Living, enjoying and feeling firsthand a world that we have only seen on a movie screen is completely possible, and I found this place in Colombia, come with me and let’s travel together to another world.
On any given Sunday I received a call from a great friend, Camilo (@camilorate) , telling me if he encouraged me to go on a trip with him and a Portuguese traveler, to which I answered yes despite not yet knowing the destination. During the conversation, the only thing I knew about the destination was that it was about 7 hours from Medellín by land and that it was in the department of Santander, ah!! And that the place was from another world!!
Tuesday 4 am they pass me and the journey begins heading north, passing through Girardota, Puerto Berrio, Cimitarra, Landazuri and finally after 7 hours and a little more we arrive at El Peñón in the center of Santander, a mountainous region known for many tourist attractions such as the Chicamocha Canyon and iconic towns of the country such as San Gil or Barichara. In this case, El Peñón is not very well known, but I am sure that in a very short time it will become a must-see destination in the country, since it has surprises full of water, caves, mountains and views that I will never forget.
Upon arrival at our destination, we were greeted by “El Brother” our host and guide in the area. We settled in the cabin that would be our home for the next 3 days, we organized the itinerary and at once we began the adventure.
The first stop, La Cueva El Oro, one of the nearly 40 caves discovered in the area, but with a particularity, the ceiling of this cave seems to be covered by gold dust, a curious phenomenon that is still under investigation to find out the source of this effect. The route passes through underground rivers and narrow passageways that lead to impressive rooms with views illuminated only by our lanterns. This tour is approximately an hour and a half with spaces to take pictures and tour part of the huge cave.
At 5 in the morning on Wednesday we set out for the hike to Cerro Panamá, because the spectacular views do not only occur underground, this area is full of mountain ranges that offer postcards to remember for a lifetime. The Panama hill is located next to the urban center of the Peñón, and the walk to the top is approximately 1 hour and a half. Upon reaching the top, from one side of the great Metal Cross that the inhabitants of the region put up a few years ago to identify the hill, you can see the town in all its splendor, and in the distance a chain of 8 waterfalls that descend through the southern face of one of the formations of the Eastern Cordillera that finally falls into the Aventadero River. On the opposite side, the mountain range in full with a fall of about 400 meters where from the height you can see the bridle paths that the peasants use to carry their products to the town, walking even for days on these routes.
In the afternoon the plan would be to visit something as impressive as its name, LA TRONERA, a cave with two entrances, the first one that was our access route is an entrance into the ground with a journey of about 800 meters to reach the final point, just below the impressive hole that gives the cave its name, a drop of 165 meters from the ground level to the lowest point, the place looks like the lunar surface, full of giant rocks between which we make our way to reach the altar and see the immensity of the place. The great fall is adorned by moss and vegetation of different types and cascades that form an incessant rain in the lower part. And to end the scene, a deafening silence could not be missing, interrupted from time to time by the terrifying noises generated by the inhabitants of the cave, the Guacharos, nocturnal and almost blind medium-sized birds that emit a similar sound to scare away their predators or other animals. the one that jaguars have.
Definitely one of the most imposing places and with the strongest atmosphere that I have visited in my life.
The third day would be the visit to the place that brought us to this remote town and for which I told them that we would visit a movie location, Pandora’s Forest.
Just a half hour walk from our place of lodging is the entrance to this forest, which, as we see it in the James Cameron film, AVATAR, immediately envelops us and transports us to a cinematographic world, and the best it is that we had it right in front of our eyes, with its canyons between stone walls full of vegetation, water falling through its veins and the sound of the animals that live there.
The route is circular, walking between these canyons and huge trees that remind us of the best scenes in the movie and that between the mud, stone stairs and paths transport one to places that we could only imagine but that we did not know we had just a few hours from home live and direct.
This plan was achieved thanks to the @bosquepandorageo team To whom I am eternally grateful for introducing us to this magical place, for all the conservation work they are doing, for showing the world the wonders that Colombia has and for their wonderful hospitality.
Definitely Colombia is an unexplored country, let’s be travelers of our own territory and know the wonders that it has prepared for us. And if you are not Colombian, the invitation is completely open for you to visit our country and fall in love with the destinations and above all with the hospitality of our people. -Live Colombia, Travel through it-
“One travels to learn to live, without so many things, without so many expectations, without so many paradigms… Going back to basics”