Things to Do in La Pacha
During the day you can relax by the pool, drift off in a hammock or do some work in the wifi lounge (whilst enjoying the incredible mountain view). Late afternoon, you can set off up the mountain for a 30 min hike to see the most spectacular sunset view in the region. From the viewpoint, you can see Barichara, the Suarez canyon and the Yariguies mountains towering above. In the evening you can chill round the campfire or catch a movie on the cinebus. Of course the bar is open all day for beer, cocktails, wine plus hot drinks and juices. Our own natural spring water is available free of charge.
Extreme Sports and other Activities
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 (pronounced San Hill). 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.
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. Here is a video of the activity.
Includes: Accident insurance, transportation, water, snacks, equipment and professional guides.
Activity cost $ 220,000
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. Here is a video of the activity.
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 $ 60,000
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. $80.000
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.
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: $ 250,000 . 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. Here is a video of the activity and onother one.
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: $ 100,000
Zipline, Bicicable and Extreme Swing
All three activities take place at Peñon Guane park in the canyon overlooking San Gil. Walk 1 hour or take a short bus ride. Here is the location on google maps.
The zipline ($50.000) crosses the canyon and then you walk up to catch the next one back.
The Extreme swing ($50.000)swings out over the canyon. It's quite a rush.
The bicicable ($60.000) crosses the canyon and comes back. It is awesome.
Bunjee - Highest in South America!
140m jump over a canyon from a cable car. Safe and fun! By far the most extreme thing we offer. Just 4km from La Pacha Hostel it is at Peñon Guane Park between San Gil and La Pacha.
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 $ 35,000
Cueva de La Vaca
This cave is located in the town of Curití, and has impressive geological formations . At some points the tunnel is quite small. Not for claustrphobics! You do not swim but you will get wet.
NOTE: The activity is suitable for people over 18 and under 45 years.
Includes: Accident insurance, equipment and professional guides.
Activity cost $ 35,000
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 $15,000 to enter the waterfalls. Transport is not included. To get there take the Charala or Ocamonte bus and ask for "Las Cascadas".
Activity cost $ 80,000
Canyoning, Rockclimbing, abseiling (rapelling), high jumps, swimming, zipline, extreme swing.
3 hour tour including a zipline and extreme swing, rapelling , free jumping into the river, , 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!
This is definitely the best way to explore the region. You can reach out of the way waterfalls and landmarks that are otherwise really difficult to get to. We have lots of recomendations for places to visit. The bikes are in perfect condition, the company is well run and fully ensured. The driver must have a driving licence from heir own country (but not necessarily a bike licence) .
They also do tours. Click here for more details.
Other Fun Things to Do in The Region
Hiking from La Pacha
You can hike to Barichara (2.5 hours), here's the route.
also to Cabrera (3 hours) or San Gil (3 hours) passing beautiful countryside, amazing views and see a little of the Santander country life.
Warning: Our dogs will follow you on any walk. Please let us know before you set off. If you want to take the dogs we'll give you a lead , and if you don't we'll stop them going with you.
The best things about San Gil are the central park (El Parque) and the Indoor market (La Plaza de Mercados). You can also play tejo on organised tours with Macondo hostel. For going out, most people start off drinkng in the Central park, near the two liquor shops on the corner, then going on to La Isla where there are bars, restaurants and nightclubs, as well as Las Vegas Bolos and the San Gil Plaza mall.
Barichara (and Guane)
“The most beautiful village in Colombia” is a world heritage sight and a must visit whilst you are here. Sitting on top of the Suarez canyon looking up at an enormous mountain range, it's full of amazing restaurants and hidden beauty spots. You can walk there from La Pacha through beautiful countryside in 2-3 hours. There is also a popular hike, called the Camino Real from Barichara to Guane. It’s 2 hours and all downhill, with a lot of shade. In Guane, a 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. For more activities in Barichara see our guide .
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).
Cabrera - The most unspoilt village in the region. With neither shanty towns nor tourism, it is beautiful, well kept and undiscovered. It's like taking a trip back in time to the 80's or even the 50's. This may be due to the one hour-bumpy bus ride from San Gil. You can also get there in tuk tuk from Barichara (about 45 mins). Check out the cafe in the old prison house. Very cool.
“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. 60 min walk from the hostel.
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. At the first two you can do tubing, where the river flows over 20m of flat rock and you slide down it into the pool. Ask for a llanta at the restaurant. They cost $6000 each for the day. It's best to do the tubing first, leave the tubes and continue up the river. Next you'll find La Playita with sand and everything. 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 and the tree. The rock is very smooth but slippery when wet. The best way to not slip over in the river is to walk in socks only .
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 $7.000 (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).