Day Trip to Ciudad Bolívar in Antioquia

Ciudad Bolivar name

Ciudad Bolivar name

 

Last year when we visited Medellin we managed to do a few trips out of the city to Jardin and Mariquita in Tolima. This year we have managed just the one so far, not because we didn’t want to do a bit more sight-seeing but Moni has been so busy of late with the launch of some new programs and coaching sessions time is limited.

Having said that, I’m happy to tell you that I’ve just booked a 7 day Eastern Caribbean cruise on the newest cruise ship in the world the Norwegian Escape. Even though she is the newest cruise ship in the world at time of writing, this will be our second cruise on her in four months and our Review of the Norwegian Escape is worth a read for cruiseaholics.

Anyway, back to our…

Day trip to Ciudad Bolívar

Ciudad Bolivar is in the Southwest municipality of Antioquia, a 3 half hour bus journey from Medellin.

Buses at the Terminal del Sur

Buses at the Terminal del Sur

 

There are two bus terminals in Medellin, this one in the south of the city and the other in the north which you would need if you wanted to take a bus trip to visit the popular destination of Guatape and the El Penol rock.

The Terminal del Sur the south bus terminal is a big station with over 40 ticket booths, which can make finding the right one a challenge, just ask someone if you’re stuck, the people are very friendly and will be pleased to help.

Ticket counter in the Terminal del Sur, Medellin

Ticket counter in the Terminal del Sur, Medellin

 

Our ticket counter was number 31 and we purchased three tickets, our good friend Enrique from the very popular restaurant El Supremo in Envigado joined us for this day trip.

Ready for our day trip to Ciudad Bolivar

Ready for our day trip to Ciudad Bolivar

 

Tickets cost 20,000.00 COP  $8.60 AUD each way

One thing to remember here is that once you buy your ticket you’ll then need to pass through a checkpoint a bit like going to your gate at an airport, be sure to visit the loo before entering this area as there are none in this waiting area.

The checkpoint for departure

The checkpoint for departure

 

There are toilets located around the station and down near ticket counter number 1, these loo’s cost some small change but are clean and safe.

Rapido Ochoa bus service to Ciudad Bolivar

The buses which line up outside do have names and numbers on that should corispond with your ticket, just check with the driver to confirm. Really though, they won’t let you on without a valid ticket, but I’d hate for you to be waiting for a bus in the wrong spot.

A typical bus from Medellin, Colombia

A typical bus from Medellin, Colombia

 

Your ticket allocates you a seat number so no need to rush to get on.

Colombian bus ticket Medellin to Ciudad Bolivar

Colombian bus ticket Medellin to Ciudad Bolivar

 

Our seats were at the very back of the reasonably new bus. Even though the bus was full it didn’t stop the driver from picking up a few more passengers along the way whom sat on the floor or stood for the entire three hours, and yes they had to pay a fare.

The bus ride was great. Moni & I love to travel by bus or coach and each time we do we always remind ourselves of the backpacking days of traveling around Australia by Greyhound bus all those years ago.

A view from the bus trip to Ciudad Bolivar

A view from the bus trip to Ciudad Bolivar

 

After a couple of stops along the way we arrived in Ciudad Bolívar, basically it was a direct bus to Ciudad Bolivar and then continuing on to Quibdo.

The main road in and through Ciudad Bolivar, Antioquia

The main road in and through Ciudad Bolivar, Antioquia

 

The bus stops along the main road in town near to the Rapido Ochoa bus terminal. It’s not much of a terminal really and is tucked in off of the main road, be sure to find it because this is where you’ll need to catch the bus back to Medellin.

Bus station for Rapido Ochoa in Ciudad Bolivar

Bus station for Rapido Ochoa in Ciudad Bolivar

 

By the way, this bus did have a toilet onboard, but not all do as was the case on our return bus to Medellin.

Arriving in Ciudad Bolivar

Walking up a side street (which if I remember correct is the first on the left from the bus station) you’ll come to the main square which on this day was packed with people. Everything runs off this main square in the town, it’s the hub of Ciudad Bolivar with cafés, restaurants, shops, bars etc all around and the square itself full of people and small street vendors.

The atmosphere was buzzing, each bar playing its typical Colombian music louder than the next, locals sat drinking beers, rum and cafe. The music fills the square and the close side streets, combine this with the roar of scooters racing by and you have the sounds of a busy Ciudad Bolivar.

side street leading up to the church in the main square

Side street leading up to the church in the main square

 

The main square in Ciudad Bolivar

The main square in Ciudad Bolivar

The main square in Ciudad Bolivar

 

The town was 99.9% locals which left .1% tourists maybe it was just us!! Anyway, being a beautiful warm Sunday the Ranchero’s were out and about. They are not hard to miss with the white Panama style hat, light shirt, jeans and satchel.

