Buga is a quiet village in the western part of Colombia. Locals find pride in the Basílica del Señor de los Milagros, where the sacred image of Christ was believed to work miracles. It has attracted over 3 million pilgrims per year visiting the Basilica of The Lord of the Miracles. Other than the religious favor, Buga boasts a great natural environment for visitors. So, natural things like trekking, wildlife viewing, birdwatching are just a shortlist of what you can do over here.
1. Take nature photos at the Juan María Céspedes Botanical Garden
The garden is less than an hour north of Buga covering an area of 380 acres (1.53 square kilometers), and here you should be able to spot a wide range of birds and butterflies. Go along the trails and pay attention, take out your camera and shoot - orchids, palms and heliconia are all in position for your camera.
The Juan María Céspedes Botanical Garden
Address: Corregimiento de Mateguadua, Municipality of Tuluá
2. Walking or trekking at Las Hermosas National Nature Park
This park is easily accessible by visitors featuring a conservation area with 387 bodies of water - visitors who came to this park reported viewing bears, tapirs, deer, mountain rabbits, and other wildlife. There are birds also in this reserve.
Las Hermosas National Nature Park
Address: Valle del Cauca and Tolima departments, at the highest elevation of Cordillera Central range in the Andean Region of Colombia
3. Waterfalls at Guadua Park
Guadua Park occupies 12.5 acres (50,000 square meters) of land with bamboo and heliconia, providing a natural paradise for birds, nature trails, a waterfall and natural pools of warm water.
Address: Tulua, Tuluá, Valle del Cauca, Colombia
Website: Guadua Park
4. Nature and cultural immersion at Lake Calima and Calima Archaeological Museum
Located only an hour west of Buga, Lake Calima is a reservoir turned tourist attraction. The constant blowing of strong wind makes it suitable for windsurfing and kitesurfing. Wildlife and flora are plenty in the area. Visitors can walk over to the Calima Archaeological Museum (a few minutes’ walk from Lake Calima) to learn about the history of the first settlers and the Amerindian cultures (Ilama, Yotoco, Sonso, and Malagana).
Calima Archaeological Museum
Website: Calima Archaeological Museum
5. Paintings of nature at the Rayo Museum
Rayo Museum is located in Roldanillo, which is about an hour drive from Buga. The museum houses mainly the work of master artist Omar Rayo including his paintings, sculptures and works from other Colombian and foreign artists. Admire the nature being captured by these artists, or you can get your hands into drawing by participating in the museum’s events.
Address: Calle 8 # 8-53, 23 #53, Roldanillo, Valle del Cauca, Colombia 2298623
Website: Rayo Museum
6. Pottery, the natural art at Bugalagrande
Bugalagrande is 37 minute drive away from Buga, and is located at the cross junction of three major rivers (Cauca, La Paila and Bugalagrande). Pottery is well-known here in this town, and you can shop for some souvenirs if it is not too fragile or too heavy.
Address: at the cross junction of three major rivers (Cauca, La Paila and Bugalagrande)
7. Nature inspired cathedrals
At Basilica de Nuestro Senor de Los Milagros de Buga, the image of Christ is worshipped as miracles took place in his presence. This site has drawn millions of pilgrims and devotees every year. The building has a state-of-the-art architectural structure and fixtures. Its doors, stained glass, clock, bells and central baccarat lamps were imported from France; the tubular organ was brought in from Germany and the wooden altars were built by the bugueños cabinet makers.
Basilica de Nuestro Senor de Los Milagros de Buga
Address: Carrrera 14 #3-62, Buga, Cauca Valley
8. The view of nature at El Derrumbado
Walk up to El Derrumbado where you can view the entire Buga valley; you will find a monument at the top of the hill. Locals enjoy this location especially over the weekends. It is located at the end of the Ecosaludable-park, you will walk through meandering paths through the beautiful farmlands before reaching the hill top. On a clear day, you can look around from the hill top and the un-blocked view is breath-taking.
Address: Buga, Guadalajara de Buga, Valle del Cauca, Colombia
9. Birdwatching at Laguna el Sonso
Laguna el Sonso is only a 15-minute ride from Buga, allowing visitors to have an eye-feast of forest birds. The extensive lagoons and marshes allow rain forestry to flourish, and it has become a bird’s paradise. If you like birding, here you should be able to spot some common potoo, crimson-crested woodpeckers and even dwarf cuckoos. Fish, reptiles and other mammals are drawn here as well - you may be surprised what you can find here.
Laguna el Sonso
Address: Valle del Cauca, Colmbia, north of the city of Cali
Website: Laguna el Sonso (in Spanish)
10. Stay close to nature at Castillo de la Cerveza, Buga
This historic place is now transformed into a bar, providing natural ventilation and a good hangout place at night with music. Guests can stay close to nature, eat to their fill and be entertained with live music. You can also venture out to Ginerbra (30-minutes south of Buga) for the famous Sanchocho chicken soup.
Castillo de la Cerveza
Address: Calle Buenaventura, Valle del Cauca
Buga's natural favor
Buga may be small and unknown, but there are plenty of beautiful sights that are connected to nature. Mind you, Buga is listed as one of the Heritage Villages of Colombia! There are strong heritages to explore together with beautiful nature. Both just come naturally as you venture into Buga village of Colombia!
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