New Private Villa in Colombia’s Most Beautiful Town
The former home of president Belisario Betancourt and a historic landmark of Barichara, is opening its doors to special guests. With fresh new interiors, exceptional staff, and an outstanding gastronomic experience, this is an ideal retreat for travellers seeking culture, art, nature and adventure.
Inspired by close friends such as novelist Gabriel García Márquez, and artists Fernando Botero and David Manzur, president Betancourt helped shape Barichara into a haven for artists and artisans.
Today, in collaboration with Galavanta, the property is welcoming guests who want to experience a special insider access to life in Barichara.
- 5 bedrooms for up to 10 guests, all with en-suite bathrooms
- 2 indoor and 2 outdoor dinning areas overlooking the town and Yariguies mountains
- Climatised swimming pool
- Outdoor cinema
- Large terrace areas and gardens with fruit trees and herb gardens
- Onsite chef for a personalised gastronomic experience
- Full-time English-speaking host
- Curated selection of wines, spirits and cocktails
- In-home massages and spa services
- In-home yoga and meditation services
- Childcare services
Length of Stay
The minimum stay is 2 nights, but our recommendation is a total of 4 nights to truly enjoy the destination (see About Barichara & Sample Itineraries).
Opening rates at $987 USD per night for two people (June-July 2019). Includes private villa, all chef-prepared meals, snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, English-speaking host, full-time housekeeping.
Barichara was founded in 1705 as part of the Spanish colonization of the eastern Andes mountains. This village remains frozen in time, and its remoteness has helped preserve the colonial architecture, quiet local life and rich culture that make it such a unique destination.
The maze-like cobblestone streets lined with beautiful white colonial houses inspired many Colombian artists to leave everything behind and set-up shop in Barichara. Today, it is a haven for local artisans and renowned artists including David Manzur, one of Colombia’s most recognised painters. As a guest of Casa del Presidente, get exclusive access to certain artists’ ateliers and artisan workshops that were part of the creation of the villa’s interiors.
Located beside the 2,000-meter deep Chicamocha Canyon, Barichara is an ideal destination for adrenaline junkies who prefer to spend their days white-water rafting, paragliding, zip lining, and rappelling.
Guests seeking nature, within minutes they can be in the Andean countryside biking and trekking to nearby colonial towns, waterfalls, or lookout points of Chicamocha Canyon.
For more adventurous guests, helicopter expeditions to remote parts of the canyon and the region are a must. Land in the middle of nowhere for epic trekking and mountain biking, or a simple picnic with a glass of wine and a breath-taking view. The options are endless!
From Bogotá, Cartagena and Medellín, take a 1-hour commercial flight to Bucaramanga, followed by a 3-hour drive or a 20-minute helicopter ride across Chicamocha Canyon.
Alternatively, guests can take a 1.5-hour private flight on a turboprop (Piper Navajo or King Air 350) from Bogotá to the San Gil airport, plus a 25-minute drive.
The Gastronomic Experience
Casa del Presidente’s gastronomic experience has been designed by chefs Natalia Velásquez and Rafael Buitrago, who have more than 12 years of experience working in Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, and Mexico, in hotels like Sofitel Victoria Regia and top restaurants like El Chato —#21 in Latin America.
The chefs personalise a menu based on each guest’s preferences and requirements, whilst highlighting the gastronomic richness of the region and supporting small, local producers. Wake up to fresh baked bread and homemade fruit jams, and end the day with a bonfire dinner of traditional dishes with a modern twist.
Due to seasonality, most of Barichara’s restaurants open intermittently, or only on weekends and high season. Therefore having chefs onsite allows guests to enjoy a consistent and extra special dinning experience while visiting this region.
Cristina’s Sample Itineraries
Thanks to its location beside the Chicamocha Canyon, Barichara is an ideal place for outdoor adventures and extreme sports, but also a perfect escape for those who want relax, do yoga or soak in art and culture strolling along the town’s cobblestone streets. Here are three sample itineraries design by Galavanta’s founder and travel expert Cristina Consuegra:
DAY 1 | Arrive in Barichara, and afternoon biking to Café Alfania, an organic coffee hacienda. DAY 2 | Trekking along ancient paths and countryside views to a nearby colonial town, and spend the afternoon discovering Barichara’s history and culture alongside a fascinating local. DAY 3 | Biking to the tiny town of Palmar, of only 2,500 inhabitants, and enjoy a picnic by a river with natural pools. DAY 4 | Drive 30 minutes to San Gil, and bike to Fonce River for a river rafting adventure. DAY 5 | Departure
Art & Gastronomy
DAY 1 | Arrive in Barichara and spend the afternoon discovering Barichara’s history and culture alongside a fascinating local. DAY 2 | Morning sampling the street food and treats of Barichara alongside a local foodie, and finish the afternoon visiting ateliers of renowned Colombian artists. DAY 3 | Onboard local tuk tuks, visit Café Alfania to learn about harvesting organic premium coffee and enjoy a very local meal with the owners of the hacienda. DAY 4 | Visit the weekly market and enjoy a cooking class with the villa’s chef, and spend the afternoon visiting local artisans' workshops. DAY 5 | Departure.
DAY 1 | Arrive in Barichara. DAY 2 | Morning yoga session and in-home massage, and afternoon discovering Barichara’s culture, artists and artisans. DAY 3 | Visit the weekly market and enjoy a healthy cooking class with the villa’s chef. Afternoon walking meditation along Barichara’s countryside. DAY 4 | Morning meditation session with Tibetan bowls at a beautiful gardens of a local. Afternoon yoga session and bonfire dinner in the villa’s garden. DAY 5 | Departure.