The distance between San Gil and Bucaramanga is 90 miles (144 km), and the roads on this route pass directly through the breathtaking Chicamocha Canyon.
The best way to make this journey is by private transfer, and the drive will take about two and a half hours. Unfortunately, renting a car is not possible as the small rental companies in San Gil do not allow for cars to be dropped off at other destinations.
You can also take a direct three-hour bus ride, and this a popular route with regular service.
If you'd like to explore more of the Santander region of Colombia, consider this exciting 12-day tour through the region that includes a tour of a historic coffee farm, whitewater rafting, paragliding, and more.
Alternatively, you can book this 9-day tour and add Bogotá and Zipaquirá to your Santander itinerary.
By Private Transfer
Duration: 2.5 hours, more with stops
This option will also give you peace of mind as the mountainous region is known for sharp turns and high drops. Private drivers are experienced, know the area well, and drive carefully.
You'll take Route 45A all the way to Bucaramanga, and you can find Chicamocha Canyon at the halfway point, about 34 miles (55 km) into your drive. Ask to be taken straight to the tourist viewpoint, and you'll be able to take in Chicamocha's grandeur from right outside the parked car.
Another perk of taking a private transfer is that you will be taken straight to your accommodation in Bucaramanga rather than having to flag down an additional driver in the middle of town.
Duration: 3 hours
Merely 30 minutes longer than traveling by car, the bus is another popular option for this route.
The type of bus you'll take depends on whether it is direct to Bucaramanga or simply making a stop there along the way to a larger city. If you choose a route that terminates in a metropolitan area, it will be a bigger and better-equipped bus.
Some buses make a stop at Chicamocha Canyon, which is perfect for those who would like to walk around and take in the views before continuing on to Bucaramanga.
Once you arrive at the bus terminal in Bucaramanga, it can be difficult to find transportation to your accommodation, so consider asking a specialist for help in arranging a private transfer ahead of time.