7 Awesome Things to do in Valledupar, Colombia
I compiled this list of awesome things to do in Valledupar after spending 10 days there. It gives a short review of each item. It also has information on getting to Valledupar and accommodation in Valledupar.
After spending 6+ weeks in Santa Marta I decided to see one more place before leaving Colombia. I chose Valledupar out of convenience. It was easy to get to and an easy connection to Bogota for my flight out. My other choice was Barranquilla but Valledupar is “the city of trees” so it won.
I arrived in Valledupar on the Saturday of a long weekend. I thought this was the reason the streets were so quiet. As it turns out, Valledupar is a tranquil city, in comparison to places like Santa Marta.
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7 Awesome Things to do in Valledupar
To be honest, I didn’t do much in Valledupar. I spent a lot of time working on my websites. You may have noticed the changes if you are a regular reader. Also, since I rented a studio apartment I didn’t even have to go out to eat.
1. Rio Guatapuri
The first thing on this list of awesome things to do in Valledupar is to check out Rio Guatapuri. I went on a Monday and it was a holiday. There were lots of families eating, drinking, dancing, and playing in the river. You can watch the young lads jump off the bridge into the river.
I walked there but you can catch a bus to the university. All buses in the city cost 1,700COP. A taxi should cost about 5,000COP.
2. Plaza Alfonso Lopez
Plaza Alfonso Lopez is the main square of Valledupar. It is pretty quiet for a town square, but pleasant to people watch in. Like most town squares in Colombia, it has free wifi.
It gets a bit busier at night. Also, they have a stage there which gets things happening a bit on weekends or special occasions.
There are quite a few sculptures around Valledupar. Also some decent street art. These two things combined with the architecture makes Valledupar good to wander around.
4. La Mina
As far as I can tell, La Mina is a place to swim the river about an hour out of Valledupar. I read online to catch a truck from La Galleria Popular (7,000COP) but after searching around for 30 minutes I gave up. If it was a waterfall I would have persisted a bit more.
I think the truck only leaves at a certain time which I missed. Here’s some better information from Lonely Planet.
5. Eco-Parque Los Besotes
Number 5 on this list of things to do in Valledupar is Eco-Parque Los Besotes. I’m sure I would have enjoyed this if I actually went and as I write this I regret not even trying.
It boasts 7 miles of hiking trails. Inside there is a bunch of wildlife including monkeys, condors, armadillos and more.
If you want to go there by public transport here is my suggestion. Catch the same truck to Mina from La Galleria Popular. Ask to get dropped off a little past the fork in the road on the way to Guacoches. From there hike in the 6km. With a bit of luck, there will be some motorcycles waiting to drive you in.
I imagine a taxi would be much easier and less than 20,000COP each way.
Nabusimake is one of the native villages near Valledupar. There are. a couple of reasons I chose not to actually go here.
First of all, it’s a mission to get to. It’s a 2 and a half hour drive from Valledupar, and much of it is by 4WD.
Second, and more importantly, I read that the villagers don’t like tourists coming through. I figure it is only a bunch of traditional houses and people anyway. The indigenous people walk around Valledupar in their traditional clothing. You don’t have to go disturb their village to see it.
7. La Galleria Popular
The last thing on this list of awesome things to do in Valledupar is La Galleria Popular. I came here wanting to go to La Mina. It’s a typical marketplace but interesting enough to walk around. Good for cheap food.
The outside is more interesting than this picture.
Getting to Valledupar from Santa Marta
I got an early start from Santa Marta. First I took a bus from Taganga to the bus station. I had to backtrack about 1km to the long-distance bus station so if you do it make sure you get off at the right place.
I saw a ticket booth for buses going to Valledupar but the sign said it was only three times a day. Luckily I found a lady selling tickets near the doors going out to the buses. I got a ticket for 26,000COP. The bus left at 8 am and arrived a bit after 1. There was a couple of stops along the way. I got off in Valledupar where most people got off, which was not the bus terminal. From there, a taxi to town cost me 6,000COP. This was the first price a driver told me. I didn’t bargain. I could have walked about 200m up the road for the local buses, but I wouldn’t have known where to go anyway.
On my way out I took a flight to Bogota. To get to the airport I took a cab. I paid 12,000COP but you could probably get it for 10,000COP. It took about 20 minutes to get there.
Accommodation in Valledupar
Whilst doing all these amazing things to do in Valledupar I stayed at a place I got it through Airbnb. I’m sure you can contact them directly and it would be cheaper. On Airbnb, it’s called “Apartaestudio Excelente Ubicación en Valledupar 1”. It cost me about $20usd per night.
It was a pretty good studio apartment with everything I needed to live. They provided all the cooking equipment with a gas cooker and a fridge. The internet was fast except it cut out quite often. Only for 10 minutes at a time, but still a pain in the ass. There was also cable TV.
Everything was modern and clean. No hot water though. Security was good and it was in a good location. Walking distance to most things, though Valledupar is not very big. There was a small but decent supermarket nearby.
Overall I had a nice stay and would recommend it.
Here are the details to contact them directly (WhatsApp or phone) and an address you can give to a cab driver:
Habitaciones Y Apartaestudios Amoblados Cañaguate
+57 311 4942646
Cl 13b, #8-2
Got anything to add to this list of awesome things to do in Valledupar? Let us know them (or anything else you want to say) in the comments.