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Considered by many to be the most beautiful town in Colombia, Barichara is a great place to spend a day simply walking its cobbled streets and admiring the perfectly preserved architecture. However, there are a few things you shouldn’t leave without experiencing. From stunning lookout points to a delicious local meal, here’s how to spend 24 hours in Barichara if you really want to get a feel for the town’s beauty, character and culture.
For every street in Barichara, there’s a beautiful colonial church, chapel or cathedral just waiting to be explored. Take a step back in time and discover some of the most historic churches in the region, many of them over 200 years old. You shouldn’t miss the Iglesia Jesús Resucitado, the Capilla San Antonio, the Capilla Santa Barbara or the Catedral de la Inmaculada Concepcion.
Located high atop a deep, lush canyon that overlooks the River Suarez, Barichara is surrounded by stunning views. And the best place to admire those vistas? From the town’s lookout point. The Mirador, a small canopied observation deck located right on the edge of town, offers spectacular views over the surrounding mountains and the raging river below.
Just like Barichara’s churches, the cemeteries here have been lovingly conserved and decorated over centuries. The Cementerio de Barichara, with its elaborately carved tombstones, iron crosses and brightly coloured flowers, is one of the most striking cemeteries in the region. In addition to the beautiful tombstones, make sure you keep an eye out for the impressive stone sculptures scattered across the cemetery; these have all been hand-carved by talented local stone sculptors.
Due to its tranquillity, stunning surroundings and easygoing lifestyle, Barichara has become a hub for local artists and artisans. The result? Streets dotted with independent galleries, workshops and craft stores, many of which welcome visitors to not only see the artists at work, but also to get hands on. Choose from fique papermaking, pottery, furniture making, felting or fique bag weaving, or simply take a peek at the many artisan shops selling Barichara’s best local arts and crafts.
Although you have only 24 hours in this beautiful town, you still have to sit back, relax and take it all in. Barichara’s stunning colonial square is the heart of the town, and is always a hub of activity. A great place to grab a beer here is El Fogolar (you’ll spot the chairs and parasols outside on the street) as it offers great views over the whole square and the Catedral de la Inmaculada Concepcion. It also serves light lunches – think stone-baked pizzas and hummus with pitta and veg sticks – if that beer has given you an appetite.
Since its grand opening in 2008, Las Cruces has been blending local ingredients with international cooking techniques to bring you Barichara’s best gourmet menu. Set in a beautiful open-air colonial courtyard draped in exotic plants, this is the perfect romantic dinner spot, and by far the most luxurious restaurant in town. Dishes such as beef medallions, crab soup and pork loin in tamarind sauce steal the show here.