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Royal roads in santander

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Última modificación: 05 de diciembre 2022

I’ll tell you a story. In the XlX century, a man named Geo Von Lengerke, who came from Germany, was chosen by the Sovereign State of Santander to build sections that aimed to improve the time of exchange of goods between peoples and the conditions of passenger transport.


Over time these royal roads have become great cultural, historical, archaeological and tourist patrimonies of Santander called royal roads or Lengerke road. You know that Santander is a space to explore and these roads. Organize your clothes and enjoy walking the paths and mountains in this wonderful place.


Barichara – Guane

If you have already visited Barichara, but you have not walked along the royal road Barichara- Guane, the time to know the place has come. This route was declared a national monument in 1997; for this reason you see so many walkers and hikers arriving daily in the village.


  • Pay attention The route can be made Barichara - Guane or Guane - Barichara. The road is not so difficult, the stretch has an average difficulty. If you are a beginner start from Barichara because the tour is done in a descending way, but if you are a hard hiker start from Guane.
  • Where do I start to go there? The road begins in the upper western part of Barichara, at the Simón Bolívar roundabout. Look carefully along the road and you will see the sign that says "Camino real Barichara- Guane". If you find it difficult to go alone, I leave you the contact number of Adrián Peña Guía 316 7785039, he can help you and guide you on the way.
  • How can I get back? This tour has a distance of 5.5 kilometers and in time two and a half hours, if you want you can hire a guide in the village to relax.
  • And to give me back what do I do? To return to Barichara you can expect a bus in the central park of Guane that is worth 2,200 COP per person.

 Los Santos – Jordán


If adrenaline strikes you, this is the perfect path for you. The road is unstable with loose stone and hollow, also the people who live there pass with their mules and donkeys because there is no other way.

  • Pay attention From Los Santos the hike will be downhill, but keep in mind that you must return and this will be done by climbing. The good thing about this is that there you will find the first Suspension Bridge of Colombia declared a national monument in the year 2000. Add to all this that you are going to visit a ghost town; it is called that way because it has only 1100 inhabitants.
  • Where do I start to go there? 
    In Piedecuesta, take a bus to the town of Los Santos (12 thousand to 15 thousand COP per person). When you are there ask what is the entrance of the road to Jordan and start this wonderful adventure.
  • How long will It take? The royal road Los Santos- Jordan is 5.5 kilometers away and walking it will take about 3 hours.
  • How can I get back? This is where you have to prove how strong you are, because the only way to get back is on foot and uphill. Then, go up when there is not much sun, bring water to drink and a small snack to have strength.


Jordán – Villanueva


The route seems simple but it would be like this: from the Jordan Park you walk down the river about two and a half kilometers until you reach the Montegrande ravine. There begins the ascent of 8 kilometers by a paved horseshoe road to reach the highest part, after passing a chapel and the school Our Lady belonging to the municipality of Jordan. Then walk to Villanueva after passing through the Alto de Marta school.


  • Pay attention  The difficulty level is high because it requires climbing from Jordan to
    Villanueva and 425 m.s.n.m. to 1450 m.s.n.m.
  • Where do I start to go there?  The traditional route is Los Santos- Jordán- Villanueva, but you can get to Villanueva pass by the royal road to Jordan, rest, and return the next day.
  • How long will It take? It’s 25 kilometers, so it’s going to take about 4 to 5 hours walking.
  • How can I get back? When you arrive in Villanueva you will find 2 routes: one for San Gil worth 6 thousand COP (per person) and another for Bucaramanga worth 28 thousand COP (per person).


Villanueva – Barichara


The best thing is that the stretch has no slopes and the road will meet the viewpoint called El Alto del Viento and can even take a look at the Suárez River.


  • Where do I start to go there?  To get to Villanueva you can take a bus in San Gil for 6 thousand COP (per person).
  • How long will It take? If you want to walk a little along this road from Lengerke that goes from Villanueva to Barichara, they are 10 kilometers, about an hour and a half.
  • How can I get back? As you are already in Barichara, take a bus to San Gil for 7 thousand COP (per person) or to Bucaramanga for 30 thousand COP (per person).


Barichara – Cabrera


On this tour you can enjoy visiting El Salto del Mico and the waterfall La Paramera. In addition, it would go from 1336 m.s.n.m. to 980 m.a.s.l.


  • Where do I start to go there?  The walk can be done from Barichara by the royal road, entering by the high part of the population.
  • How long will It take?  The road is short, only 7 kilometers, it would take 1 hour walking.  The road is relaxed because there is no mountain, it is flat.
  • How can I get back?When you get to Cabrera take a bus to San Gil for 8 thousand COP (per person).



San Vicente de Chucurí – Zapatoca


Did you know that this real road goes from 700 m.s.n.m. to 3400 m.s.n.m. because it is in the middle of moors and we go up? Remember to wear a coat


  • Pay attention The road has a high difficulty. If you find it difficult to go alone because here I leave you the contact number Adrián Peña Guía 316 7785039.
  • Where do I start to go there? When you get to San Vicente de Chucurí, ask in the village how to get to the Serranía de los Yariguíes National Natural Park. When you are there, start the hike along the trail which is full of a wide variety of fauna and flora.
  • How long will It take? The royal road has 38 kilometers, but from park to park there are 17 kilometers, it is a long route full of mountains, trails and jungle areas.
  •  How can I get back? If you arrive in Zapatoca, go to the village and take a bus that will take you to your destination; however, you can visit the town as it is a very touristic place and desired by travelers.


Zapatoca – Guane


Did you know that on this royal road a new suspension pedestrian bridge over the Suarez River, which replaced an old built in 1872 by Geo Von Lengerke who did it by concession with the Sovereign State of Santander, in exchange for charging tolls and wastelands? The initial bridge eventually collapsed due to lack of maintenance.


  • Pay attention The hike is quite demanding because of its rugged topography, and the high temperature in the place. It begins in 1819 m.a.s.l.m, it is lowered in 9.6 km to the river Suarez that is in the 405 m.s.n.m., and from here in 5.8 Km, it is climbed to Guane that is on the 1034 m.s.n.m.
  • Where do I start to go there?  When you arrive in Zapatoca, specifically at the Las Puentes school, from there you will start the journey along the Lengerke road.
  • How long will It take?  The tour will take 7 to 8 hours walking because it is always 24 kilometers, so take something so that you do not get dehydrated along the way because the road is long and demanding.
  •  How can I get back?

You have 2 options, first, continue walking along the royal road that leads to Barichara or second, get off to Guane and take a bus that takes you to Barichara for 2,000 COP (per person)

 I’ll leave you here some tips to keep in mind when you go to know the royal roads of Santander.

●     Make the walk first thing in the morning

●     Use sunscreen

●     Bring water and go for breakfast

●     Wear comfortable clothes and comfortable shoes

●     Wear a hat, hat or something to cover your head

●     Bring snacks and baby water

●     Take care of the real ones, no littering around.


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