Ranchero in the town square, Antioquia

Ranchero in the town square, Antioquia

 

Cars, bikes, horses & pedestrians

Cars, bikes, horses & pedestrians

 

Wonderful trees line the main square

Wonderful trees line the main square

 

The main square was by far the busiest area of the town today and as Colombia is a very religious country the church on the edge of the square was over flowing with people during the morning service.

Little street stalls in the square

Little street stalls in the square

 

The church in Ciudad Bolivar

The church in Ciudad Bolivar

 

Later in the afternoon we managed to pop into the church when it was (nearly) empty.

Inside the church of Ciudad Bolivar

Inside the church of Ciudad Bolivar

 

The quickest and easiest way to get around most towns in Colombia would have to be by scooter or motorbike so it’s no wonder that the streets are often lined with them. I’ll have to inquire about getting a license if we keep returning.

Scooters and motorbikes galore in Ciudad Bolivar

Scooters and motorbikes galore in Ciudad Bolivar

 

One of the fascinating things that we did see on our visit to Ciudad Bolivar was the transport service (servicio publico).

A line of parked Jeeps or Landrovers in the shade waiting for their loads to transport people to various destinations.

Local transport being loaded up in Ciudad Bolivar

Local transport being loaded up in Ciudad Bolivar

 

There is nothing strange about the vehicles, but what amazes me is how they manage to get from A to B with their load all intact, knowing that some of the roads can be very rough indeed.

A fully loaded taxi in Ciudad Bolivar Antioquia

A fully loaded taxi in Ciudad Bolivar Antioquia

 

And another…

Transport service in Ciudad Bolivar

Transport service in Ciudad Bolivar

 

Colourful Ciudad Bolivar

Colourful Ciudad Bolivar

 

We enjoyed a beverage at one of the bars in the square before beginning our walk up the hill to the statue of Christ and the views over the town.

The streets of Ciudad Bolívar

The streets of Ciudad Bolívar

 

The views at the top of the hill in town

The way up to Cristo Rey in Cerro Parque

The way up to Cristo Rey in Cerro Parque

 

The street leading off from the main square takes you up to a gate which then leads up the path to the top of the hill.

Selfie pro

Selfie pro

 

This is the view back towards the town square and the church showing the road that you need to walk along to get here.

A view towards the church from Cerro Parque as you walk up

A view towards the church from Cerro Parque as you walk up

 

The views over the town are great and the short walk up to the top is definitely worth it. When at the top you can actually see the other side as well with coffee plantations on the mountain sides.

Ciudad Bolivar is like many of the other small towns in Antioquia it’s situated between the mountains on a flat plain.

Ciudad Bolivar is situated in a valley in Antioquia

Ciudad Bolivar is situated in a valley in Antioquia

 

The statue of Christ at the top of the hill in Ciudad Bolivar

The statue of Christ at the top of the hill in Ciudad Bolivar

 

By the time we came down we were more than ready for some lunch. One of the really awesome things that I love about Colombia is that there are lots of places to eat wherever you are and Ciudad Bolivar is no different so you won’t go hungry. We found a small restaurant on the colourful side street that runs between the square and the road the bus came in on.

Lunch at Restaurant Casa Vieja (old house)

Lunch at Restaurante Casa Vieja (old house)

 

This place was so busy we had to wait for a table, (often a good sign). Indeed it was a good choice and I enjoyed a meal of chicken chips and salad while Moni had a vegetarian variation and Enrique the menu del dia, soup followed by the usual meat beans etc.

Like I mentioned, this was a day trip from Medellin to Ciudad Bolivar however if you wanted to make it a two-day trip and sleep over, then the Hotel Los Vitales is right on the corner of the main square and was recommended to us by some locals. The entrance is a bit further along the road away from the square.

Hotel Los Vitales near to the church

Hotel Los Vitales near to the church

 

The Toyota Landcruiser BJ40 series lives on here in Colombia.

We often see the iconic 4×4 around the towns in Medellin and here was one today, all nicely finished. It’s a good climate for them in Antioquia being dry and free from salty sea air.

Memories of our old Toyota, the BJ40 lives on in Colombia

Memories of our old Toyota, the BJ40 lives on in Colombia

 

Ciudad Bolivar was very clean and tidy with hardly any rubbish lying around.

Clean, tidy Ciudad Bolivar streets

Clean, tidy Ciudad Bolivar streets

 

I had to put this photo into this post because to me this what life is about, slowing things down and enjoying life… I love how the old style traditions still continue and that the people are so happy.

Ciudad Bolivar in Antioquia

Ciudad Bolivar in Antioquia

 

[grwebform url=”https://app.getresponse.com/view_webform_v2.js?u=Bi2Vo&webforms_id=2974304″ css=”on” center=”off” center_margin=”200″/]

 

 

Facebook Comments

Thanks for reading, you may also enjoy these

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply