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Eastern Colombia

Eastern Colombia encompasses those lands northeast of the nation’s capital that are embraced by the broad lowlands of the Lower Magdalena River valley to the West, and the towering heights of the Cordillera Oriental to the East. Within this area are the Departments of Boyacá, Santander and Norte de Santander. A major highway connects Bogotá and Santa Marta, passing through Tunja and Bucaramanga (13 peajes, or tollbooths). From Bucaramanga, another thoroughfare heads east to Pamplona, Cúcuta and the Venezuelan border. An older, peaje-free road twists through the mountains from Tunja to Capitanejo, Málaga and down to Pamplona, connecting with the Bucaramanga-Cúcuta highway. This is the preferred route for buses and trucks, and the fastest way to get to Parque Nacional Natural El Cocuy and its associated pueblos, El Cocuy and Güicán.

The physical and cultural beauty of this area of Colombia surpasses anything one could imagine. Colonial villages are plentiful as are reminders of former inhabitants, from prehistoric sea creatures to the pre-Conquest Muisca and Guane nations. Modern-day U’wa indigenous hang on to their way of life in the Cocuy region, struggling to prevent the violation of their Mother Earth by oil companies. The Cordillera Oriental, with three peaks surpassing 5,300 meters (17,000 feet), shelters the largest snow field in South America north of the Equator.

Colombians of this region have the reputation of being ultra-courteous, especially in Boyacá. In this department, do not be surprised if locals address you with the medieval su merced (his mercy). They often call visitors vecino (neighbor), and will often ask, “¿Le provoca un tintico?” (Would you like a coffee?).






VIVA Colombia

Things to See and Do in Eastern Colombia

Bolo Americano

118004Ever wonder what ever happened to all those bowling alleys once the sport lost favor in the United States? Well, it appears everything was shipped to Colombia, lanes, shoes and balls. (The ...
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Málaga, Colombia

Viñedo Guananí

122811Viñedo Guananí wines are in high demand by Colombian connoisseurs. You may tour the vineyard, from the three hectares where Carbernet Sauvignon, Isabela and Chardonnay grapes are organically grown ...
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Villa de Leyva , Colombia

To Santa SofĂ­a

122949In the 18-kilometer (10.8-mile) stretch of road from Villa de Leyva to Santa SofĂ­a, many attractions await the eager visitor to the Desierto de Villa de Leyva. Pozos Azules, three kilometers (1.8 ...
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Near Villa de Leyva, Villa de Leyva , Colombia

Whitewater Rafting

San Gil has become renowned for its whitewater rafting. Three principal rivers, all with different characteristics, offer adventures for novices and experts alike. The RĂ­o Fonce has class 2+ rapids. ...
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San Gil, Colombia

ConcepciĂłn

(Altitude: 2005 meters/6578 feet; Population: 7,000)Concepción is a weaving center not too far from Málaga. Here, small workshops create blankets, jackets, ponchos and other items from virgin ...
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Near Málaga, Málaga, Colombia

Cultural Centers of Bucaramanga

Besides attractions like its churches, parks, la Casa de BolĂ­var and Museo de Arte Moderno, this city has several other foci of culture: * Casa de la Cultura, with special exhibits and events (Calle ...
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Bucaramanga , Colombia

Caving

Delving into the bowels of the earth (a.k.a caving) is another adventure you can undertake while in San Gil. You can only visit a few of the many caves that gouge the landscape. Cueva del Indio— ...
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San Gil, Colombia

Other Water Sports

Besides whitewater rafting, there are other aquatic sports to partake in here in San Gil. Check with tour operators in the town for these excursion opportunities. Kayaking-- There are eight ...
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San Gil, Colombia

Waterfalls and Torrentismo

Waterfalls drape the river canyons slicing the countryside around San Gil. At some of the cascades, not only can you gaze upon these natural wonders, but you can also practice a sport offered by the ...
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San Gil, Colombia

Fibas JardĂ­n del Desierto

Fibas JardĂ­n del Desierto is more than just a botanical garden. In the Muisca language, fibas means wind. This garden is a project to recover a piece of land was eroded by the winds. Through this ...
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Near Villa de Leyva, Villa de Leyva , Colombia

Beyond Santa SofĂ­a

If the road to Santa SofĂ­a is imprinted by the past and present denizens of the Desierto de Villa de Leyva, the road beyond this small village is sculpted by nature herself. Waterfalls, like Cascada ...
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Near Villa de Leyva, Villa de Leyva , Colombia
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