Often referred to as the “forest city”, Valledupar is considered the greenest city in Colombia due to its tree-lined streets and its proximity to natural attractions. While Vallenato music finds its roots a little further adrift there is no disputing that Valledupar is the actual capital of this uniquely Colombian style of music which is currently enjoying a huge surge of popularity.
Located close to Arhuaco villages and within reach of the Guajira and the Sierra Nevada there is understandably a curious and thought provoking indigenous element to Valledupar for those interested in learning more about pre-Hispanic cultures in Colombia. One such town to visit from Valledupar in the secluded and mysterious Nabusimake.
Further attractions in Valledupar aside from the vallenato-infused and whisky soaked mayhem that is the annual Vallenato Festival, include making a trip to the village of La Mina to swim in the crystalline waters and soak up the sun on the smooth boulders shaped by years of erosion. In the city itself head down to the Los Besotes Ecopark or take a dip in the Guatapurí River.
- Bathe in the waters of the Guatapuri River and legend has it you will return to Valledupar in the future
- The raucous Vallenato Festival
- A day trip out to the town of La Mina to swim in naturally formed pools
Nabusimake and Marhuamake
Capital of the Arhuaco population in the Sierra Nevada, Nabusimake can be accessed from Valledupar and represents a pre-Hispanic culture still intact and functioning today despite the modernity encroaching on all sides. Distinguished by their white conical hats, the Sierra Indigenous call themselves ‘the older brothers’, and believe that they have a mystical wisdom and understanding which surpasses that of others. They refer to outsiders as ‘the younger brothers.’ Great respect and deference to this ancient culture must be shown when visiting their sacred ancestral lands and one must request permission to enter both Nabusimake and Marhuamake.