Colombia South America

Worth the Long Journey: My Experience in Quebrada Las Gachas and Guadalupe

Hanging out in Quebrada Las Gachas
Hanging out in Quebrada Las Gachas
Just chillin in one of the small pools at Quebrada Las Gachas

After a long bus ride, we got to experience what we came to Guadalupe for: Quebrada Las Gachas.  From Guadalupe, it’s an easy 1 hour walk to get there.

Walking to Las Gachas

Sign in the road marking the hike
Once you see this sign, it’s time to turn off the main road to head to Quebrada Las Gachas

The walk to Quebrada las Gachas from the center of Guadalupe takes around an hour and is pretty well marked.  From the town center, walk on the road in the direction of Oiba (locals can point you in the right direction.)  Around 10 minutes later, you’ll hit a gas station and you’ll see a sign that says “Balneario Las Gachas” – take the right at this sign.

From there, the walk is pretty well marked out.  And most importantly, it’s beautiful.  You’ll see the Andes in all directions, lots of greenery and farmland, and since this is farm territory – chickens, cows, and horses.  Even without Las Gachas, this walk would be worth it.

Follow this path and you’ll end up at Quebrada Las Gachas!

There’s an absence of signs, but only one marked out path – just follow it.  If you’re feeling unsure, just ask one of the locals (most of whom will be wearing cowboy hats) you’ll inevitably pass on the path, they will let you know how much more time you have.

The walk, overall, is not hard – you are at altitude (around 4500 feet) but it doesn’t have a ton of uphill walking and doesn’t offer too much difficult terrain.  Make sure to bring water, but it shouldn’t be too much of a challenge.

Arrival

When you come across a mini-river, you’re almost there.  Cross this river, walk another minute, and you’ll hit your destination.

You’ll be greeted by the two deepest holes in Las Gachas, which are not swimmable for obvious reasons – the water doesn’t go high enough so once you’re in, you’re likely stuck.  Probably not the best way to experience Quebrada Las Gachas.

Take a left and walk up the river – it will take around two minutes to hit the main section, with lots of sinkholes to jump and slide into!

Quebrada Las Gachas

Right when I arrived, I knew all the travel to get here was worth it.

Between the views and the many sinkholes, this is a really great and fun spot.

Early morning view in Quebrada Las Gachas

We got there pretty early in the morning, around 8 AM, and we were the only people there.  The only downside of being there so early is that the water is colder, but once you’re used to it, it’s totally fine.

Overall, this is such a cool place to just hang out, relax, and jump into sinkholes.  And if you forget beer, there’s even a number posted that you can call to get some delivered!  Unfortunately, we didn’t try this.

It’s incredible that a place like this doesn’t have big crowds, although that will change.  I highly, highly recommend checking out Quebrada Las Gachas – it’s so unique and not like anything I’d ever been to before.

The town of Guadalupe

The main square and cathedral in Guadalupe

It’s impossible to visit Quebrada Las Gachas without going to Guadalupe, but that’s a good thing.  Guadalupe is a well maintained colonial town, with the biggest attraction being the typical colonial main square and cathedral.

Being far from any major city, Guadalupe has a very rural character.  Cowboy hats are common, and in a sign that this town is quite safe, kids were hanging out in the main square (without their parents) well after dark.

There are a few restaurants but since we were there on a weekday, only two were open the night we were there.  You’re not coming to Guadalupe for the food, but the options aren’t bad.

Staying in Guadalupe

From another blog, I learned about Jose’s Hostal Bonanza (and I’m not even aware of other lodging options in the town.)  There’s no online booking, but you can reserve a space by sending Jose a WhatsApp message at +57 311 8351573.   I’d highly recommend messaging him in advance, especially since the hostel doesn’t have a formal reception.  Jose is also really helpful with information about the town, buses out, and even gave us a moto ride to catch up to our bus out after we missed the departure!

When we were there, we were the only people staying at the hostel.  It was pretty basic but the beds were decent, and it was only 20,000 COP (around $7 USD) per night.  Unfortunately, there’s no wifi, but the town square has free wifi 30 seconds away.

Overall, the best part were the jumps, so to close, here’s one of the last jumps of the day!

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