San Gil

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Top 10 Travel Destinations San Gil

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52 travelers at this place

  • Day189

    Extended stay in Colombia

    March 14, 2020 in Colombia ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    When we woke up at 6am, there was no running water. As this has happened before, we decided to sleep a little longer as waiting usually solves the problem. And indeed, at 7:30am, the water was back on.
    We had breakfast and started our cycling day by pushing the bikes out of Aratoca because the roads were too steep to ride. Back on the main road, we could get back on the bicycles, and continue our trip to San Gil. It was a nice and easy ride with some climbing at the beginning but a great and long downhill into the town. The scenery was cool as well and we heard the crazily loud noise of grasshoppers most of the time.
    We only cycled about 30km today as we are taking it slowly at the moment. Due to the Coronavirus, South American countries are closing their borders to foreigners. So we figured we may as well take our time to see more of Colombia. Our visa does not expire until end of May and there's heaps to see and bike here.
    In San Gil, we checked into a hostal. Here, we also heard the expected news that Ecuador will close its borders tonight, Peru on Monday. So I guess we'll really have some more time to explore this diverse country.
    The town seems to be a backpackers' mekka, you can do all adrenaline stuff such as rafting, bungee jumping, paragliding, caving, canyoning... We just went for a walk around the town with its crazily steep roads, checked out a view point and the central square, did some chores and cooked dinner at the hostal.
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    Enjoy your time. We are limiting our exposure and spending most of our time in our house (probably for 2-3 more weeks.) Be safe and have fun! Jim and Lisa ❤️🚲

    Rico O.

    Es gibt schlimmere Orte festzusitzen ;-). Weiter viel Spaß

    Her Bert

    Solange es Nudeln und Klopapier zu kaufen gibt, machen wir uns keine Sorgen 😅

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  • Day195

    Getting ready for the lockdown

    March 20, 2020 in Colombia ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    In the Santander, the state we are in right now, there'll be an obligatory general curfew starting tonight. For now, it's only for 78 hours, but who knows? Anyways, we are preparing for staying in our hostel in San Gil for a while. So first we bought some Spanish books and a puzzle to kill time indoors. Furthermore, we used the time for studying more Spanish.
    Today, we went for a final bike ride before we can't go outdoors anymore. We cycled uphill to the tiny airport and followed some dirt roads before heading back to town. Finding our way back to the main road wasn't easy as most turns ended on a private property. But people were always friendly and directed us back on the main track.
    Back home, we had a hot shower as it was relatively cold (18°C). Afterwards, we went grocery shopping, so we have the basics for the next 4 days.
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    Sören Hebold

    Na dann mal viel Spaß beim Puzzeln und Zeit vertreiben😉 Hoffe ihr könnt bald weiter- aber wer weiß das schon in diesen Tagen. Macht das Beste draus und bleibt gesund😊👍🏼

    Ulrike Thees

    Gute Gesundheit und herzlichen Gruß aus dem Bayern-Land 🍺 Uli

    Meike Grothe

    Die Ausgangssperre wurde jetzt bis zum 13.4. ausgerufen. Da werden wir wohl ne ganze Zeit nicht weiter kommen 😞🤷‍♀️

