Difference between revisions of "Bucaramanga"
Revision as of 06:49, 19 May 2012
Bucaramanga is a medium sized city, home to nearly 1 million inhabitants (all of the metropolitan area). It's a major commercial hub in northeastern Colombia, playing a significant role in trade between Colombia and Venezuela. It's not a huge touristy destination like Cartagena or Santa Marta but nonetheless it is surrounded by beautiful landscapes and ancient towns with a lot of history, which overall makes the visit to Bucaramanga worthwhile.
Most of the people in Bucaramanga speak Spanish only, and you will probably have a hard time trying to get addresses and other information from people on streets, but if you go to big hangout places like malls, parks or supermarkets, english speaker people will certainly be found around.
Palonegro Airport (BGA) is located about 45 minutes from town near Lebrija. Domestic flights include Bogotá, Medellín, Cúcuta and Yopal, and it recently started its first international flights to Panama City, with renovations underway to further expand its flights. . There is also a new flight to Fort Lauderdale USA, via Aires with a layover in Cartagena but its a short layover 20 min and you do the customs and Immigration in Bucaramanga.
The city offers a clean, modern and nice bus station (La Terminal de Transportes de Bucaramanga) from where you can take busses to almost any destination around Colombia; you can even take buses from here that will take you to Venezuela, Perú and Ecuador. There are frequent 10 hour buses from Bogota for prices starting from COP 40 000.
As any Colombian city, busetas cover Bucaramanga, making their irregular stops at just about any corner. Tickets around COP 1200.
Opened in December 2009, the new Metrolinea bus system rides by exclusive lanes making many trips faster and more comfortable. It is safe a clean. 
Plentiful, and all run on meters. For added security take a note of the number plates, or even better: Request a cab by telephone..
There are plenty of things to sight seeing in Bucaramanga, starting from the east side via Cúcuta you can find nice and large balconies and enjoy a panoramic view of the city. The center of Bucaramanga, like any downtown in the world, gets really crowded on weekends and peak hours, however you can enjoy lots of bargains and sales in the shops, nice quality of clothes and shoes of course.
In the south of Bucaramanga you can find different resorts or clubs where you can play golf, futbol, swim, or just chill out with your friends.
Generally the most popular zone in Bucaramanga is Cabecera, this is the most modern area in the city with lots of malls and entertainment like cinemas, restaurants and shops.
To buy shoes, there is not a better place than Bucaramanga, due to the many shoe factories the prices are inexpensive. Good leather and excellent manufacturing.
Traditional Santanderean dishes include:
Don't forget to try all the fresh fruits you can find at either the traditional markets, or at the supermarkets. Pineapples from Lebrija (Located 35-40 minutes from Bucaramanga) are famous for their size and sweetness. The best pineapples in the world, with only competition from the Hawaiian pineapples. Oranges, tangerines and limes are traditional crops and can be found all year round (like most of the other fruits). Mango, Papaya, Watermelon, Maracuyá (passion fruit), Guava, Curuba, Pitahaya... the list is very extensive.
Some of the most popular places to eat in Bucaramanga are:
Three mid/upscale concentrations of bars and clubs, all within a few minutes walk from one another:
For more working class audience walk westwards along Carrera 33 from Calle 44.
Some of the popular places to hang out in Bucaramanga are:
The new aerial cable is among the longest in the world. You can board in the neighboring towns of Mesa de los Santos or Panachi across the national park , it covers a fantastic view of a deep canyon .
Girón is a small and pretty colonial style town just about 10 km outside Bucaramanga.