Only two hours away from Bucaramanga, we find this peaceful heaven, called Zapatoca. Unlike other towns in Santander, Zapatoca's weather is cold and fresh. This is the reason why people call it the town of the "silk weather."
This is a town full of tradition, and most locals would agree that being born and raised in here is a real privilege. When you visit Zapatoca, you get this sensation that nothing seems to be going wrong. It is so peaceful that a visitor tends to notice things and noises that on a busy day would be taken for granted. The streets in Zapatoca are built in such a way that allow you to perfectly stand at the end of one and still catch a glimpse of the very first house that can be seen far away.
I love places that make you realize how tiny you and your problems are.
If you don't believe in love at first sight, you will after hiking and swimming in Las Lajitas. This is a place about half an hour by car from Zapatoca, and then some walking that will lead you to the waterfall. The walk is easy and pleasant in-between nature. Once you get to Las Lajitas and find yourself surrounded by all this beauty, you will realize that there is no other place you would rather be.
Another place worth visiting while in Zapatoca is the mystical cave of Cueva el nitro. About 500 years ago, the passage through this exotic place represented a shortcut for the indigenous Guanes in their journey along the route that today connects Barichara with San Gil. Some say it was a secret tunnel for Guanes to travel through and transport gold. Nowadays it is one of the main tourist attractions of Zapatoca. In order to get into the cave, it is required to be with a certified guide and have the proper equipment — both can be found just a few meters from the main entrance.
It is not very common to find a vineyard around these areas. Even the locals are not aware that you can find one in Zapatoca. After a visit to Valle del Cauca, a dreamer man from Santander found a variety of grape that grows in tropical conditions and decided to grow this same type of grape and start a vineyard in Zapatoca. Now more than fifteen years later, the place is still there, and people can learn about its processes and enjoy some excellent wine.
If you want a place to chill and enjoy a beautiful view, go to the Mirador Guane, where you would be able to enjoy the view of the mountains and the Sogamoso river, which is formed by the union of the Chicamocha and Suarez rivers.
Zapatoca is not just a place to visit; it is a place to breathe, feel, and awaken all of your senses. You can make it a day trip or stay longer; either way, you will enjoy it.
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