having rafted the futaleufu, espolon, azul, palena, and tigre rivers in chile and the quijos, jondachi and jatunacu in ecuador, i decided to trial colombia. i headed to san gil in the santander region in march 2011. i was there to raft the fonce, chicamocha, and suarez rivers and check out the area. i accessed san gil by flying to bucaramanga and then got a ride to san gil over the crazy, truck-ridden road through the chicamocha canyon to san gil, about a 3 hour ride. my gudes were grace and christian, owners of rio expediciones in san gil. the first day, i rafted the class 3-4 rio fonce, which runs right through town. christian guided the 2 passenger duckie-sit-on-top kayak and we had a great run on the fonce, with 2 short unintentional swims. after rafting, i went with christian to the pristine colonial town of barichara for a sandwich and to see the sites. that night, i enjoyed strolling the streets of san gil with no sense of safety problems at all.
i stayed in a beautiful hotel outside of town called el verano with pool, a/c, tv and great food.
the next day christian sent jaime
to be my guide. we rode bikes about 30km to the juan curi waterfall, hiked up, and rappelled down the waterfall. this was a great time! i felt very safe and loved the experience
the next morning, a group of guides picked me up to raft the chicamocha river, class 4-5. this was a long ride but well worth it. we stopped in the tiny town of cepita to buy water, another town untouched for 300 years. loved the scenery in the chicamocha canyon, the longest canyon in the world. after rafting, we hit chicamocha national park to enjoy the cablecar and views
on my last day in san gil i rafted the fonce again and then went to curiti to check oit another untouched perfect town to buy fique products.
After four days of adventure, I headed to Bogota to spend two days seeing the sights. Loved the beautiful neighborhoods, museums, and architecture. On Sundays in Bogota, they close down the main boulevard to traffic and the entire street becomes a street festival of cycling, walkers, and joggers with great food and music. Also, before I flew home, I spent the afternoon in the suburb of
Usaquen, which has an all day street fair on Sundays. A wonderful trip all in all.
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