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Colombiafrank’s Bucaramanga Colombia Travel Guide


Updated on 04/05/2024

Dear readers
My name is Frank and I run a tour operator in Bogota, specializing in custom-made and Colombia luxury travel.

At the end of this guide you will find a list of many other helpful travel guides for Colombia.

Why visit Bucaramanga?

The city of Bucaramanga deserves to be visited for its cultural, natural and gastronomic wealth. It is ideal for visitors wanting to learn about the history, architecture and traditions of a region with its own diverse identity.

Bucaramanga is also an ideal destination for nature lovers, offering spectacular scenery, eco-parks and adventure activities. Personally, I love Bucaramanga for its pleasant climate, its hospitable people and its variety of typical dishes such as Mute Santandereano, Hormigas Culonas and Cabrito Asado.

Bucaramanga facts

Bucaramanga is a city in northeastern Colombia and the capital of the department of Santander. The estimated population of Bucaramanga is around 600,000. The city lies at an altitude of approximately 959 meters above sea level and has a subtropical highland climate characterized by mild temperatures and relatively high rainfall throughout the year. The average temperature is between 18° C and 25° C (64° F and 77° F).

Bucaramanga was founded on December 22, 1622 and has since developed into an important economic center in the region. The city has a diversified economy, with the largest and most representative industries being textiles and clothing, footwear and construction.

Capital of the department of Santander, Bucaramanga is an important political and administrative center of the region. The city has a rich cultural heritage with numerous museums, galleries and historical monuments, including the Casa de Bolivar, dedicated to Simon Bolivar, a key figure in the history of Colombian independence. Bucaramanga is also home to numerous universities, including the Universidad Industrial de Santander, one of Colombia’s most prestigious universities.

Tourist attractions in Bucaramanga

Whether you are looking for culture, nature, adventure or gastronomy, you will definitely find something in this vibrant city. Here are five places you definitely shouldn’t miss when visiting Bucaramanga:

The Sagrada Familia Cathedral

The Sagrada Familia Cathedral is a Catholic temple in the center of the city. Built between 1895 and 1982, it is the seat of the Archdiocese of Bucaramanga. The cathedral impresses with its neo-Gothic facade and altar.

The main church is made of Carrara marble, with stained glass windows and religious paintings. Considered a national monument, it is a symbol of the beliefs and culture of the people of Bangues.

Santander Park

This park is the heart of Bucaramanga where locals and tourists meet to relax and entertain. It is surrounded by historical and cultural buildings such as the Palace of Justice, the City Theater and the House of Culture. There are also numerous restaurants, cafes and shops nearby.

Zone Rosa

If you are looking for night life and fun this is the place for you. The Zona Rosa is a lively area full of bars, clubs, discos and restaurants for all tastes and preferences. In this vibrant area you can dance, drink, eat and party until dawn.

Bucaramanga’s Zona Rosa is located along Calle 31 between Carreras 33 and 34. This street is home to a variety of nightclubs, bars, restaurants and hotels.

Eloy Valenzuela Botanical Garden

This botanical garden is an oasis of calm and nature in the middle of the city. It is home to more than 2,000 plant species including orchids, bromeliads, palm trees and cacti. One can also see some animals such as birds, butterflies and turtles. The garden features paths, bridges, ponds and a museum showcasing the diversity and beauty of the region’s flora and fauna.

Centennial Park

It was built in 1910 to commemorate the centenary of Colombia’s independence. The park houses several statues and historical monuments, as well as the Santander Theater and the Centro Cultural del Oriente. The park has been renovated and rehabilitated several times to preserve its cultural value and heritage.

Tourist activities

Bucaramanga is not only a city of culture and history, but also a city of adventure and entertainment. In Bucaramanga you can do numerous activities that will make your trip even more exciting and unforgettable.


If you want to experience the thrill of flying and enjoy breathtaking city and mountain views, paragliding is the activity for you. You can start from Ruitoque or Floridablanca and soar over the Chicamocha Gorge, one of the largest canyons in the world. You can also visit the Monumento al Santísimo, a huge statue of Jesus Christ that towers over the city.