    Sören Hebold


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  • Day200

    Day 200 and the quarantine

    March 25, 2020 in Colombia ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    Who would have thought that we spend our 200th day of our trip locked up in a house in Colombia because of a worldwide epidemic? Noone could have predicted this, that's for sure!!
    In Colombia, travel has been largely restricted since 16th of March. Since last Friday night, there's state curfews, so it isn't allowed for people to leave the house anymore, except for grocery shopping or going to a doctor or similar. At midnight today, a nationwide curfew started, so these rules apply in all of Colombia.
    We still think we are kind of lucky because we found a good place to stay during this difficult situation. First, the climate in San Gil is nice. Temperatures during the night drop to about 20 degrees, so we don't need airconditioning or a fan during the night. Before 10am and after 4pm, temperatures are cool enough to exercise.
    Secondly, we have running water all day, electricity, a fully working kitchen and a bed. What sounds normal to most people is actually not everyday life for everyone here in Colombia.
    Thirdly, we also have quite some space in the building including a patio, so we can see the sky even if we have to stay at home. It's not allowed to leave the house for exercising, so we use it for online trainings. Good to see there's heaps of offers on YouTube such as Yoga or #lederhosentraining.
    In general, we try to keep a daily routine: get up around 6:30am, start with breakfast and followed by our morning exercise. During the hot hours, we puzzle, study Spanish, read, catch up with the news or with friends and family. Once it cools down, we do our evening workout, followed by dinner. Before going to bed, we usually watch some comedy online. We found a way to download videos on the phone, transfer it to the camera and connect it to the tv, so we have a big screen to watch it. In general, we prefer older comedy shows with last year's topics to get a break from Corona.
    Yesterday was a highlight in our routine. In between state and national curfew, there was a day of a break. We took our bikes and went uphill for a ride to exercise a little. It was soooo good for our souls to be outdoors, a totally different feeling!! And again, we are lucky to be in San Gil as there's mountains all around. We can make 600m elevation gain on remote roads in only 10km. So we don't even have to go far in order to get a decent training and enjoy the views. Unfortunately, the officials here realized that all people used the "free" day to go out. So we got sent back to town when a firefighter passed us on his scooter. He also critized us for not wearing a face masks.
    In general, people go crazy about the masks here. 95% of the people here wear them which is scary to us. We refused so far, but when someone yelled at us on the road again when going shopping, we decided to wear some as well. Lucky, we still had the ones we received in California which were supposed to protect is against the smoke of the fires. They won't help against the virus, but people here are satisfied and we won't end up in the news as the foreigners who refuse to wear masks... Anyways, apart from groceries, we could also buy a skipping rope and 3 balls for juggling which will hopefully distract us a little during the next 19 days.
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    sounds very cheerful given the situation! Glad you are in such a good place! Best wishes from Jana, Andi and Lilia


    from Steve and Susan (on train in Panama) we are glad you have a good place and are such optimists! We are restricted to our house too, but we are also in the mountains and can go outside to hike. What an addition to your adventure!


    Alles gute für euch. Hört sich ja zum Glück so an das ihr einem Lagerkoller noch entgegenwirken könnt. Haltet die Ohren Steif, und ich lasst euch nicht zu sehr herunterziehen das ihr nicht weiter fahren könnt.

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  • Day233

    A first little step towards freedom

    April 27, 2020 in Colombia ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    Unfortunately, we are still in San Gil and still in lockdown, as the Colombian Government extended the curfew until 11 May for now. This means, we'll be staying here for at least 2 more weeks.
    The last 2 weeks, we followed our daily routine of workouts, yoga, reading, eating... We found a German beer in the supermarket, discovered a super cheap absolutely amazing burger place with delivery service and perfected our do-it-yourself mobile and beer stand for our regular movie nights. We also had some video calls with friends which is a really good distraction from our daily life inside a house.
    However, something has changed positively starting from today: the president realized that exercising outdoors is important for one's health. It's generally restricted to morning hours (5-8am) and within 1km radius of your house. So, of course, first thing we did this morning was going out for fast walking around the blocks close to our hostel.
    Once we got back, we found out, that in San Gil, they actually restricted the exercising hours based on the last number of your passport: for example, with my "8", I'm allowed to exercise for one hour on Tuesdays, 7-9am and Fridays, 5-7am. Good the police didn't check us today 😉
    Furthermore, we got 2 new housemates: the hostel owner and his mum moved in as they had to give up their apartment during this time with no income. Andrés, our housemate up til now, on the other hand, moved back to his aunt and uncle to work in their workshop to earn some money. Today, we helped moving the furniture out of the apartment which provided another excuse to get out 😉
    Let's see what is going to come in the next couple of weeks..
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    CundA aus NY

    Hallo ihr beiden, gut schaut ihr aus nach sechs Wochen Stubenarrest. 👋


    Great guys, soon gehts weiter!

    Jim Cochran

    Are you guys ok? Jim and Lisa ❤️

    Her Bert

    Yeah, we are OK. Still beating time and waiting for a miracle to happen (as we've heard from a president 😏)

    Jim Cochran

    Happy you are safe and send warm thoughts! Take care! Jim and Lisa❤️

  • Day249

    The end is near

    May 13, 2020 in Colombia ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    We've lost count of our days in lockdown already... It's been almost 2 months now that we can't move on. After 6 months of continuous travelling, we are stuck in a town, even in one house, which is a difficult situation. We are lucky to be healthy, to have friends to video-call with and people who support us here in Colombia with offering us a nice place to stay. However, when they announced another extension of the lockdown until 25th May, we decided to look for flight opportunities back to Europe. It was a hard decision for us, but with still increasing numbers of Covid infections in Colombia as well as in other South American countries, we don't believe (bike) travelling will be easily possible any time soon in this region. So now we are waiting for either moving up on the waiting list for European repatriation flights (German flights already left beginning of April) or for the airport to reopen for commercial international flights. Let's see...

