A small town that attracts a large number of visitors thanks to the Natural Park Los Estoraques.
It’s difficult to find an isolated village in Colombia with charming areas. However, there is one, at least in the North of Santander. Unfortunately, this town sooner or later will become one of the main tourist destinations in Colombia.
This town is Playa de Belén, barely 150 years old, but with a three-hundred-year-old atmosphere, which until now has remained isolated from massive tourism. Climb this infinite corkscrew, which seems to seek the sky during an important part of its more than 200 kilometres, is a unique Andean experience because in front of the abyss that borders all the time there is a semitropical forest intact and possessed of all possible greens. The final descent to the town of Abrego and from there to the Beach of Belen itself is so suggestive that you will wonder why you hadn’t read anything about this area before.
This small and charming town of very few streets is unique and one of a kind in its genre for many reasons. The main reason is that it doesn’t have the pretensions of a museum, but simply of being what it is, a beautiful and authentic town. Its cobbled streets, the spontaneous uniformity of its white houses with red doors, balconies and flowers everywhere, make it a unique village in Colombia.
Certainly, the most remarkable characteristic of Beach of Belen, are its inhabitants, unlike other beautiful towns of Colombia in which the visitors are seen as a mobile ATM. In this town, everyone is alike, and the don’t have the crazy idea to name “Charming Hotels” or “boutique hotels” and Gourmet Bistro all the Restaurants to change regular prices to European rates.
The Beach of Belen: The Estoraques
But the jewel in the crown is the Estoraques. The Estoraques are geological formations carved by water and the wind for millennia, whose result is a labyrinth of columns, caves and pedestals. It’s worthy to climb to the top of the hills by marked paths and enjoy the silence of a unique landscape in the country, both beautiful and strange to the eyes, which seems like coming out of a Stars Wars movie.
Some travellers combine the visit to the park with Pinar, which is a small plateau reforested with huge pines, at a height suitable for relaxing panoramas and meetings of friends, families and lovers, located half an hour walk from the Estoraques Natural Park. The average temperature of the area, which is 21 degrees Celsius, makes neither the cold nor the heat are an obstacle to enjoying the hiking route.
Staying in La Playa de Belén several days is worth to take the pulse of the village without any effort. Finally, we all agree that Beach of Belen is an unknown jewel that will soon be discovered like many other beautiful Colombian destinations until now unknown due to the bad reputation of the country. If you want to visit a beautiful area of Colombia, we suggest you enjoy a trip to Beach of Belen, before turning it into another tourist area invaded by visitors and menus that serve English Breakfast for 8£.