drink some of her healing spring water.
Curiti - A lively little village which also boasts the Cueva de La Vaca (see caving) and the must-visit Pescaderito river (see above).
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. Also serves amazing food!
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.
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 $15.000 (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).
Pozo Azul - A 5 min taxi ride or 20 min walk straight up the road from Parque Gallineral. Pozo Azul is a lovely swimming spot with a waterfall, wide stream, large swimming area and cafe and restaurant.