Though totally landlocked and located at just over 2,000 feet (700 meters), San Juan Girón (which everyone simply calls Girón) has a surprisingly sultry, Caribbean climate which washes over the town’s famous colonial architecture.
Travel highlights of Girón, Colombia
Modern Girón is hardly worth a second look. The small, tidy colonial heart of town, however, is a different story. It consists of less than 50 blocks but the center is an atmospheric charmer with cobblestone streets (they look fantastic but they’re a pain to drive or walk on) and well-preserved and methodically white-washed colonial buildings which have earned Girón a place on the very short list of Pueblos Patrimonios in Colombia and the nickname “The White City.”
A Caribbean game called bolo, which is like bowling but is played with a stone ball and just three pins, suddenly popped up around Girón as did tobacco fields which added to the Caribbean feeling of the place.
Head for the promenade along the Rio de Oro to find makeshift fritanga restaurants where around US$10 will get you a plate piled high with fried pork, chorizo, blood sausage, potatoes, and more. It’s big enough to share. Morsels are pickup up with toothpicks and Colombians like to wash it all down with a mixture of beer and a local bright pink soda called Primero. We stuck to plain beer.
Ironically, a top attraction is sweaty Girón is a small church with a revered image of the Virgin of the Snows inside. You’ll also want to find a shady bench in tranquil Parque Peralta, also known as Lovers Park.
For a town this size, and one that’s usually visited as a day trip from nearby Bucamaranga (just a few miles away), we were pleased to find the six room Girón Chill Out Hotel Boutique which was offered more style and comfort than we’d expected. Rooms (from 210,000 COP or about US$70) include A/C and a full breakfast.
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I have never visited Girón, but I think I will have to list it. It sounds like a calm and serene place. The Primero drinks, are they worth a shot? The food looks amazing though, and the accommodation is lovely. I have never tried blood sausages, are they good?
We never tried the Primero soda….we’re not big soda drinkers, especially when the soda is bright pink…But blood sausages in Latin America (called morcilla) are terrific.
Count me among the ones that have never heard of this place as well. Looks like I might have to lump it in next time I go on a trip to South America!
I’ve been in Giron, during their annual celebration and it’s quite a nice pleasant walk through the village all the way up to the cemetery…
It’s really a quaint little town with some Rivers running through it, nice place to stop and eat for the day and it’s just a simple bus ride from Bucaramanga.