Welcome to San Gil Colombia! A lively village that lends itself perfectly as a base for practicing extreme sports. San Gil Santander is located between mountains and wild rivers, which makes it perfect for extreme sports because of the perfect conditions. San Gil most popular activity is rafting on the Rio Suarez. Rafting at San Gil is known as one of the best places in the world to do this. Besides the extreme sports, San Gil Colombia offers enough, from beautiful natural landscapes to awesome hikes to enchanting Latin American villages. You can find it all here in “La tierra de aventura”, or “the land of adventure”. In this article you can read which (extreme sports) activities you can do and what you definitely don’t want to miss in San Gil Santander Colombia.
Table of Contents
How many days do you need for San Gil?
We recommend staying 4 nights in San Gil, this gives you enough time to discover the area and to do various activities. It is also not pleasant to be very short here, as San Gil is not close to other places you see when you follow our Colombia itinerary. After all, you don’t want to be on the road all the time.
6 fun things to do in San Gil Colombia
We’ve compiled a list of the 6 best things to do in San Gil, which include popular and unknown activities. If you have the time, we recommend doing all these activities, because it is really great. Best tip we can give: go rafting, you don’t want to miss this.
#1 Rafting in San Gil Colombia
You will probably visit San Gil to challenge yourself and enjoy the adventure that San Gil has to offer. There is one activity not to be missed in San Gil Colombia: rafting over Rio Suarez. Rafting in San Gil is listed as one of the best places in the world along with places like Chile, Canada, New Zealand and Cambodia. It is approximately a three-hour trip where you get rapids of category VI and V. Experience is not necessary, before the trip starts you get good general and safety instructions. For families with children or people who want less extreme, it is also possible to raft on other rivers that have a lower power. Book this excursion if you want less extreme.
You can easily book the raft excursion via below link. We recommend this excursion because it is the best one you can do. It will certainly exceed your expectations! The view during the tour, the environment where you are, the adrenaline you get make it an excursion not to be missed. For sure that you will feel satisfied at the end of the day.
Rafting in San Gil Colombia | $54 per person
Tip: Book your tour via Viator. Viator books with a certified operator who can carry out the rafting excursion at Rio Suarez. In addition, keep in mind that you are occupied from 10:00 to 18:00.
Barichara is often described as the most beautiful village in Colombia, and for good reason. It is a beautiful small village with an impressive architecture. It is surrounded by beautiful green plains and high mountains. Strolling through this village, where it seems that time has stood still, is an enjoyment. The nice little shops and boutique restaurants ensure that Barichara should not be missing on your schedule when you are in San Gil. In Barichara you have many beautiful churches, viewpoints and a nice walk to Cuane.
From San Gil you can easily take the bus at the bus station to Barichara. Buses leave every 30 minutes, travel time from San Gil to Barichara is approximately 30/45 minutes.
#3 Paragliding over Chicamocha Canyon
Paragliding over Chicamocha Canyon is the best place in Colombia to do paragliding. We did this ourselves in Medellín, because it takes less time in Medellín and therefore you have more time in San Gil to do other activities. However, we heard many people in San Gil were very enthusiastic about this excursion, so we would like to share it with you. People were especially pleased with the beauty of the Chicamocha Canyon, they thought it was breathtaking to see nature from a height of 1000 meters.
Paragliding is a very special experience, because you float in the air and can enjoy the beautiful view. Taking off and landing are the most active moments, because during your flight you can quietly enjoy floating through the air. The flight itself takes about 15 to 20 minutes. Book your Paragliding tour via below link. This is cheaper and you receive a well-qualified tour.
Paragliding Chicamocha Canyon | $64 per person
Tip: if you suffer from your altitude sickness or balance organ, we advise you to take a motion sickness pill before the trip. There is a morning or afternoon group that departs from San Gil.
#4 Caving in San Gil Colombia
From San Gil there are two caves to visit, called Cuava de la Vaca & Cuava del Indio. We visited del Indio, because we could combine this in one day with a visit to the waterfall de Juan Curi (next point more about this). It is a fun activity where you walk with a guide and swim through the cave. During the tour you will enter large open spaces with hundreds of bats. Anyone who can mobilize well independently can do this activity without any problems.
We did the excursion with Terra Sua. This office is located on the large village square next to the Paramo police station. You can easily get there by taking a bus from San Gil to Paramo.
Tip: book your tour through your accommodation before you leave. This fixes your place and departure time.
#5 Cascada de Juan Curi in San Gil Colombia
This is the best waterfall in the San Gil area. The waterfall is 180 meters high where you can enjoy a natural pool at the bottom. When you arrive at “Parque Ecologico Cascadas de Juan Curi” you have to hike 20 minutes before you arrive at the waterfall.
From San Gil Colombia you can easily take a direct bus to the waterfall. It is also possible to take a bus from Paramo (excursion cave visit Cuava del Indio). You need to take the bus to San Gil. Tell the bus driver that you go to Juan Curi and he drops you on the main road. Here you can take the bus towards the Cascada.
Tip: if you want to abseil at the waterfall, you have to do this in the morning, because they only offer this in the morning.
#6 Zip line in San Gil Colombia
If you want to brave the longest zip line in South America, this is your chance. The Peñon Guane tourist complex is 10 minutes away from San Gil. Take the bus in the direction of Barichara. In addition to zip lining, there are plenty of activities to do, including extreme swing, human slingshot, the highest bungee jumping in South America and the tallest zipline bike in the world.
What else can you do in San Gil Colombia?
In addition to all these activities, there are a number of activities to undertake, such as: kayaking, bungee jumping, taking an adventurous trail, mountain biking, hiking, walking in the park ‘El Gallineral’. As you can read, there is a lot to do in San Gil Santander.
Do you need travel insurance for San Gil Colombia?
This answer is really easy: yes for sure! In our opinion, travel insurance is extremely important. We will not travel without travel insurance. The risk that you run when something happens and you are uninsured is not manageable in amounts. Imagine that something happens when you are rafting. The costs that you ultimately have to pay are not reimbursed and can increase the 6-digit. So assure yourself to exclude eventual surprises.
We use World Nomads for all our trips. Fill in the widget below with your details to see how much it costs to insure during your trip through Colombia. Or simple open this link to book your travel insurance.
Where to stay in San Gil Colombia?
After all the activities which you are likely to do in San Gil, it is important to have an accommodation where you can really relax. We have written down our two favorite accommodations for you. We recommend to book in time, because this too accommodations are popular and often fully booked.
Hostel Trip Monkey
With a 9.4 rating this is a top stay. Hostel Trip Monkey is known to have a very good price-quality ratio. The staff are super, if you read other reviews you notice that the service is really great. Do you want to stay in a nice attractive place? A good breakfast every morning? Want to meet other travelers during your trip? Then stay in this hostel.
Price per night from:
$ 8 dorm | $ 20 double room
La Provincia Casa Hospedaje
La Provincia Casa Hospedaje is a guesthouse that is very clean and comfortable. It scores very well with a 9.3. The guesthouse has a good location, because it is near the bus station. The staff does everything to make the stay of the guests a success. All in all a great place to use as a base in San Gil.
Price per night from:
$ 4 dorm | $ 10 double room
When you following our Colombia itinerary you will travel to Bogota. read the 6 best things to do in Bogota via the link. It can also be that you travel directions is the other way around, in that case your next destination is Santa Marta or Minca.