‘The Pretty City’ of Bucaramanga is the capital of Santander department in Columbia. One of the best things to do in Colombia is to explore this majestic city that blends nature with urban life. The city is known for its parks, and hence is affectionately named the ‘Columbia’s Beautiful City’ and ‘The City of Parks’. Bucaramanga has been growing rapidly and today it is the 8th most populous city in Colombia with a budding economy and the lowest rate of unemployment in the country.
There are many things to do in Bucaramanga for all types of tourists. The culture of the city, its beautiful natural settings, lively urban areas, and historic sites make it a complete package for people of different interests. Because of its extensive and well developed hotel infrastructure, the city is able to accommodate a wide range of tourists annually. Bucaramanga has been voted as one of the seven national prides in tourism in Colombia. The city is also known as a top destination in the Americas for extreme sports such as paragliding, skydiving, mountain climbing, rafting, motocross, and more. Ecological tourism is one of the top things to do in Bucaramanga as the city is home to more than 160 parks that are spread across urban and suburban areas. Furthermore, there are national parks, heritage sites, and nature reserves in Bucaramanga that keep locals and tourists engaged in various outdoor activities. The city is also known for its upbeat and vibrant nightlife where locals and tourists flock the busy downtown to celebrate each night like its last. Another permanent nightlife fixture is sports, as football and futsal games are regularly played in stadiums and indoor arenas that attract thousands of home and traveling fans.
When it comes to places to visit in Bucaramanga, the best way to go about is to explore the natural beauty of this majestic city. The Parque Nacional del Chicamocha (Chicamocha National Park) is the largest natural park in the city that provides breathtaking views of the Chicamocha river canyon and Suarez canyon. The Parque Ecológico La Flora is an ecological park that is a must visit for nature lovers and people who want to learn more about conversation and nature sustainability. When you are not exploring the natural settings of the city, you can always head to the Floridablanca neighborhood to enjoy some time surrounded in greenery and the good things in life at the Club Campestre De Bucaramanga. Enjoy the good things in life like golfing, playing tennis, getting pampered at the wellness center, and more at the country club. When you’re done don’t forget to visit the beautiful Parroquia San Laureano, the beautiful Catholic Church located near the downtown area. There are also many places to visit in Bucaramanga that let you explore its history such as the Museo Casa de Bolivar and the heritage sites at Socorro and Barichara. When the day turns into night, the locals love to dance and party at LA 33, the premier nightclub in town.
Visiting the Chicamocha national Park is one of the best things to do in Colombia. More commonly called Panachi, the park is situated in the Chicamocha Canyon, approximately 50 kilometers from Bucaramanga. Parque Nacional del Chicamocha is known for its spectacular scenery, divine views from the observation decks, and various types of outdoor activities to engage in including but not limited to bushwalking, camping, rafting, hiking, mountain climbing, paragliding, fishing, and kayaking. The park is also viewed as a symbol of Santanderean architecture, culture, and heritage nestled in a beautiful canyon. One of the top things to do in Parque Nacional del Chicamocha is taking a ride in the cable car.
The aerial tramway runs 6.3 kilometers across the canyon with three stations. The first station is within the park, the next station is on the riverside, and the third station on the other end. The cable car offers grand views of the natural features of the park and provides a fun experience for families. The field is also open to public to practice paragliding, kayaking, and rafting. In addition to that there are various designated spaces in the park for trails, observation decks and venues for cultural activities such along with a karts circuit and staking rink.
Nestled within the city is the beautiful Parque Ecológico La Flora. One of the best things to do in Colombia for nature lovers is to visit this sanctuary located between the urban and forest areas that border the Floridablanca road. Otherwise known as Flora Park, it is one of the largest parks in the city limits and is considered by many as the ‘lungs of Bucaramanga’.
The Parque Ecológico La Flora is considered as a symbol of ecological conservation efforts and cultural heritage of the people of Santander. It features a prominent range of flora and fauna indigenous to the region and other parts of the country and South America as a whole. Photography is one of the popular things to do in Parque Ecológico La Flora as it has lush greenery, scenic bodies of water, and some of the most amazing work of art in sculptures that you will find in Colombia.
