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Kasa Guane

Kasa Guane
Calle 49 #28-22, Sotomayor, Bucaramanga, Santander
(037) 657.6960, 313.274.2199
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kasaguane.com

Overview: Kasa Guane is the only true backpacking hostel in Bucaramanga, the capital of Colombia's northeastern Santander department. While San Gil has traditionally been the tourism capital of Santander, Bucaramanga offers many attractions, activities, and extreme sports as well, and as a city of over a million people, offers tourists and travelers many options that you won't find in sleepy San Gil. Kasa Guane is your best option if you're backpacking through Bucaramanga. It's centrally located in the Sotomayor neighborhood, and near several bus routes, including the city's MetroLinea system (Bucaramanga's version of the Transmilenio).

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Neighborhood: Sotomayor is definitely one of the city's upscale, ritzier neighborhoods; it's the perfect part of town for a backpacking hostel. It's centrally located, well-served by public transportation on both Carreras 33 and 27, and is just a $8.000 or $9.000 taxi ride from Papi Quiero Pina (yes that is actually the name of a place) where the bus from San Gil will drop you off.

How to Get There: If you're to Bucaramanga by bus, heading north from San Gil, Villa de Leyva, or Bogota, you'll have the option of getting off the bus at the Terminal de Transporte, farther to the west, or in Papi Quiero Pina, on the edge of Bucaramanga, and Floridablanca, a large municipality to the south. Your best bet is to get off at Papi Quiero Pina, give the taxi driver the address of Kasa Guane. 

Or if you're arriving by bus from Medellin, Cartagena, or Santa Marta, you'll arrive at the Terminal. From here it's also just a $8.000 15 minute taxi ride to Kasa Guane.

If you're arriving by plane at Palonegro International Airport, it's located 40 minutes west of the city. You can either take a private taxi for $32.000, or take a shared taxi for $12.000 that will leave you in Parque Turbay just 2 blocks away.

Management/Staff: Kasa Guane is owned and run by two Brits Tim and Milo, whose passion is plugging tourists and travelers into the local scene in Bucaramanga. The staff here is top-notch, and have a wealth of information about Bucaramanga, and the surrounding area.

Rooms: The hostel has space for around 30 guests, in a mixture of private rooms and dormitories.

Shared Rooms: There are three dorms: two 6 bed dorms, and one 8 bed dorm.

Private Rooms: There are total of five private rooms: 2 with private baths, and 3 without.

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Amenities: Without a doubt the biggest perk here is the rooftop bar/terrace located on the third floor. It's packed on weekends, and not just with backpackers. It's also become a hotspot with the locals, who pay $10.000 to get in: for that you get $8.000 in "consumibles" (to drink) and a $2.000 donation goes to the hostel's foundation. There's live music nearly every weekend, and the place is almost always hopping!

The bar offers a great drink menu: there's your typical Colombian beer (Club Colombia, Pilsen, Aguila), a variety of selections from Bogota's BBC, plus three offerings from local German brewer Krug, located in nearby Piedecuesta. You can wet your palate with some authentic local brews: pilz, bok, o wiesen...There's also a wide selection of reasonably priced cocktails for $8.000, and what may be the best deal in town: $3.000 shots!

There's also a pool table up on the terrace, always a popular spot for guests. Next door, there's a spacious tv lounge and DVD player.

Downstairs you'll find a large, well-equipped kitchen for guest use, a nice dining room, and wealth of tourist information about Bucarmanga, Santander, and Colombia in general.

And being in the fabulous location of Sotomayor, any day of the week, if you wanted to head out and meet some locals, there is something going out. Just walk left (east) out of the hostel and in a block you'll come to one of the city's entertainment districts, teeming with bars, clubs, restaurants, and tomaderos, where you can throw back some cold beer, eat some good food, and maybe meet a pinga or two. (People from Bucaramanga are often called pingos).

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Conclusion: So if you're looking for a centrally located, safe, and hospitable location, Kasa Guane is just what the doctor ordered. It's reasonably priced, clean, comfortable, has a great staff who will make you feel right at home, and should be at the top of your list if you're backpacking through Bucaramanga.

Make Kasa Guane your home away from home in Bucaramanga!

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