After a nice breather in Sogamoso, I took the bus north 5 hours to San Gil. Basically unknown outside of Colombia, San Gil is the place to be for adventure sports in Colombia. Whitewater rafting, paragliding, rapelling, caving, canyoning.. it’s all there! From the moment I arrived at the hostel I knew I was going to like this place, if only for the fact that it was SUNNY!
While Lonely Planet guidebook describes the town as “not much to look at”, I actually found it quite charming. With ice cream shops and bakeries on every other corner, it’s tough not to like!
I stayed at Macondo Hostel for 3 nights, which I liked if only for the fact that they organize all of the adventure tours for you. Otherwise the jacuzzi was empty, one day there was no water, the next no hot water, and the power was spotty in my room. But at the price of ~$15 a night I really couldn’t complain.
On my first full day in San Gil I joined my Australian roommate and a meek Swiss girl for some torrentismo (aka waterfall rappelling). Although I’ve never actually done it before I didn’t think it would be scary, but as we hiked 15 minutes up the hill my feelings began to change. After listening to the instructions entirely in Spanish, I lowered myself off the ledge shaking like a leaf. As with most things of this nature the first stop was the scariest, and once I was over the edge I began to enjoy it.
I would never do this at home, but since I’m on vacation I decided to paraglide on day two in San Gil. I initially thought that paragliding would be much scarier than torrentismo but to my surprise it was actually quite peaceful.
After paying ~$40 and a 20 minute car ride we hopped out onto a hill overlooked a deep canyon. Roughly 3 minutes and absolutely no instructions later, I was flying through the air like a bird. Unlike torrentismo which had a lot of build up these guys wasted no time, which left me no time to actually feel afraid.