Extreme sports

If you are looking for more adrenaline and challenges, you can try some extreme sports in Bucaramanga. You can go to San Gil, a town near Bucaramanga known as the adventure capital of Colombia. There you can enjoy activities such as rafting, kayaking, bungee jumping, abseiling, caving and much more. You can also enjoy the natural beauty of the area with its waterfalls, rivers and forests.

Cultural tours

If you want to explore the historical and cultural heritage of Bucaramanga, you can join a cultural tour that will take you to various interesting places. You can visit the Sagrada Familia Cathedral, Santander Park, La Casa del Libro Total, Eloy Valenzuela Botanical Garden and much more. You can also learn about the history, art, architecture and legends of the city.

Best time to visit Bucaramanga

Bucaramanga has a warm and humid climate all year round, but it also rains most of the year. The wettest months are April through November, when thunderstorms are expected almost daily. The driest months are December to February, when rain is less frequent and temperatures are slightly higher. These months are also best for outdoor activities such as paragliding, hiking, or visiting parks and gardens.

However, these months are also the busiest times for tourists, which means you can expect higher prices and crowds. If you prefer a quieter and cheaper time to visit Bucaramanga, consider March or June when the weather is still tolerable and tourism is low. However, you must expect rain and humidity during these months.

Events in Bucaramanga

Bucaramanga is a city that celebrates its culture, history and diversity with various events throughout the year. Some of the most important events that take place in Bucaramanga are:

The International Theater Festival

This annual event showcases the best of national and international theater. The festival features plays, workshops, conferences and exhibitions that promote the city’s artistic and cultural development.

Book Fair (Ulibro)

This event brings together authors, publishers, booksellers and readers from Colombia and abroad. The fair offers a wide range of books, activities, lectures and shows that encourage a love of reading and writing.

International Jazz Festival

This event takes place in April every year and attracts jazz lovers and musicians from all over the world. The festival features concerts, master classes, jam sessions and competitions that showcase the diversity and richness of jazz music.

International Festival of Independent Film

Held every May and June, this event showcases the best of national and international cinema. The festival features screenings, workshops, panel discussions and awards to promote the audiovisual industry and culture.

Nightlife in Bucaramanga

These are some of the top nightlife spots in Bucaramanga:

Vintrash Bar

This bar is a popular place for locals and tourists alike to enjoy live music, cocktails and sushi. The bar has an inner courtyard and a cozy atmosphere and offers various events and shows throughout the week.

Municipal – Musica Viva

This place is a cultural center that offers concerts, workshops, exhibitions and much more. It’s also a discotheque that spins different genres of music such as rock, salsa, reggae and electronic music. Here you can dance, drink and have fun until late at night.

Penelope Bar

Penélope is a bar in Bucaramanga that offers a variety of drinks, music and atmosphere to suit all tastes. An ideal place to relax, have fun and meet new people.

Malabar nightclub

In this nightclub you can have fun and dance the night away. There are different types of music here, such as pop, rock, electronic and Latin. You can also enjoy drinks, snacks and shows in this modern and vibrant place.

Typical food in Bucaramanga

These are the best and most emblematic restaurants in Bucaramanga:

Restaurant La Toscana

This restaurant is one of the best places to enjoy Italian cuisine in Bucaramanga. There are dishes such as pasta, pizza, risotto, lasagna and much more.

Maiz Pelao

In this restaurant you can taste the typical dishes of Santander, such as B. arepas, sancocho, mute, cabro, and much more.

Hamburguesa’s El Garaje

This place is a Bucaramanga classic for some of the best hamburgers in town. You can choose between different types of meat, bread, cheese and sauces.

Since Fiorentino

This restaurant is another good choice for lovers of Italian cuisine. There are dishes such as gnocchi, ravioli, carpaccio, tiramisu and much more.

Restaurant La Puerta del Sol

In this restaurant you can enjoy traditional Colombian dishes such as Bandeja Paisa, Ajiaco and Mondongo.

Pescocentro Bucaro

This restaurant is one of the best places to enjoy seafood in Bucaramanga. There are dishes like ceviche, shrimp cocktail, chowder and grilled fish.

Bucaramanga Accommodation Guide

Bucaramanga captivates all visitors. From its historic architecture to its amazing natural landscapes, it offers alternatives for every type of traveler. Combine your lodging with your plans to live this city full of charm and beauty to the fullest.

