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Bucaramanga is a city in the Santander region of Colombia.


Bucaramanga is a medium sized city, home to nearly 1 million inhabitants (in 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 touristic 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 speakers will certainly be found around.

Get in[edit]

By air[edit]

Palonegro Airport (BGA) is located about 45 minutes from town near Lebrija. Domestic flights include Bogotá, Medellín, Cúcuta, Barranquilla, Cartagena, Arauca and Yopal. Domestic airlines serving Bucaramanga are: Avianca, LAN, Satena, COPA, ADA. Also both low-cost carriers: Viva Colombia and EasyFly.

There is one daily flight to Panama City.

By bus[edit]

The city offers a clean, modern and nice bus station, called La Terminal 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, Peru and Ecuador. There are frequent 10 hour buses from Bogota for prices starting from COP 40 000. Other common routes are from Armenia, Cartagena and Medellín. You can check available bus companies and departure times through redBus.

Get around[edit]

By bus[edit]

As any Colombian city, busetas cover Bucaramanga, making their irregular stops at just about any corner. Tickets around COP 1900.

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. [5]

By taxi[edit]

Plentiful, and all run on meters. For added security take a note of the number plates, or even better: Request a cab by telephone..

See[edit][add listing]

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.

Other attractions are:

  • Sagrada Familia Cathedral: The construction of this amazing cathedral started in 1985, when the land to build was bought. It's known that the parishioners financed the construction due to the humility of the starting agents and the poverty that left the One Thousand Days War. It's really an artwork.
  • Parque del Agua: It's a place where you can relax for a while with family or friends and you will admire fountains and some animals as birds and fishes. Most of the tourists coincide that the decoration in December is spectacular.
  • National Park of Chicamocha: The site is a tourist attraction due to is spectacular landscape and the variety of outdoor activities that it offers such as paragliding, spelunking, bushwalking, camping, fishing, kayaking, rafting, mountain climbing, etc.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Visit the colonial town of Girón
  • Visit Panachi (Chicamocha's National Park)
  • Visit la Mesa de Los Santos
  • Practice extreme sports (rappel, kayak, paragliding, etc...)
  • Colombia Paragliding, [1]. Ruitoque is the best place in Colombia for both tandem and paragliding courses. Colombia paragliding is an Internationally qualified company offering the best and most qualified guides.  edit
  • Visit the many shopping centers.

Buy[edit][add listing]

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.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Traditional Santanderean dishes include:

  • Cabro : Goat meat.
  • Mute : A thick soup made with beans, corn, garbanzos, potatoes, various meats (including fresh pig feet, pork loin chops, beef spareribs).
  • Fritanga : If you don't mind some grease and fried food, you should try fritanga. It consists of an assortment of different kind of sausages, yuca, potatoes, corn, steak, and others, all deep-fried. You can find a traditional Fritanga market in the town of Girón located about 15 minutes from Bucaramanga.
  • Culonas : Short for Hormigas Culonas which literally translates 'big ass ants', is a traditional dish, found nowhere else in Colombia, and maybe around the world. The Culonas are 'leaf-cutter' ants (big ones!). Their heads, wings and legs are removed and the rest of the body is toasted and salted.
  • Caldo : It's a light soup. It contains water (of course, but sometimes milk is added), potatoes, cilantro (coriander), and tostados (traditional flat round toasted bread). Additionally it may contain rib meat (with bone) or 1 or 2 eggs. It's accompanied with Santanderean Arepa.

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:

  • "Desayunadero Tony"
  • "Desayunadero El Viejo Chiflas"
  • "Restaurante Mercagán"
  • "Restaruante La Puerta del Sol"
  • "Restaruante Shanghai"
  • "Pizzería Caracol"
  • "Zirus Pizza"
  • Albahaca, Cra. 36 No. 46 - 51, +(57)(7) 685 06 40, [2]. 09:00-16:30. A very reasonably-priced vegetarian restaurant, serving salads, pastas, rice dishes, and vegetarian versions of Colombian dishes like bandeja paisa and ajiaco. Relies heavily on soy and wheat gluten to simply replace meat rather than presenting many innovative recipes, but still a unique high point for vegetarian visitors to the city. $.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

Three mid/upscale concentrations of bars and clubs, all within a few minutes walk from one another:

  • Parque Las Palmas (Calle 44 con Carrera 29)
  • Calle 52 between Carreras 34 and 35
  • Carreras 34 and 35 between Calles 47 and 48

For more working class audience walk westwards along Carrera 33 from Calle 44.

Some of the popular places to hang out in Bucaramanga are:

  • "Mr. Babilla"
  • "La Calle"
  • "Babilonia"
  • "Con Arte"
  • "Saxo"
  • "Fortyfour"
  • "Giron Chill Out - Cocktail Bar y Restaurante Italiano"

Sleep[edit][add listing]


  • Hotel Asturias, Carrera 22, No. 35-01 ([email protected]), 6351914. Nice hotel with a pretty courtyard and clean rooms. Hot water, cable TV, free Wi-Fi. Single occupancy for 45,000. Some rooms have multiple beds, like dorms. Like the rest of Bucaramanga, prices are a bit higher than in neighboring cities, but this is one of the better places in an area with a wide range of hotels.  edit
  • Fly Site Hostel (Colombia Paragliding), Km 2 via Mesa Ruitoque, 312 432 6266. Come to our fly-site hostal, right next to Las Aguilas launch in Ruitoque. A rustic cabana, 20 steps from a groomed, grassy launch. Wake up, eat breakfast and fly all day long. Thermal, XC in the morning and ridge soar all afternoon. Pilot’s dream come true! Top land in your house. Hammocks, fire pit, city views, and cafeteria service on weekends. 30.000.  edit
  • Kasa Guane Bucaramanga (KGB), Calle 49 #28-21, [3]. Excellent location, shared kitchen. Dorms 20.000, single 35.000.  edit

Mid range[edit]

  • Dann (Dann Carlton), Calle 47 No. 28 - 83 (in Cabecera del Llano), +57 7 6973266 (), [4]. Probably the nicest hotel in Bucaramanga, nice rooms, clean. Close to restaurants, bars and shopping, although in a quiet street. COP 220.000 when you pay 10 days in advance.  edit

Get out[edit]

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 [6], it covers a fantastic view of a deep canyon [7].

On the road to Bogota are some excellent spots worth checking out, like the Chicamocha Canyon, the towns of San Gil, Socorro, Vélez and Barichara, among others.

Girón is a small and pretty colonial style town just about 10 km outside Bucaramanga.

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