Updated: Sep 20, 2019
In a city in which horse drawn carriages share the street with a bevy of motorcycles, Buga is the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of big city life. Only a short drive from Cali, Buga is a peaceful cattle industry town of less than 100,000 people. It is one of the oldest cities in Colombia and this is very evident when you walk the streets. Being a small city, you won´t find as much variety or special items you would find in bigger cities like Bogota, Cali or Medellin but there is still a lot of things you can do here.
Visit the Basilica! Even if you are not religious, you have to see the Basilica. This is one of the most prominent sites in the city; a towering, pink structure set against the backdrop of a clear blue sky. Inside is the object of reverence, the Black Christ statue, which is a huge draw among locals and foreigners. The Basilica attracts about three (3) million tourists every year. Near the Basilica you will find an array of shops selling countless religious items you can think of, the central one being figurines of the Black Christ.
Another impressive site is the ¨La Cascada de los Milagros,¨ which when translated means ¨The Waterfall of Miracles¨. The way there is a short, somewhat treacherous journey because of the algae that grows on so many of the rocks which makes them very slippery. There is an intriguing myth that goes along with this waterfall and it is said to possess miraculous powers to heal. Although I didn´t experience any miracles while there, the scenery on the way to the waterfall is extremely beautiful.
Join a Hiking Group. The highlight of Buga is off the beaten path. Buga's appeal lies in its stunning natural landscape of lush forests, green acres of farmlands, rivers, lakes and waterfalls. It is home to thousands of rare species of birds and plants. While in Buga I joined a hiking group called the Maja Hierro. This is an awesome group that goes on frequent trips into the mountains of Buga. On Facebook they have around 2,000 followers and if you are ever in the city you should get in contact with them. It is a great way to meet locals and have lots of fun. I got to see a lot of the beautiful landscapes of the town through this group.
The waterpark at Club Guadalajara de Buga Confenalco is a great place to spend the day and you can participate in a range of sports while there. Temperatures in the day can be sweltering and what better way to pass the time than by hanging out at the pool? For just 6,000 pesos along with the presentation of your Cedula you will have access to the facility. The most popular attraction is the huge water slide but you will have to join a very long line to get to use it.
The next time you are in the Valle de Cauca region, don´t let this small cattle industry town of 100,000 inhabitants be an afterthought in favor of Cali. There is a lot to see, experience and explore in Buga and once you get here you will wish you will never have to leave.
About The Writer
Christopher Brown is a Jamaican student who is currrently living in Spain. He enjoys traveling and enjoying the culture of where he travels to.