Okay, now that I’ve caught your attention with this title, let me contradict myself by saying that Bucaramanga is not at all hidden, although it is a treasure.
Bucaramanga is the capital of the Department of Santander, in the Northeast of Colombia, and the city with the sixth largest population in the country.
Despite its relative importance, one hears very little about this charming city. In fact, I don’t know very many Colombians who have been there, unless they have lived there or have family there. And I rarely hear anyone mention the city, which, after having gone, is surprising to me because it is so lovely. So, I decided to write a post about it.
Granted, it doesn’t have a coast, nor does it have the same job opportunities as some of the bigger cities. However, what it does have is perfect, warm, sunny weather without being too hot; it feels very safe there; it’s not too expensive; the people are very friendly; there are things to do, places to go out, and an abundance of parks; and it has some of the most delicious arepas ever (minor detail, but definitely worth mentioning-see picture below).
Bucaramanga has many good universities; I visited the university where my roommate studied, at the Universidad Autónoma de Bucaramanga, and it is gorgeous. It is surrounded by trees and plants, making me feel like I was in a forest.
We also visited La Mesa de los Santos, which is just outside Bucaramanga and has a mercado campesino, where one can buy different goods from the local farmers. Another town that is really part of Bucaramanga now is Girón, where they sell delicious, enormous obleas.
About two hours from Bucaramanga is a city called San Gil, known for its extreme sports. There you can rappel down waterfalls, glide across a canyon, or go white water rafting, among many other activities. It’s easy to get there by bus from Bucaramanga.
Bucaramanga is definitely in my top three favorite cities of Colombia. Here are some more photos so that you can see for yourself how beautiful it is: