The Chicamocha Canyon is a natural wonder and pride for the Santander people. It constitutes without a doubt one of the most beautiful natural scenery of the American continent and the world. The Canyon is located approximately 340 kilometers from Bogota, the Colombian capital and only 57 kilometers from Bucaramanga, the capital of the department.

There are plenty of reasons to visit this beautiful place at any time of the year. However we are going to give you the ones we consider the top 6 reasons to visit the Chicamocha Canyon , so pack your bags and head to your next adventure.

Here are the 6 reasons to visit the Chicamocha Canyon

It is the second largest of the continent

The Canyon of the Chicamocha contests the position of the largest Canyon of the continent with the Canyon of the Colorado. It is 2.000 meters deep, 227 km long and occupies more than 108.000 hectares.

Chicamocha Canyon, By Racso – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46706226

It is a geographical accident that is found in the Eastern Cordillera of the Andes (the longest continental mountain chain in the world) whose formation began 46 million years ago.

This landscape has an exuberant wealth of flora and fauna, including endemic species (unique in the world) such as two species of birds, a species of lizard, as well as several species of flora.

See more information about Birdwatching in Santander.

In the way to be a World Heritage Site

The Chicamocha Canyon was nominated in 2009 by the Seven Natural Wonders Foundation and Unesco to be part of “the new 7 natural wonders“. In the same year, it was located within the top 77 natural wonders of the world.

Currently, the process to declare the Canyon a World Heritage Site initiated in 2012 is well advanced and is expected to culminate in 2019.

Chicamocha National Park, 360° of entertainment

In 2006 the National Park of Chicamocha located on the Canyon of the same name was opened to the public. This place was built with the purpose of representing and showing a little of the Santander culture, history and local traditions while enjoying of the landscape.

The Chicamocha National Park has different attractions for children and adults, such as extreme sports, historical and cultural settings and agro-tourist areas. To begin, visit the Monumento de la Santandereanidad, art work that represents the Revolution of the Comuneros (a very key event for the independence process of the Americas) and that symbolizes the strong character of the inhabitants of the region.

Chicamocha Canyon By Petruss – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20178630

Another main attraction of the Chicamocha National Park is the Cable Car. This system is the only one in the world that crosses a canyon of the magnitude of Chicamocha and constitutes one of the longest in South America. The route is 6.3 kilometers long and you will enjoy at least 3 different landscapes and climates as well as magnificent views.

If you were in the mood for adrenaline, try a paragliding flight over 1000 meters high. Likewise, you cannot miss the Canopy (450 meters or 400 meters). You should also experience the extreme swing, bungee jumping; buggies carts, and canyoning stream. (40 meters).

For all ages we recommend the “chiva rumbera” (the most representative transport in the country), the 360 ​​° viewpoint, the ecological ice skating rink, the goats and ostrich parks, the 4D cinema, the virtual reality room as well the Guane Museum, among others.

National Aquapark of the Chicamocha, oasis in the middle of the Canyon

Chicamocha Canyon By Petruss – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40055383

On top of the reason previously mentioned, a refreshing Eden was created in the middle of the Canyon. Unlike other nature parks in the world, the Chicamocha houses a modern 21,500 square meter aquatic complex where you can enjoy swimming pools, slides, and other attractions, while enjoying beautiful views of the landscape of the brave Santander lands.

We recommend checking our post on What to do in a weekend in San Gil.

Adrenaline Paradise

If you like challenges, take advantage of the visit to the Chicamocha Canyon to embark on a rafting adventure across the river of the same name. There are alternatives that last from two hours, up to two days that include rapids of different levels of difficulty from class 1 to 4. For your convenience, you can purchase a package from San Gil, known as the Mecca of extreme sports.

If you are interested, you can check our post on Canoeing in San Gil.

Sports enthusiasts can not miss the Chicamocha Canyon Race, an ultra-trail running race. The competition has been running since 2013 and includes different levels such as Recreation, half marathon (23km), marathon (45km), 75km, 116km and 165km. The race is the most demanding race in the whole country and qualifies for the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc.

 Unparalleled neighborhood towns

If you need one more reason to visit the Chicamocha Canyon, keep in mind the proximity of this geographical accident with national and international tourism icons such as San Gil, Barichara, Villanueva, Guane, and other lesser known but equally beautiful towns such as Cabrera, Cepita, Los Santos, Jordan, among others.

Barichara, By Racso – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46705775 (Rio)

 

You also can combine the walk with a visit to Bucaramanga, the most prosperous city in Latin America in 2015 and the fifth largest city in the country. Bucaramanga will amaze you with the number and beauty of its parks, economic push, and vibrant entertainment.

You may also be interested in the post of heritage towns in Santander

Tips

• The National Park of Chicamocha and Aquapark have different packages to enjoy the attractions either individually or jointly. Here the link where you can see the rates. http://parquenacionaldelchicamocha.com/

• The best way to enjoy the park is starting from the municipality of San Gil.

• Remember to be a responsible tourist and protect this natural wonder.