Santander is a privileged place with true natural oases perfect to relax and have a pleasant time with family or friends. This region has some of the best natural places in Colombia and is open to locals and visitors to explore the landscape and enjoy the adventure in harmony with the environment. For all these reasons, we want to show you what we consider the 5 spots for wild swimming you can’t miss in Santander.
Undoubtedly, it is the best known and visited spots for wild swimming by locals and tourists looking to have fun and refresh. It is located only 10 minutes from San Gil in the Highway to Bucaramanga. The main attraction is its natural pool formed by the Curití Stream, where you can swim with all serenity and enjoy its crystalline waters. Just few steps up, you can find some small waterfalls, perfect to sit, enjoy the water and take some nice pictures.
How to get there: You can get from the city center of San Gil by bicycle, walking, or public transport. Those who have their own vehicle can use the parking lot.
Tip: In front of that place, you will find one of the most typical restaurants in the region.
Hidden in the middle of the mountains, Pescaderito is a place that you must visit without any excuse. It is a natural site loved the inhabitants of Santander and suitable for trekking, bathing and camping. You can reach it just 15 minutes from the beautiful town of Curití and approximately 50 minutes from San Gil.
This beautiful area formed by the small rivers called “Ficaleña” and “Peña Negra”, is composed of approximately 7 crystalline water wells, each with its own name and charm. The wells connect to each other through small waterfalls, jumps and natural slides. You can walk along until you find your favorite pool, although I assure you that you will like them all. This place has entertainment for the whole family and there are natural pools for both children and adults.
If you go swimming, we recommend not drinking alcohol, get familiar with the pool before diving in or spinning and keep an eye on your children.
How to get there: You can arrive by public transport from San Gil to Curití and from there you can walk for about 30 minutes. A soon as you get there, you will find facilities such as restaurants, public restrooms, parking lots and more.
Tip: You can combine the walk with the visit to the Caves (Cueva de la Vaca or del Yeso).
El Arenal is another scenario where nature and recreation are combined. The place is located on the banks of the Fonce River in the town of Valle de San José, just 30 minutes from San Gil.
It is backdrop par excellence for family picnics, hen stews, BBQ, and celebrations, for the residents of the region.
How to get there: Because of its proximity to San Gil, you can get there by bicycle, private or public transportation. It has parking, restaurant and public bathrooms.
Tip: Keep in mind that the “chorizos” of this town are the most delicious of the region (or even the country). See Top 7 food from Santander.
It could be said that this place is one of the pearls of Santander region. It is a magical place almost unexplored and recently named as the “Caño Cristales” of Santander. This exceptional place is located on the banks of the Ravine Las Gachas, only 45 minutes from the town of Guadalupe and approximately two hours from San Gil.
The main attractions are the range of colors of its waters and the millenary formations of medium and large craters that form natural jacuzzis. I guarantee that being there you will feel at the best spa you’ve ever visited before , enjoying the tranquility of its surroundings, the beauty of the landscapes and the purity of its waters.
How to get there: Guadalupe is two hours away from San Gil in the way to Oiba and you can get there by public transport or by private car.
Tip: This place is a true natural phenomenon that you must get to know. It is also worth a visit to the Quebrada del Salitre and Pozo La Gloria, places that are very close to Guadalupe.
This river that bathes the lands of Boyaca and Santander, is a famous destinations for escapes and extreme sports such as rafting and others.
In Barbosa, the River forms stone and sand beaches that are the natural settings for swimming, resting, eating, talking, or playing volleyball. The river is also well known for its famous “Suarez River Festival” where every year party lovers, bathers, renowned orchestras and sports fans meet.
This is why Barbosa is the ideal place for those who want to take a dip in the land of Santander.
How to get there: Barbosa is located in the Bogota-San Gil Highway, approximately 3 hours from Bogota or 2 hours from San Gil.
Tip: From Barbosa, you can visit the municipality of Velez which is only 15 minutes away and taste delicious desserts such as bocadillo (guava paste), breva with arequipe (fig type fruit with milk caramel), and some other sweet delights.