    In general, there's a very regional strategy to confront the pandemic here in Colombia. As San Gil is - luckily - a "Corona-free" town, most of the businesses can open again. They also allow us to do grocery shopping 2x per week again - based on your passport number - and exercise any day between Monday and Friday within the borders of the town (no radius of 1km anymore) for one hour between 5 and 8am. We totally made use of this little freedom and cycled to the regional airport, 10km and 500m of elevation away from our hostal. This is also the border of San Gil as you can see by the blocked road. However, we are really happy to feel the wind again around our heads 😊
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    Looking forward to hear from you herbi- [Frank]


    Ich drücke euch die Daumen, dass sich bald eine Möglichkeit zum Heimflug ergibt, es war immer total spannend euren Tripp zu verfolgend ist es ja auch immer noch, habt ganz herzlichen Dank, dass ich aus dem fernen Deutschland/Warburg dabei sein durfte, ich habe absolute Hochachtung für eure Tour, haltet durch und bleibt gesund, ganz liebe Grüße aus Warburg, Petra Ebentreich [Petra Ebentreich]

    Ulrike Thees

    Eine Entscheidung die sicherlich schwer fällt. Die bisherigen Erfahrungen tragt ihr in euch ❣️🍃 , egal wohin die Lebensreise weiter geht 👋 Liebe Grüße Uli

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  • Day191

    Corona stop

    March 16, 2020 in Colombia ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    It seems like we are stuck for a while. This morning, we got the news that hotels have to close (including our hostel) and some regions (including Santander where we are in at the moment) don't let travellers pass anymore.
    The owner of the hostel offered us to stay here for a while. As it's a nice place (the hostel as well as the region), we decided to stay and observe the situation. We really don't want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere with no hotel options around.
    So first thing we did was to buy fruit, vegetables and beer (toilet paper was sold out already, but there's still enough in the hostel 😉). We also registered at the local secretary of health. They took our personal information as well as our health status (no symptons). They told us that we shouldn't have any problems because we've been in the country for 15 days now (JUST), which is considered to be the critical time for bringing the virus into the country. We didn't get any official certificate, but can always refer to the registration in case we get stopped by the police.
    Then, Herbert replaced the chains of the bikes which he was going to do anyways some time soon. Our temporary Australian housemate Ishan prepared sandwiches for lunch and a peanut butter curry for dinner.
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    Johann Kuhlmann

    Macht das beste draus und haltet die Ohren steif... ich wünsche euch, dass ihr bald weiter könnt.

  • Day10

    Auf nach San Gil

    October 1, 2019 in Colombia ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    Während wir unser Lunchpaket für die anstehende Busfahrt zubereiteten, bekamen wir das Angebot nach Tunja zu unserem Umsteigepunkt mit dem Auto mitgenommen zu werden. Nachdem das Gepäck verladen und wir angeschnallt waren, freuten wir uns auf eine schnelle Ankunft. Doch es kam anders als erhofft. Da die Bremsen des Autos nicht funktionierten, war der Bus doch die bessere Entscheidung. In Tunja angekommen, hatten wir ca. 1h Aufenthalt und trafen zwei, uns schon vom Wandern bekannte, deutsche Männer wieder. Im Gegensatz zu dem einen Mann haben unsere Mägen bislang alles fast ganz gut verkraftet. Toi toi toi.
    Bis nach San Gil fuhren wir in einem Luxusliner an Bus mit viel Beinfreiheit und Sitzen, die man bis in eine Liegeposition verstellen konnte, weiter. Allerdings ließ ihn die gut gemeinte Klimaanlage wie eine Eiskammer anfühlen. Im Gegensatz zu den warmen Temperaturen außerhalb des Bus'. Wir merken, dass wir auf dem Weg zur Karibik sind. :) In San Gil sind es durchschnittlich 24 °C. Es ist keine schöne Stadt, hat aber in der Umgebung viele Outdoor-Aktivitäten und schöne Ausflugsziele zu bieten, von denen wir sicherlich in den nächsten Tagen einige unsicher machen werden.
    Geschafft von der 6h Busfahrt, ließen wir den Tag in der Hängematte ausklingen.
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    Alexander Monhof

