- So there we were…floating over Colombia’s spectacular landscape from high up in the sky around the hills of San Gil.
- After our quiet time in Villa de Leyva, we were ready for some more action so we headed to San Gil, a town that is known as the adventure capital of Colombia. The surrounding hillside boasts a variety of adrenaline activities including white water rafting, abseiling, mountain biking and paragliding. We really wanted to do the mountain bike trip, but we arrived late in the day and the only tour going while we were in town was full. So we settled into our wonderful room at Macando hostel and pondered our choices. We decided on an afternoon paragliding trip, neither one of us have ever done this activity before and we thought it would be a great way to see the surrounding hills from above.
- Since our trip was not until the afternoon, we decided to venture out in the city for the morning. We started at the local market which is always a great place to wonder and people watch. The fresh fruit always looks so refreshing and for breakfast we had a yummy fruit salad full from one of the stands. Strolling out of the market and along the Rio Fonce (the local river) we landed inside the Parque El Gallinera which is known for its “Old Man’s Beard” trees. It was soon time for our paragliding and we hopped in the car with 3 local teenagers (our guides) who bumped extremely loud Colombian and American rap music for most of the ride up. Once we got to the top, we really didn’t have to do much to get up in the air. Our guides just had us sit back and relax while they caught some wind and off we went. The views were spectacular with many tobacco and coffee fields below as well as Chicamocha Canyon off in the distance. The ride only lasted 20 minutes or so, but we both had a great time. We mentioned it would be a fun activity to learn how to do ourselves back home!
- The following day we caught a bus to another nearby colonial city Barichara. Looking slightly similar to Villa de Leyva, the old buildings, main square and churches all had the same “old city” feel. The dramatic views though from the edge of the town have helped name this one of the most beautiful cities in Colombia. The town looks out over some very large mountains, making for picturesque views in all directions. We left the city sweaty and hot and ready for a dip, so we jumped in a taxi to take us out to Cascadas de Juan Curi , a stunning 120 meter waterfall outside of town. Afternoon showers are common here and right as we started our short hike up to the waterfall, the rain came down on us. It eventually passed, but the weather made the waterfall slightly chilly for swimming. We hung out though for an hour or so before hitching a ride back to San Gil just in time to catch our 13 hour overnight bus ride to Santa Marta…more to come from the Caribbean Coast!
- Our room in San Gil, our hostel had some new private rooms and it was one of the nicest rooms we have stayed in so far
- El Mana, a wonderful restaurant in San Gil, they do a set menu everyday for lunch and we ate there as much as we could because it was some of the best food we have had yet
- Paragliding over the Colombian country side
- Our side trips to Barichara & the Juan Curi waterfall, it was nice exploring the area
- Not being able to do the bike trip, it was supposed to be an epic day of riding over 50 km and we heard really great things about the tour…we will just have to come back and do it again next time!