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Chicamocha Canyon, Santander, Colombia

Colombia offers many types of tourist activities, especially outdoor activities. One of the most exciting places for adrenaline junkies is Santander which is a department of Colombia with its largest city Bucaramanga. The landscape is made of canyons, mountains, caves and rivers. The canyons, particularly the Caño de Chicamocha, have some similarities with the Grand Canyon in the United States. One of the most exciting places is the Chicamocha National Park, also known as Panachi. You can get on top of the mountain with the largest cable car in South America (6.3km length).

The region has everything outdoor enthusiasts enjoy. From high waterfall to mountains with rock faces there is everything you need for an adventurous experience. One of the best activities in the region is rock climbing. Even though some rocks are really challenging it is worth to climb them because you will get rewarded with some of the most stunning views to the colorful valley of Santander.

Rafting in Santander, Colombia (photo by jeronimoamericano)

Another popular activity is rafting in the Chicamoncha Canyon. This place has become quite popular and you will find a number of tour operators offering organized rafting trips with certified instructors. If you enjoy up to class 5 rafting (highest allowed), the Rio Suarez is the right place to be. However it also has parts that are a bit more relaxing.

Another option is the Rio Fonce if you want to avoid too extreme rapids (class 2-3).This river is the better option for families or people who want to try rafting for their first time. Somewhere in the middle between Rio Fonce and Rio Suarez in terms of difficulty level is Chicamocha (class 3-4). Instead of rafting you can also go kayaking in the different rivers.

Zip Line in Chicamocha Park, Colombia

If the water activities don't take your breath away the next one will for sure: A zip line in the village of Panachi. This zip line brings you from one side of the mountain to the other side and has a length of 450 meters.

Another possibility to see the region from above is paragliding. You can get picked up by an instructor and then go paragliding in the Chicamocha Canyon. Most flights take about 45 minutes and present the beautiful scenery of the Santander region from the best side. Flying over the mountains in Santander is an unforgettable experience.

Santander has truly many activities for visitors who love extreme adventures. Of course you don't need to be high up to enjoy the beauty of this region. You can for example go to the Jaun Curi Waterfalls, have a picnic and go for a walk. However, Santander wouldn't be Santander without an option for extreme sports lovers. Instead of watching the up to 180m high waterfalls, why not climbing them? A beautiful path leads you through jungle from where you climb up the rocks in order to get on top of the waterfalls. Once on top you can do some abseiling to get back again and enjoy swimming in the natural pool of the waterfalls.

Besides the extreme sports activities mentioned above you find many other activities in Santander including caving, fishing, bush walking, horse riding and of course swimming. After being active you will enjoy some historical walks through Barichara, a traditional town with colonial houses. A 1.5 to 2 hour walk from Barichara leads you to Guane which was a Pre-Colombian Empire. Last but not least you might want to see the capital of Santander: Bucaramanga, the city of the parks.

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