    Sau cool

  • Day208

    Killing time

    April 2, 2020 in Colombia ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    Although we can't bike on, we are not totally lazy. Colombia has been in lockdown for almost 2 weeks now. This means that we are not allowed to go outside except for grocery shopping. And even this is restricted to only 2 days per week which is based on the last number of your Combian ID. As we obviously don't have a Colombian ID, we show them the number at the bottom of our passports. Here, I have an "8", so I am allowed to buy food on Thursdays and Saturdays, Herbert with his "6" on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The last photo shows the regulation for San Gil.
    This system is actually implemented differently in each city or village. Sometimes, a certain number can go on a different day, sometimes during a specific time slot. In some cities, you can use public transport only at a certain hour depending on your last number. I guess this system has a good intention, but can make things really chaotic and difficult. For example, when people from the village need to come into town to get money from the bank and in their village, they can leave the house on a Tuesday, but in town they are only allowed to enter the bank on a Thursday...
    Meanwhile, we try to kill our time. We finished the puzzle within 3 days, using trial-and-error for the blue sky. We also baked bread. As we don't have a working oven, Herbert is trying to build our own oven-like system. The 3rd trial wasn't actually too bad.
    Furthermore, we do a lot of exercise. The skipping rope saves our stamina and 2 yoga sessions per day make our bodies more flexible again after 6 months on the bikes. And thanks to amazon Colombia, our friends in Switzerland could surprise us with some European beers 😀
    We can't do much, but we also try to help the people here as much as possible. Therefore, we painted a couple of walls in the hostel. We also try to use local delivery services. This is, however, a little more complicated compared to Germany for example, as there is no central website for deliveries or many websites of local restaurants in general. So when we walk through town, we look for papers posted on restaurant doors that refer to a delivery service or search facebook pages for people who advertise in local groups.
    Overall, we really miss cycling. But considering the worldwide situation, I guess we can't complain.
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    Anne-Kathrin Ernst

    Weiterhin viel Geduld, gute Einfälle für den Zeitvertreib und bleibt vor allem gesund👍

    Anne-Kathrin Ernst

    Noch ein kleiner Tipp : podcast #weltwach ; Kennt ihr aber sicher schon😊

    Her Bert

    Danke. Den hatten wir bisher nicht auf dem Schirm. Das hört sich nach neuen Inspirationen an 😉

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  • Day214

    Early Easter egg hunt

    April 8, 2020 in Colombia ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    Things are getting pretty boring here. The Colombian government extended the curfew until 26 April. Plus, they changed the regulation for going out and reduced it to once per week during the Easter week. So we are staying in our hostel doing the usual: working out, reading, eating, sleeping... As it's Easter, we got a treat of pizza and Colombian rum which should get us through the rest of the quarantine. Our yoga skills are still pretty basic, but improving - and so are our cooking skills... Our personal highlight this week was the spare part of the blender that arrived yesterday, so we can finally make smoothies again 😀 Who would have thought that we spend "7 months on the road" locked-in??Read more


    I am thinking about you! I always was looking forward to my daily read of your journey. Please stay safe and healthy and keep up your positive spirit and habits. I am sure you will be back on the road again in a few weeks and your continued trip will be even more spectacular and memorable.

    CundA aus NY

    Sieht wirklich gut aus

    Florian Köppl

    Hat die Mutter Gottes einen Mundschutz auf dem Bild im Hintergrund!?! 😷

    Meike Grothe

    Ja, hat sie tatsächlich. Die wusste wohl von Corona... 🤔😉

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  • Day530

    San Gil

    June 12 in Colombia ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    I visited Johanna in San Gil. She told me about her community life somewhere in nowhere 30 minutes from San Gil.
    I had a hostel with an epic breakfast included and I enjoyed the Colombian lifestyle.

    After two nights in San Gil I took the bus to Bogotá. I spent a full day at the airport before my journey continued to the most beautiful Colombian Caribbean island. Well ok, We have to be specific: Colombian Caribbean island. There are thousands of other islands…
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You might also know this place by the following names:

San Gil, سان خیل, სან-ხილი, San Chilis, 聖希爾