Bogota · Colombia · Rio Negro Rafting · South America · Teaching English · Tobia · Travel


So we have been wanting to go to San Gil in Santander near Bucaramanga. I read about it before coming to the country.  It is supposed to be the adventure capital of Colombia.  It is 6 hours by bus though and so harder to get to. We looked and looked for white water rafting closer to Bogota and found this little city called Tobia that is only 1½ hours away. The Rio Negro runs through there. It is a very small town to the northwest of Bogota and built around a square.

To get there, we took the Transmilineo to Portal 80 and then caught a bus from outside the station going to Villavicencio. We got off the bus by a side road and hitched a ride down a dirt road to the town of Tobia and then a little out of town to a center called Rio Negro Rafting. There are multiple centers for activities on the side roads out of Tobia and they are all similar with places to camp, rooms to rent, restaurants and lots of activities.

bus tobia

The Rio Negro Rafting center was built into the middle of the forest. We heard and saw birds in the trees, there were Cacao trees with pods growing on them and fruit trees all around the area. There were large bathrooms and changing rooms all open aired. The restaurant was open air as well and there was a breeze blowing through. It was so calm and peaceful. We had booked a rafting trip, a horse-riding outing and lunch. We were going back to Bogota that evening.


We were so close to Bogota and it was hot! It is amazing that the weather changes so quickly so close to the city.  It felt so very good to be hot!! There was a swimming pool there as well, and we thought about hanging out by the pool. There was a large covered patio with hammocks too. There were way too many things to do! I felt so peaceful and excited to come back!!

We went rafting which was fun, there were some level 3s, but parts were a little tranquil. It wasn’t boring at all, but definitely what we had been expecting.  We talked to the guide and he said that we were here during a more peaceful time. He said in about a month it gets more exciting, that means I’ll be back!

We then had lunch in the restaurant which was very relaxing and surprisingly delicious. We had a couple of beers in the hammocks and then went horse-riding. The horse ride was beautiful. We went up the mountain behind the town and valley. The view was so worth it, he let us stay by the side of the road looking out at the valley and take pictures. The horses were well treated and beautiful. The owner/guide was the uncle of a girl who worked at Rio Negro Rafting and he was informative and funny. He loved his city and country-side and his information about the area increased my desire to return.


We got back and had a beer and waited for the ride out to the highway to catch the bus back to Bogota – it was a perfect day!


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