In Colombia, you can go rafting or doing other extreme sports in several places. The most popular place to do this is San Gil. Although in San Gil, Barichara and surrounding areas there is much beauty to see and many opportunities for extreme sports, you do have to take a 8-hour bus ride from Bogotá first. Consequently, many travelers skip this beautiful destination due to lack of because “it’s not on the itinerary”. Fortunately, there are more opportunities for adventure in Colombia, and closer than you think. In fact, just a 2-hour drive from Bogotá you will find a true extreme sports paradise. On a day trip from Bogotá, travel off the beaten path and visit the mini-village of Tobia for a few hours of rafting. Here you read everything about it.
Tobia: a true extreme sports paradise in Colombia
In just two hours you will ride from 2,600 meters altitude in Bogotá to 750 meters altitude in Tobia, a total distance of over 70 kilometers.
In the same direction as beautiful San Francisco, but a little lower altitude. Because of this low altitude, Tobia is quite warm. So that means leaving in Bogotá in about 10 degrees, to arrive two hours later with about 30 degrees.
The village itself can hardly be called a village, it is more like a t-crossing with some houses. Even the classic Colombian village image of a square with a church is missing. Consequently, only about 2,200 people live there. Despite this small size, there is an extraordinary amount to do!
What to do in Tobia?
Tobia is known for the extreme sports you can do there. Bogotans in particular come here on weekends, vacations and during puentes to enjoy Colombian adventure. Consequently, there are several organizations you can book a tour with.
We didn’t book anything in advance and walked into the office of Tobia Extreme. They offer all kinds of fun activities, such as rafting, torrentismo (abseiling from the top of a waterfall 30 meters down), ziplining (going from mountain to mountain via a rope, at 200 meters altitude and with a length of 600 meters), camping, paint ball, horseback riding, swimming and hiking. And all in beautiful nature. Plenty of fun things to do!
Rafting in Colombia on a day trip from Bogotá
I have since been to Tobia several times, the first of which we went rafting with friends. Fourth time for me in Colombia, and on a level 2-3 river. The level varies by season, and is 4 to 5 in the rainy season. As such, it is usually a quieter river for rafting than in San Gil.
Despite the calm river, it was one of the most fun rafting trips I’ve taken. This is due to our guide who made it incredibly fun, was enormously cheerful and made the boat bump into everything. We had tremendous laughter, I fell out of the boat for the first time for three times, and we had a wonderful time bobbing in the river. And just a day trip from Bogotá!
And a video to get a nice impression:
Rafting near Bogotá in Tobia: practical information
How to get to Tobia?
Tobia can be reached by bus or by car. It’s located west of Bogotá via Avenida Calle 80. At Portal 80 there are buses leaving for Tobia, but you can also go to Terminal de Transporte. The ride takes about 2 hours.
Want to drive yourself? You can rent a car in Bogotá.
How do you arrange rafting in Tobia?
You can drive to Tobia and arrange it on the spot at Tobia Extreme. However, want to be sure of a spot? Then it is better to book the rafting here in advance on the day and time you want. Tobia is off the beaten path for foreign tourists, and English is spoken little to not at all. Both booking and rafting will therefore be mostly in Spanish, unless you happen to have a guide who speaks a few words of English.
Costs of rafting
At Tobia Extreme, you pay 110,000 pesos per person, less for rafting than in San Gil. This includes equipment (helmet, life jacket), lunch, insurance and transportation to the start location. An additional guide also accompanies you in a separate boat for safety and assistance if needed. You can purchase the videos and movies that are made after the event.
What is the best travel time for Tobia?
Tobia you can visit all year round, rain is always a possibility. The first time I was there during the dry season and then it rained terribly hard in the afternoon. The second time was the rainy season and we had brilliant weather all day. So anything is possible. Therefore, just go and enjoy the activity. After all, when rafting, you get wet anyway.
What to bring?
As indicated earlier, Tobia is what they call tierra caliente, or warmer area. So in Bogotá, don’t be tempted by warm sweaters and long pants, but bring summer clothes. A towel, swimwear, sunscreen, DEET, sunglasses and a cap should also not be missing from your bag. In Tobia you can eat and drink delicious food, so you don’t need to bring that with you.
Day trip or overnight stay?
You can visit Tobia very easily on a day trip, but staying there for one or more nights is of course also possible. Nice to escape the cold in Bogotá or to spend the last day(s) in Colombia. Would you like to spend the night there? Click here for hotels!
To conclude, a nice video of rafting. Or well, rafting…
Want to go rafting in Colombia? Go off the beaten path and take a day trip from Bogotá to Tobia!
The films and videos of the rafting were taken with a GoPro by Tobia Extreme.
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