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Top Colombia

Balneario Hurtado - Spa/Hot Springs Valledupar - Colombia

When Valledupar’s heat gets to be a bit much, do as the locals do: head for Balneario Hurtado, where the Río Guatapurí’s waters flow smooth and cold, pooling along the banks. Daring young men body surf the few mild rapids rushing by the boulders. Lots of families come to swim, sit at a table or sling a hammock between the trees. There’s over a kilometer of shore to try to get away from the crowds — though it’s no guarantee. Even after the buses stop at dusk, the party goes on well into the night any day of the week.


North edge of the city at the RĂ­o GuatapurĂ­

Valledupar, Colombia

Spa/Hot Springs

Getting There

Take any buseta that says “Universidad,” which is right next door to the Balneario ($0.50). The last one back to town is at about 6 p.m., after which hour hail a taxi ($2.25).

Travel Tips:

There are no changing rooms or other facilities. Locals warn it is unsafe at horas solitarias and at night. The banks are littered; beware of bottle caps and glass.

Price Description:


Relative price: Free

Open Hours from:Open 24 hours per day.

Travel Skills: None

You Need to Bring:

Take swim gear, towel, sun screen, a picnic lunch (though there are many food stands and strolling vendors).

The Sirena and other monuments, the colonial downtown, cultural centers, Arhuaco villages in the Sierra Nevada.

Currencies accepted
Colombian Peso

By Lorraine Caputo

Upon re-declaring her independence at age 29, Lorraine Caputo packed her trusty Rocinante (so her knapsack's called) and began...

18 Mar 2011

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