Bucaramanga

Travel Guide South America Colombia Bucaramanga

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Introduction

Bucaramanga 12

Bucaramanga 12

© Señor Usuf

Bucaramanga is the capital of the Santander department in the northeast of Colombia and has around 1.2 million inhabitants, making it the 6th largest city in the country.

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Sights and Activities

There are plenty of things to sight seeing in Bucaramanga, starting from the east side via Cúcuta you can find nice and large balconies and enjoy a panoramic view of the city. The center of Bucaramanga, like any downtown in the world, gets really crowded on weekends and peak hours, however you can enjoy lots of bargains and sales in the shops, nice quality of clothes and shoes of course.

In the south of Bucaramanga you can find different resorts or clubs where you can play golf, futbol, swim, or just chill out with your friends.

Generally the most popular zone in Bucaramanga is Cabecera, this is the most modern area in the city with lots of malls and entertainment like cinemas, restaurants and shops.

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Weather

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max25.1 °C25.2 °C25.2 °C25.2 °C25.4 °C25.4 °C25.6 °C25.8 °C25.7 °C25.1 °C24.6 °C24.8 °C
Avg Min18.4 °C18.7 °C18.9 °C18.9 °C18.7 °C18.7 °C18.4 °C18.4 °C18.2 °C18.2 °C18.3 °C18.3 °C
Rainfall58 mm80 mm121 mm136 mm112 mm82 mm88 mm84 mm100 mm144 mm117 mm54 mm
Rain Days8101417181718191819149

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Getting There

By Plane

Palonegro International Airport (BGA) has flights to/from Bogota, Cartagena, Yopal, Panama City, Barranquilla and Santa Marta, among a few other smaller places.

By Bus

The city offers a clean, modern and nice bus station (La Terminal de Transportes de Bucaramanga) from where you can take busses to almost any destination around Colombia; you can even take buses from here that will take you to Venezuela and Ecuador. There are frequent buses from Bogota.

  • from Bogotá : COP$40,000 / 10 hours.
  • from Santa Marta : COP$100,000 / 9 hours.
  • from Cartagena : COP$80,000 / 12 hours.
  • from Pamplona : COP$25,000 / 4 hours.
  • from Cúcuta : COP$30,000 / 6 hours.

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Getting Around

By Car

Taxis are plentiful, and all run on meters. For added security take a note of the number plates, or even better: Request a cab by telephone.

By Public Transport

Opened in December 2009, the new Metrolínea bus system rides by exclusive lanes making many trips faster and more comfortable. It is safe a clean although it is almost always full. Tickets around COP $2150.

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Eat

Traditional Santanderean dishes include:

  • Cabro - Goat meat.
  • Mute - A thick soup made with beans, corn, garbanzos, potatoes, various meats (including fresh pig feet, pork loin chops, beef spareribs).
  • Pepitoria - rice with peaces of special meats. The Pepitoria is served with Cabro, fried yucca or plantains.
  • Fritanga - If you don't mind some grease and fried food, you should try fritanga. It consists of an assortment of different kind of sausages, yuca, potatoes, corn, steak, and others, all deep-fried. You can find a traditional Fritanga market in the town of Girón located about 15 minutes from Bucaramanga.
  • Culonas - Short for Hormigas Culonas which literally translates 'big ass ants', is a traditional dish, found nowhere else in Colombia, and maybe around the world. The Culonas are 'leaf-cutter' ants (big ones!). Their heads, wings and legs are removed and the rest of the body is toasted and salted.
  • Caldo - It's a light soup. It contains water (of course, but sometimes milk is added), potatoes, cilantro (coriander), and tostados (traditional flat round toasted bread). Additionally it may contain rib meat (with bone) or 1 or 2 eggs. It's accompanied with Santanderean Arepa.

Don't forget to try all the fresh fruits you can find at either the traditional markets, or at the supermarkets. Pineapples from Lebrija (Located 35–40 minutes from Bucaramanga) are famous for their size and sweetness. The best pineapples in the world, with only competition from the Hawaiian pineapples. Oranges, tangerines and limes are traditional crops and can be found all year round (like most of the other fruits). Mango, Papaya, Watermelon, Maracuyá (passion fruit), Guava, Curuba, Pitahaya etc.

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Drink

Three mid/upscale concentrations of bars and clubs, all within a few minutes walk from one another are Parque Las Palmas (Calle 44 con Carrera 29), Calle 52 between Carreras 34 and 35 and Carreras 34 and 35 between Calles 47 and 48. For more working class audience walk westwards along Carrera 33 from Calle 44.

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Sleep

  • Hotel Asturias, Carrera 22, No. 35-01, ☎ +57 7 6351914, e-mail: reservasasturias@hotelciudadbonita.com.co. Nice hotel with a pretty courtyard and clean rooms. Hot water, cable TV, free Wi-Fi. Single occupancy for 45,000. Some rooms have multiple beds, like dorms. Like the rest of Bucaramanga, prices are a bit higher than in neighboring cities, but this is one of the better places in an area with a wide range of hotels. edit
  • Fly Site Hostel (Colombia Paragliding), Km 2 via Mesa Ruitoque, ☎ +57 312 432 6266. Come to our fly-site hostal, right next to Las Aguilas launch in Ruitoque. A rustic cabana, 20 steps from a groomed, grassy launch. Wake up, eat breakfast and fly all day long. Thermal, XC in the morning and ridge soar all afternoon. Pilot’s dream come true! Top land in your house. Hammocks, fire pit, city views, and cafeteria service on weekends. 30.000.
  • Kasa Guane Bucaramanga (KGB), Calle 49 #28-21. Excellent location, shared kitchen. Dorms 20.000, single 35.000

You can use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

Booking.com

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafes are easy to find in any city or town. Expect rates to run about $1,250-2,500 (around $US 0.50-1.00) per hour, depending on how much competition there is (i.e., cheap in Bogotá, expensive in the middle of nowhere). Quality of connections varies enormous and tends to better in populated places and tourist areas. Wifi is getting more and more popular in some hotels, restaurants and bars, but don't count on it and be careful regarding your privacy.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to Colombia is: 57. To make an international call from Colombia, the code is: 005.

Using your own phone and SIM card is expensive so if you are planning to do quite a few calls, buy a phone or just a SIM card. It's simple enough to get a SIM card and even an unlocked phone at the international airport in Bogotá, although there is, of course, a price hike. They're not hard to find in any city either, just ask your hotel or hostel staff where to go. Topping up is also easy, and can be done pretty much on any street corner. The carriers you'll most likely see are Claro, Tigo, and Movistar. Claro is the most expensive (by a little bit), but has the widest coverage in the country, if you expect to get off the beaten path.

Post

4-72 is the unusual name of Colombia's postal service. They have post offices throughout the country, which are open usually from 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday and sometimes on Saturday mornings as well. That doesn't apply to all offices though, only the larger ones in the big cities. But for example along the Caribbean coast, offices tend to close between noon and 2:00pm. But even at the ones that are officially open all day long, it might be difficult to get anything done during those hours. For domestic services, sending letters and postcards is mostly reliable but takes days, for international services don't hold your breath. Eventually, a postcard or letter might arrive in the country of destination but it's almost not worth it. For parcels, you are better off using companies like FedEx, TNT, DHL or UPS.

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Accommodation in Bucaramanga

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Bucaramanga searchable right here on Travellerspoint.

Bucaramanga Travel Helpers

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This is version 6. Last edited at 8:40 on Feb 28, 18 by Utrecht. 4 articles link to this page.

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