San Gil – Colombia’s Adventure Capital

After a 6 *cough* 9 *cough* hour bus ride from Bogota, I arrived later than planned in the lovely warm San GIl. Despite arriving late I felt no danger wandering the stone streets looking for a hostel and stayed at the clean and modern Open House Hostal. I was fortunate enough to have my own private dorm here for 3 nights at $18,000 pesos ($9 USD) per night.

The town is touristy but peaceful, not much of a night life but the adventure sports are the star attraction here. I didn’t waste any time and set off paragliding on day one. I went to Chicamocha about 40 minutes from town surrounded by coffee and tabacco farms. The cost was $60,000 pesos ($30 USD) for 15 minutes and due to some light winds the first round, I was taken twice đŸ™‚

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Round one was lovely and peaceful and after my request for adrenalin “quiero adrenalina por favor” I got to experience my guides extreme piloting. Swirling around rapidly and narrowly missing hills, even doing a full flip, it was a lot of fun.

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Day 2 I had my first experience caving at Cow Cave Curiti. It was one of the most fun and scariest activities I’ve ever done. We were told the name came from cows falling into the entrance and being killed – lovely start to the trip! Myself and one other in the group were fitted with helmets and head lamps and climbed down a steep ladder into the cave entrance. We squeezed through a narrow crevice into an open room with bats and cockroaches and some seedlings that grew in the bat droppings, but died shortly after due to lack of sunlight. Then into the cold water we went, crawling through a wide and low section of the cave which was about 60cm high and half submerged. We felt our way along the muddy and stony cave bottom and soon encountered the fully submerged section of the cave. Definetly not for the claustrophobic. We had to dive down and swim a few meters. The guide would then tap us when we came to the end and we could slowly surface, faces titled upwards to gasp a few breaths of air in the 4cm of breathing space. Fortunately the cave soon opened into wider rooms again and we continued to explore indoor waterfalls and beatiful rooms with sparkling stalactites and stalagmites and some amazing rock formations resembling columns. Unfortunately my camera died within 2 photos but here are a couple of my cave woman antics.

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My final day I took a 40 minute bus ride to the unesco world heritage listed Barricharra. This town was an absolute delight to wander around in, beautifully preserved. Enjoy the pictures!

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