26 Jan Take a Breather in Suesca, Colombia
It’s hard to believe that you’ll find the best rock climbing spot in Colombia just 45 minutes outside of Bogotá. Even if you’re not into climbing, it’s still worth staying a night or two. Just like the city, the sun is harsh during the day so don’t forget to apply sunscreen. However, temperatures drop down to 12*C at night, a few degrees colder than Bogotá so bring along some warm clothing and sleeping bag if you have one.
Buses leave near the North Terminal, about 500 meters past the big Exito supermarket. Different colored buses will stop on the side of the road to collect passengers. Hop on a direct one that leaves every half hour to Suesca for CBP 6,000. Notice the scenery change from a modern metropolis to dusty old villages and wide open spaces. Have the bus driver drop you off at Hostal El Descano on the main road before the bridge. It’s about a kilometer before you get to the town’s main center. “Por aca, señor. Por favor!”
Hostal El Descanso is a hidden gem in Suesca. Dorm beds start at CBP 20,000 with a light breakfast of bread, cheese and coffee or tea. The rooms are cozy, clean and very spacious. I first stayed at the more popular option nearby, El Nomada Hostal and was gravely disappointed. I will not go into further detail here, but you may read my honest review on Trip Advisor.
Hostal El Descanso does not have any presence online, but you’ll probably be fine without a reservation. The owner Gisella and her family lives in the city and drive up on the weekends to personally look after the place. When she isn’t around, a friendly little old lady is in charge. She speaks very little English, but nonetheless accommodating. Ask her 10 year old son about other points of interest in Colombia and he’ll give you very helpful information! Settle into your cozy room, get to know the two resident friendly dogs and chill in one of the hammocks in their lovely garden.
A cheaper option is to bring your own tent and stay in the camping site for CBP 10,000 per person per night. They have shared bathrooms and ample space for hundreds of tents, lots of fun activities during the weekends. I would’ve loved to stay there if it weren’t so freakin’ cold! If you are driving up to Suesca, and want to sleep inside your vehicle, you may also park in the huge vacant lot by the hill for a small fee and camp there with some friendly cows.
Find the railroad tracks and hike up the big hill to see the most impressive panoramic views of the area. It doesn’t look much from the bottom, but you wont regret making the effort! The main town is in the far distance, happy cows munching on green fields close by and the camping, climbing spots are right below you. Hire a mountain bike and get lost in the lush green landscape.
Suesca is a climber’s heaven with over 300 bolted routes and endless possibilities for trad climbing. Find the little yellow guide book in your hostel to familiarize yourself with the routes. You may also purchase it for CBP 30,000 from the corner store Monodedo that sells everything from climbing chalk to shoes.
On a weekend, you can just walk along the train tracks and different rock climbing instructors will offer you to climb on the spot starting at CBP 30,000 of routes if you just really wanna try it out. Proper lessons start at CBP 50,000 for a couple of hours, including equipment and experienced guide. Of course you are welcome to bring all your own gear and climb independently without any charge.
You’ll find a lot of beginner routes closer to the entrance and they get more difficult as you walk past the statue of the Virgin Mary on top of the rock. Also loads of multi-pitch routes here, try to find “Heaven Can Wait”.