ColombiaOne.comColombia newsThe Cobblestone Streets of Barichara: A Walk Through Colombia's Heritage

The Cobblestone Streets of Barichara: A Walk Through Colombia’s Heritage


Barichara, Colombia
Church of the Immaculate Conception in Barichara, Colombia as viewed from the town square. Credit: Mano Chandra Dhas/CC BY-SA 3.0

In the heart of Colombia lies a town so breathtaking that it has earned the reputation of being the most beautiful in the entire country. Barichara, with its cobblestone streets, colonial charm, and a stunning natural backdrop, captures the essence of Colombia’s timeless beauty. It is a destination that transcends the boundaries of a typical tourist spot and emerges as a captivating gem.

What immediately captures your attention in Barichara is its colonial charm. The town’s cobblestone streets, imbued with a warm, yellowish hue, exude an aura of nostalgia. This enchanting backdrop sets the perfect scene for leisurely strolls and photography.

The historical heart of Barichara boasts an array of captivating churches and chapels. The Church of the Immaculate Conception, located in the town center, is a remarkable example of Barichara’s colonial architecture. Tourists often find solace in the Chapel of Santa Barbara, Chapel of the Risen Jesus, Chapel of San Antonio, and Chapel of Our Lady of La Piedra.

A Timeless Retreat

Founded in 1705 and declared a National Monument in 1975, Barichara preserves the spirit of a bygone era. The town’s architecture, coupled with its serene ambiance, has earned it the reputation of being one of the finest residential areas in Colombia. Here, visitors can embark on a journey through time, where the past and present harmoniously coexist.

Barichara is situated in the department of Santander, a region celebrated for its heritage towns, including Giron and El Socorro.

Barichara, Colombia
Barichara, Colombia. Credit: Michael Keen/CC BY-SA 2.0

Getting to Barichara

Bucaramanga is the closest capital city to Barichara, and it offers a starting point for your journey to this heritage town. Accessible routes from Tunja and Bogota are also available, providing different yet equally scenic journeys.

From Bucaramanga: The road to Barichara from Bucaramanga is in excellent condition. The drive, which takes about three hours, offers breathtaking views along the way, including the spectacular Chicamocha Canyon and the charming town of San Gil. Travelers who are prone to motion sickness may want to prepare accordingly, especially during the winding section known as Pescadero.

From Tunja: Departing from the capital of Boyaca, your journey to Barichara involves taking the Moniquira – Barbosa – Oiba – El Socorro – San Gil road. This scenic route, spanning 208 kilometers, typically takes around four hours to traverse.

From Bogota: Travelers from Bogota have two comparable options for reaching Barichara, with only a 30-kilometer difference in distance. The first route (321 kilometers) guides you through Zipaquira – Chiquinquira – Barbosa – Oiba – Moniquira – Oiba – El Socorro – San Gil, with an estimated travel time of seven hours. The alternative journey (349 kilometers) starts in Choconta, continues to Tunja, and proceeds to Barichara. Both options provide an enchanting passage to this colonial treasure.

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