One of the main reasons we came to San Gil was due to its close proximity to Barichara and the famous Camino Real. The Camino Real is a lovely 10km hike from Barichara to Guane, following a pre-colombian road that was rebuilt in the 1860’s.
To get to Barichara you need to take a bus in San Gil from the small terminal in the town (note – not the main terminal that is 2km outside the town). The bus costs 5,000COP and should only take about 35 minutes and drops you in the center of town. When we arrived the rain began, and it stormed down for a couple of hours. For this reason we debated not doing the Camino Real, instead we walked around the town.
Walk around the town and take in the sights
The town is lovely (even in the rain) and just walking around you cant help but feel the need to take some pictures. The graveyard was personally my favourite around the town, the clay headstones displaying what each person worked as (e.g. a guitar for a musician) were impressive!
The colourful graveyard
The fog added some drama to our time in Barichara
Eventually the rain cleared for us and at about 12.40pm we set off. It’s funny because researching this walk beforehand everyone told us to avoid this time of day due to the piercing heat – just our luck that it was raining then! The walk begins on the top of Barichara, near the mirador point (its clearly marked).
The start of the Camino Real
The hike itself is relatively easy apart from the cobblestones and (for us anyway) the many, many river crossings. Perhaps it was due to the heavy downpour in the morning, but there were about 5 small rivers we needed to cross along the way!
Some of the views along the way
The views of the countryside were amazing, the rolling green hills were particularly impressive to us (reminded us of home). Note that there are some small restaurants along the way if you feel like it, we didn’t try any because we wanted to get to Guane ASAP due to more impending rain!
One of the many river crossings!
When we arrived in Guane (it took us about 2 hours) there wasn’t much to do besides admire the beauty of the town. It was very quite when we arrived, we only found one restaurant that was open and there was no bus back to Barichara. Our tip when you arrive in Barichara is to ask them whether there are any buses going from Guane-Barichara that day. We had to get a tuk-tuk back, it was 15,000COP but it saved us having to walk back in the rain!