For more details on places to stay, check out our Bucaramanga lodging blogs below:

How to get to Bucaramanga

These are the transportation options from Bogotá (or nearby major cities) to Bucaramanga.

By plane

If you want to travel by plane from Bogotá to Bucaramanga, you have several options. You can fly direct from El Dorado International Airport (BOG) in Bogotá to Palonegro International Airport (BGA) in Bucaramanga, which takes about an hour and costs between $42 and $69.

You can also fly from Bogotá to Yariguíes Airport (EJA) in Barrancabermeja, a nearby town, and then take a bus to Bucaramanga, which takes about four hours and costs between USD 58 and USD 161. The airlines operating these flights are LATAM and Avianca.

The airlines that offer connections are as follows:

By land

If you prefer to travel by bus from Bogotá to Bucaramanga, you also have several options. You can take a direct bus from Terminal Salitre in Bogotá to Terminal de Transporte in Bucaramanga, which takes about 10 hours and costs between $13 and $23. You can also take a bus from Bogotá to Zipaquirá, then another bus to Chiquinquirá and then another bus to Bucaramanga, which takes about 11 hours and costs about $31. The bus companies serving these routes are Autoboy, Copetran, Berlinas del Fonce, Omega and Concorde.

The easiest way to buy tickets is via Pinbus.

If you want to travel by car from Bogotá to Bucaramanga, you can take a taxi or drive yourself. The distance between the two cities is about 408 km (253.5 miles) and the road is mostly paved and in good condition. The journey takes about 10 hours and costs between US$100 and US$130 for a taxi or US$21 to US$35 for gas if you drive yourself.

The following companies rent cars in Colombia:

  • Hertz
  • Avis
  • ABC

How to get around in Bucaramanga?

Bucaramanga is a busy city, so it’s important to plan ahead and choose the best way to get around. There are several transportation options in Bucaramanga, such as:


This is the public bus system that covers most of the city and its surroundings. The fare is 2,400 Colombian pesos (about US$0.5). You can swipe the card when boarding the bus and hop off at the stop of your choice. Buses are comfortable and have dedicated lanes to avoid traffic jams.


Taxis are a convenient and quick way to get around the city, especially at night or when you have luggage with you. You can request a taxi on the street, by phone or app. The taxis are yellow and have meters that show the fare. The minimum fare is 5,000 Colombian pesos ($1) and the average fare is 10,000 Colombian pesos ($2).


This is another private transportation option that works with an app. You can request an Uber ride and pay with a credit card or cash. Fares are similar to taxis but may vary depending on demand and traffic. Uber isn’t officially regulated in Colombia, so some drivers may ask you to sit in the front passenger seat, or may abandon the ride if they see the police nearby.


If you have your own or rented car, you can drive around town and park in designated areas. However, you should observe the traffic rules and regulations, e.g. B. the pico y placa. This is a system that restricts the use of cars on certain days of the week according to the last digit of the car’s registration number.


If you want to exercise and enjoy the countryside, you can explore the city by bike. There are bike lanes and trails that connect different parts of the city and allow for a safe ride. There are also bike rentals and bike tours that will show you the best places to visit by bike.

Colombia Travel Guides

Here you will find travel guides for the most popular regions in Colombia, which we have put together during our extensive travels around the country.

Travel Guides to Colombia’s Small Towns

Here you will find travel guides for less popular destinations in Colombia. Some of these destinations are even real insider tips and not even known to the Colombians as travel destinations.


About Author



Hello! I'm Frank Spitzer, the founder and the heart behind Pelecanus, a specialized tour operator for Colombia travel. My journey in travel is vast and rich – I've explored over 60 countries, absorbing cultures, experiences, and stories along the way. Since 2017, I've been channeling this wealth of global experience into creating unforgettable travel experiences in Colombia. I'm recognized as a leading authority in Colombian tourism, with a deep-seated passion for sharing this beautiful country with the world. You can catch glimpses of my travel adventures and insights around Colombia on my YouTube channel. I'm also active on social media platforms like TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, where I share the vibrant culture and stunning landscapes of Colombia. For professional networking, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. Join me on this incredible journey, and let's explore the wonders of Colombia together!

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