The park is a local favorite for picnics, sports, school trips, families, and nature lovers that inspires everyone with its charm. There are various play areas and dedicated areas for sports in the park, along with cafes that provide healthy fruit juices and tasty local delicacies. For security the park has National Police personnel stationed to ensure everyone has a great time.
Widely considered as one of the best places in Bucaramanga, Club Campestre De Bucaramanga is a complete package for tourists traveling solo, with significant others, friends, or families. Amongst the top things to do in Colombia is to enjoy a hotel experience where nature and city life blend charmingly.
This is where Club Campestre de Bucaramanga lives up to its name and reputation. Located within the city and close to points of interest like the Cacique Shopping Mall and the Cathedral of La Sagrada Familia is a great country club that offers luxury rooms and amenities that one can ask for. One of the popular things to do in Club Campestre de Bucaramanga is to test your look on the 18-hole golf course where you are bound to meet some good players, especially during the weekend afternoons.
In addition to that there are 14 tennis courts, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, 4 squash courts, a game room, sauna, and spa and massage center. Take an early morning walk in the lush gardens of the country club and enjoy the fine things in life by taking a revitalizing massage treatment. Once you’re done enjoy the finest delicacy in town at the in-house restaurant and celebrate the night away at the bar.
Visiting the Parroquia San Laureano (The Chapel of San Laureano) is amongst the popular things to do in Colombia given its history and significance. The church was built in 1778 and was initially a series of three buildings on the site. However, in the first few decades of construction, the church was demolished and eventually rebuilt.
The Parroquia San Laureano is a designated Cultural Interest of Santander Department owing to its history and cultural heritage associated with the people indigenous to Santander department. The church is open to public throughout the week from 7am to 7pm and has beautiful gardens leading to the main structure where many families spend early morning or evenings. The church also provides primary education to nearly 200 students, established in the rectory.
One of the best things to do in Parroquia San Laureano is attend the cultural, spiritual, and religious integration events that are held throughout the year. These events are a good source of learning more about the culture of Bucaramanga, its history, and finding the balance between spirituality and life. The church is also home to La Ermita, a popular café located at the entrance where coffee is a must try and snacks are savory.
If you’re looking for things to do in Colombia that revolve around drinking, rumba, disco, and the night, then LA 33 is one place you have to visit. LA 33 is the premier nightclub and bar in the heart of Bucaramanga that offers the party crowd an amazing venue to dance, sing, and drink the night away in spectacular fashion. Known for its retro, funky, and disco music fusing with the local tunes, LA 33 really knows how to get the crowd in the right moods night after night. The disco club opens its gates at 9:30pm and the party only stops at 3 in the morning.
That said the patrons are given an hour to sober down and get ready to head out as the DJ plays soothing and throwback music. One of the best things to do in LA 33 is to arrive here on Thursday and Friday nights. On these nights the dance area is not as crowded and you can get to meet other tourists as well. LA 33 is known as the best place to enjoy rumba and sets that makes you nostalgic and gives you an uncontrollable urge to move it to the music.
Among the top things to do in Colombia for people who want to explore history, culture, and prominent names of the past is to learn more about Simon Bolivar. One of the best places to do so is the Museo Casa de Bolivar in Bucaramanga. Once a residence of the prominent political and military leader, it is now museum that has been well preserved over centuries.
Many of the artifacts found in this museum are from the Bolivar period whereas many others are dedicated to the indigenous people of Santander department. The Spanish styled home is recognized as a culturally significant structure in the department due to its history. And more things to do in Museo Casa de Bolivar is to visit here with a tour guide if you do not speak or understand Spanish. This is because most of the artifacts and exhibits are in Spanish.
Once the exploration into the life of Simon Bolivar and the historical significance of his home comes to an end, enjoy a stroll in the lovely gardens against the backdrop of the city. The museum is open throughout the week and the best time to head there is the morning which gives you plenty of time to explore other points of interest in Bucaramanga.