“El Pueblito Mas Lindo De Columbia”
Nothing less does this colonial village claim to be. So after “the land of adventure” we set camp in “Columbia’s most beautiful village”. When we arrived on a Sunday at around 03:00 pm you could hear a pin drop: nothing, no cars, hardly any people, no music from bars or backyards, the town had simply shut down for the hot hours.
Nothing we wanted more for ourselves! While Gilles guarded our luggage in the shady plaza, Heidi checked every accommodation in town, a task which can be accomplished within half an hour, given the size of the “Pueblito”. Our choice, Hospedaje Aspentos, right on the plaza, is by far the best deal in town, a big, airy room for 80.000 COP or 30 Euros, while Posada La Nube asks for 180.000 COP for its très chic, but small and windowless rooms.
Their restaurant is excellent though, a sea fish served with carrot & ginger puree will be remembered, not cheap either. Unfortunately, Color de Hormiga, the restaurant famous for its filet mignon topped with a sauce made of giant ants, closes on Sundays at 05:00 pm. No mercy when we showed up at 06:00 pm, explaining we came all the way to try that dish. Nevertheless, we had the best food at the simple and relatively cheap Café Plenilunio.
Barichara takes great pride in its outstanding colonial architecture, but it does so in a less showy way than Villa de Leyva. It seems as if locals have chosen to live like this and accept the frequent tourists without getting too excited about them. When wandering through the quiet streets, only the many chaotic electrical lines overhead give away that we are in the 21st century.
This is the perfect place to relax and & chill out: quiet, very few travellers, at least during the week when Colombian visitors are not around and no party hostels. The whole purpose of coming here is to stroll through the cobble-stone streets, marvel at the unique colonial architecture and drop in a few churches.
At the village cemetery, we watched a senor announcing the beginning of mass at the adjacent little church by pulling long ropes to chime the tiny bells high up. “I have done so for 30 years”, he told us and then tied the ropes around a tomb stone and walked away. Yes, times stand still here it seems.