The Old Road to Barichara

While doing some research I came across a blog by Adventures 57 about the Top 10 Motorcycle Routes in Colombia. Check out their other suggested routes. This ride to Barichara was great. Greg and I left Valencia and rode a for a whole day to Aguachica. After a nights rest we headed down to Bucaramanga. Highway 45 is congested with a lot of trucks until it splits off. Highway 45A goes into the mountains and 45 goes around. 45A is a great twisty road and it’s even better since most of the trucks take the other route.

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From Bucaramanga we were going to take the dirt road to Barichara. Our GPS’s had us going through the city and we were trying to figure a way out when a guy pulls up and asks if we need help. He said to follow him to the road out of the city that we needed. It was mid morning rush hour and he was kind enough to help us out. Colombians once again showing their hospitality.

Starting in Giron we headed south on the road to Zapoteca. The first few kilometers were unpaved then in the middle of nowhere beautiful pavement appeared and continued for a few miles as the road twisted down and back up a massive canyon.

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After crossing the bridge the road was less maintained to Zapoteca. We stopped for a bite to eat in the picturesque town. The local police officer stopped to say hello and ask questions about the bikes. He offered to show us the way to the dirt road that would take us to Barichara.


For an hour or so we didn’t see anyone else on the road. We rode by hillside farms as we made our way around, down, and up the mountains. We rode through the small town of Galan before crossing the river again and riding up to Barichara.




Quick comparassion shot. Greg and I both have Heidenau K60 rear tires. We both put them on in Southern California and rode a similar route. Mine are just about done while he easily has a few thousand kms to go.






It was a hot afternoon so I didn’t mind getting a little wet when we crossed a small creek. Just before Barichara the road turns to pavement and we sped up the windy mountain road.

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Barichara is possibly the most picture perfect place. My photos don’t do it justice. It’s a beautiful small town set in the hills of Santander Department, Colombia. It’s a quiet town with all the basics of a small town but with just a few things to cater to the travelers like a variety of restaurants. The streets were so quiet when we were walking around. Just people out walking or sitting in the town plaza chatting. No trucks or busses, or even a traffic light that I can remember. In the main plaza at night there was a comedy performance. Everyone gathered and watched a clown/mime/dancer guy do a show. Around the plaza vendors sold street food and hot drinks.




Walking down the street we saw a 1200 GS that we recognized. It was Antonio and his son Bruno from the Stahlratte. Antonio left his job and is taking his teenage son on a motorcycle trip to South America (riding 2up). What a gift! He’s doing some alternative schooling. We walked around town and saw Mark and Nadia. The six of us went out to dinner at a pizza place in town. Amazing pizza and wine. Another amazing day on the road and ended in an amazing little town with friends.



  1. Hali says

    Dan your pictures are awesome! What are you shooting with? Also, are you and Greg planning on the remainder of the trip together?

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