Barichara, Santander Province, Colombia, November 1 to 3rd, 2012
One of the most enchanting towns on earth is Barichara. It is a small, beautifully preserved, colonial town on a mesa in the Santander province in Colombia. If it weren’t in the middle of Colombia, it would be overrun with tourists.
Hilary, Siggy, Tony and I were privileged to spend a couple of days in Barichara. Even in the short time we were there and without speaking Spanish, we encountered four people who had stumbled across Barichara, fallen under its spell and moved to Barichara, changing careers in the process.
We were delighted with our hotel, the Achiotte Boutique Hotel. The owner/builder/manager had worked as a dentist in Spain for many years, returned to Colombia, visited Barichara and bought land and stayed.
We arrived in the evening of the Day of the Dead. In the main square, in front of the cathedral, a traditional dance was being performed. The dancers were wearing animal skins and masks of goat skulls.
The town is pristine. There must be rules in place about signage and paint colors; apart from the cars and power lines, it could be anytime in the last 300 years.
We enjoyed our stroll around town. It took a full half day. Here are some snaps from our wanderings.
Artists and craftsmen have set up shop in Barichara. We poked our heads into an assortment of attractive tienda/tallers (stores/workshops) on our walk about town. We admired the attractive wooden jewelery and boxes made at VerdeAzul.
Fique (similar to sisal) is a popular crop in the area. It’s made into bags and rugs and paper. Tony and I stopped at the fique paper shop and learned how the paper is made.